Downing Eagles sets up big game
With a huge Frontier League game at Paola looming Friday, De Soto girls basketball coach Dwight Spencer wanted to see his team's intensity remain at a high level.
The coach got just what he wanted Monday in a 58-27 makeup game win over league foe Wellsville.
"With the exception of free throws, just about everything we did worked well," Spencer said. "We played really well and with a lot of intensity. We had a real good night. We needed a night like this."
De Soto did a little of everything in building a 22-5 lead after a period of play.
The Wildcats created turnovers with their trapping defense, passed well and finished in their transition game. The team also was able to go inside with the basketball when it wanted.
Once the Wildcats padded their lead in the second period, however, Spencer did shut down his full-court trapping defense for the night.
The only pitfall in Monday's game was the 9-for-21 shooting from the foul line -- a statistic the Wildcats may need to improve on if they want to get a win Friday. The exception was the exceptional senior guard Amy Petty, who hit 8-of-10 on her attempts.
Petty's 23 points led the nine players who broke into the scoring column Monday. Jackie Goleman and Becca Davis chipped in seven and six points, respectively, for De Soto.
Erica Patton was the only Eagle to score in double figures with her 11 points. Lacey Roecker added six points, while Jami Samsel and Kimberly Hughes chipped in four points each.
The 10-3 Wildcats led 34-11 at halftime and 43-17 going into the final quarter.
De Soto is next in action at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Paola.
The Panthers bring a wealth of talent into the game and an impressive 11-2 record.
Paola's lone conference loss was a 59-54 setback to Ottawa, a team De Soto beat 43-41 last month.
The Panthers also lost to Labette County, the eighth-ranked 4A team by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, by a 54-42 margin at the Burlington High School Invitational Basketball Tournament.
One of the Panthers' more impressive wins was a 63-43 blowout over Fort Scott, the KBCA's fifth-ranked 4A team, less than two weeks ago.
"They have a post player that is tremendous," Spencer said. "She can post up or step out and shoot the 3-pointer. They also have a sophomore that is very athletic."
Despite their strong inside game, the Panthers don't play a walk-it-up, pound-the-ball-inside game.
"As soon as a shot is released their two guard is headed back the other way," Spencer said. "As the ball is just hitting the rim she is probably at half court or beyond."
In order to keep Paola from getting easy points in this system, Spencer said his Wildcats would have to get back on defense, do a good job of getting to offensive rebounds and shut down the long pass.
"We will have to do a lot of things well," he said. "If we continue to play with the intensity we have, I'll accept whatever happens."