Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

Morse, Childers contributions not just on scoreboard

February 9, 2006

A glance down the box score and it may seem evident which motors have powered the De Soto boys basketball team's 4-1 record over the last two weeks.

Scott McElvain has led in scoring all season and had 20 in De Soto's Friday night win over Paola. Taylor Burnett and Andre Linzy have both also been big when it comes to the scorebook, Linzy becoming more consistent with each game.

But beneath the scorers lie two more key components to this season's success, De Soto coach Jim Bonar said.

"Colby Childers and Jake Morse aren't given enough credit," he said last week. "Even though they're not scoring, they're still doing a phenomenal job on defense and in controlling the ball and breaking the press and getting it to people who are consistently scoring."

While Morse has at times emerged as a scorer -- he had a career-high 17 early in the season against Osawatomie and can at times threaten double figures with an accurate 3-point shot -- neither have become the scoring stalwarts one might expect from starters.

Still, neither is in any danger of losing a starting spot, Bonar insisted.

With Morse, it's been the passing and defense. He had eight points Tuesday in De Soto's loss to Anderson County, but more important than what he's added to the scoreboard is the composure and leadership he brings every day, Bonar said.

Leadership and composure aren't terms often thrown around sophomores, but Bonar said it's a recurring theme with the guard who plays quarterback in football.

"There's that competitive fire that he shows on the football field," Bonar said. "It shows in everything Jake does."

Childers also brings a measure of leadership, but more important in his contribution is passion and fire.

Anderson County's Josh Sutton broke away with a loose ball Tuesday and was cruising to the basket all alone. Childers caught him from behind, however, swatting the ball away as Sutton went for a layup.

The passion might have been a little too much on that one play, earning Childers his second early-game foul and confining him to the bench for much of the rest of the half, but a hearty high-five awaited from Bonar when Childers made it to the sideline.

Sutton only made one of the free throws, by the way, the foul saving the Cats a point.

"Colby does such dirty work in there, rebounding, working hard and playing great D," Bonar said. "There's no token spot there just because he's a senior.

"We match both him and Jake up on some of the top players from the other team and they just go to work. Those two guys, even if they don't score a point for me, still do things that are worthy of my praise."

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