Cats fight on despite more struggles
They haven't given up. Despite a 2-11 record and Tuesday's frustrating 47-31 home loss to a 6-8 Paola team, the De Soto Wildcat boys basketball squad is still fighting, De Soto coach Jim Bonar said.
That still hasn't helped their record very much. In addition to Tuesday's loss, the Cats
dropped another league game Friday at Osawatomie, falling 70-57.
"The kids are hustling," Bonar said. "I've got to find some combination that works.
Bonar said his frustration level is at an all-time high, but he's been amazed how well his team has handled this season's swoon.
The ugly campaign took another hit in the Paola game, and it was capped off by a three-point fourth quarter.
De Soto opened the game with a 6-3 lead, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Panther senior Greg Beverlin shot Paola out in front, and the Wildcats could never catch back up. Paola opened up a 24-16 lead by the end of the first quarter, then pushed it to 43-25 before Erik Hill cut it to just 15 points heading into the fourth quarter.
Hill would score again to open the final frame, but that would be all the closer De Soto would come. There were just seven points scored by both teams combined in the fourth and De Soto couldn't mount any kind of a comeback.
"They did a great job running the clock," Bonar said. "They just stalled us out the whole fourth quarter."
So, what's wrong? That could be a long list, Bonar said, but far too often it comes down to turnovers. When the team falls behind it can lead to bad passes and poor decisions, and it doesn't take long for those mistakes to become big deficits.
"I've got to sense the turnovers coming," Bonar said. "We have to cut down on those. Then sometimes we'll come down and rush a shot, but out turnovers are just killing us."
But, as he said, the team hasn't quit. Look no further than Hill for proof.
Scrapping and fighting for every loose ball, the junior power forward scored 13 points to lead De Soto against Paola, and was the team's only reliable offense in the second half.
He didn't just score though -- he did it in highlight fashion. Both his basket to end the third and the one that started the fourth came as he bulled his way into the lane, forced a shot up, made the basket and drew a foul.
"I don't think these guys have quit. Erik's just playing sensation basketball," Bonar said. "Since the Spring Hill tournament, he's just turned it on and he gives me everything he has.
"We're just getting everyone's best shot. They come in here and think they have a shot and they play like it."