Wildcats earn split behind senior duo
After playing one of its better halves of the year, De Soto fell victim to cold shooting in the second half and lost a 76-51 Frontier League contest to Spring Hill in the process.
The Wildcats trailed 39-32 at halftime, but a 10-0 run to begin the second half put the separation between De Soto and the Broncos that the host team wanted.
While the Broncos were making 10-of-13 field goals in the third period, De Soto could manage just 2-of-13 shooting from the field. Spring Hill went on to build a 61-37 advantage going into the final period.
"We both played well offensively in the first half," Wildcat coach Jason Generally said. "It's a lot of fun when we are able to do it. But not a lot of fun when they do it."
Danny Brown and Hunter Noe played especially well in the first two periods and tallied 31 of De Soto's 32 first-half points. Brown and Noe scored 14 and 17 points, respectively, during that time span. Brown finished the game with a game-high 29 points, while Noe contributed 17 points.
The seniors did much of their damage by teaming up to rip the cords from 3-point range six times.
But the touch they had from beyond the arc dwindled once Spring Hill was able to pick up the tempo defensively.
the tempo defensively.
"In the second half they started to get some stops," Generally said. "But we continued to allow them to get the shots they wanted."
De Soto's shooting percentage dropped from 57 percent in the first half to just more than 38 percent for the game. The Broncos, meanwhile, managed to shoot over 53 percent for the game.
During the early second-half run four different Broncos scored.
The most lethal scorer for the Broncos was Jason Murphy, who scored 23 of his 28 points in the second and third periods. Dustin Smith added 14 points for the Broncos.
"His quickness really hurt us," Generally said of the 6-foot 2-inch sophomore Smith. "He's big and quick. We were just late at doubling down on him."
Brown and Noe also led the Wildcats to a 66-55 win Monday over Anderson County with 21 and 14 points, respectively. But it was free-throw shooting that was the difference for De Soto. And that's where Taylor Burnett, who had 14 points for the game, stepped up.
The junior connected on 10-of-14 free throws and the Wildcats made 26-of-38 charity tosses all together. In all, there were 69 free throws attempted by the two teams and 50 fouls committed.
The Wildcats made just six field goals in the second half but maintained the lead on the strength of 18-for-29 shooting from the free- throw line. Anderson County made 11-of-19 charity tosses in the second half.
De Soto picked up its fourth win of the year in the double digit win over the Bulldogs.