De Soto boys struggle at Spring Hill tourney
Series of slow starts contributes to team’s eighth-place finish in tourney
De Soto High School entered the Spring Hill Boys Basketball Tournament riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak. But slow starts became a bad habit that doomed De Soto to an eighth-place finish.
De Soto started the season 0-3 after finishing last at the Central Heights Tournament in early December. But in the season opening tournament De Soto was more competitive than it was last week.
In all, De Soto was outscored 175-99 and trailed at halftime by an average score of 32-15. Wildcat opposition made almost twice as many field goals as De Soto, making 64 field goals compared to only 34 for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats were also cold from the free-throw line. De Soto shot just 50 percent from the charity line, making 23-of-46. Wildcat foes took only three more free throws but made 11 more charity shots.
De Soto fell to eventual champion Sumner Academy 57-29 in the first round. Then became victims of Osawatomie, 56-32, and Louisburg, 62-38.
Against the Sabres, De Soto trailed 19-10 after a period of play and never recovered. Sumner Academy jumped out to an 8-0 advantage half way through the opening period.
Hunter Noe, who led De Soto with eight of his 11 points in the opening period, connected on back-to-back threes, getting the Wildcats within 8-6 with 3 minutes 8 seconds left in the frame.
The Sabres finished the period with an 11-4 run to take a 19-10 advantage into the second quarter of play. Sumner scored the first six points of the period before Noe tallied his final points of the game to bring the Wildcat deficit to 25-13.
An 8-1 spurt at the end of the first half put the Sabres up 33-14 at intermission. The Wildcats kept the spread from growing too much in the second half as Sumner Academy outscored De Soto 24-15.
While Sumner Academy opted to build its lead with its running game, Osawatomie took a 17-12 advantage after a period on the strength of three 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the game.
After building an 11-2 advantage, the Trojans allowed the Wildcats to get back into the game with a 10-6 run to end the opening quarter. Osawatomie opened the spread to 23-14 by scoring six of the first eight points of the second period.
It didn't get any better for De Soto as the Trojans grabbed a 29-18 halftime advantage.
The Trojans scored 10 of their 15 third-period points via layups as Osawatomie built a 44-26 advantage.
Osawatomie raised its advantage to 47-26 early in the final stanza on an Aaron French 3-pointer to open the scoring in the final period. The Trojans took their biggest lead at 56-31 on another French 3-pointer with just more than a minute left in the period.
In the seventh-place game against Louisburg, De Soto fell behind 35-13 after 16 minutes of play and never recovered. The Wildcats were outscored by Louisburg 27-25 in the second half as the Wildcats lost their third game in as many tries at the tournament.
Danny Brown led the Wildcats in scoring by averaging nearly 11 points a game over the course of the three games. Taylor Burnett and Noe added 18 points and 14, respectively.