Cats out shoot Bulldogs
De Soto boys hit 10 threes in 57-45 win
A barrage of three-pointers boosted the De Soto boys’ basketball team to a 57-45 Frontier League victory last Friday night at Baldwin.
Three of the Wildcats’ 10 shots behind the arc came at the beginning of the second quarter. That trio of threes gave the Wildcats a comfortable margin that they held for the rest of the contest.
“We came out and hit some outside shots early,” De Soto coach Jim Bonar said. “The second quarter was the one that really put us ahead.”
De Soto hit a shot at the end of the first quarter to take the lead by one. The Wildcats then came out hot in the second quarter and opened up a 12-point margin at the half.
Senior Brendon Hudson hit five threes and scored a game-high 21 points. Tommy Elmer and Brandan Philbrook both hit two threes, and Dylan Burford hit one three for the Wildcats.
Baldwin ran a man defense, but De Soto used good ball movement to get open shots. Only this time, the Wildcats hit them, unlike their home game against Tonganoxie last Tuesday. De Soto lost that game by four points.
“It was just the same shots that we normally get and we knocked them down as opposed to the Tonganoxie game where we just seemed to miss everything,” Bonar said. “We were stinging a little bit from that, and we wanted to get the bad taste out of our mouth, so to speak.”
De Soto had just beaten Tonganoxie in the championship match of the Tonganoxie Invitational Jan. 24 but lost three days later to the Chieftains on their home court. Bonar said the team worked on shooting at practice after that loss and had a team meeting as well.
“We had a talk at the start of practice, and we said we could either look forward or dwell on it,” Bonar said.
De Soto didn’t relinquish its lead, against the Bulldogs, though Baldwin cut a 16-point deficit down to seven. But the Wildcats made 13-of-16 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter alone and hit 15-of-18 free throws for the game.
Midway through the second quarter, the gym became loud and heated. After a Baldwin turnover, De Soto tried to substitute a player as the ball was about to be thrown inbounds. The player didn’t check in at the table and the officials were confused, so they stopped the game.
Baldwin’s coach Eric Toot became enraged at the illegal substitution. After the mess was cleared up, Toot was slapped with a technical foul, as was the De Soto bench.
Baldwin’s Justin Vander Tuig led the Bulldogs with 18 points and Brandon Tommer chipped in 11.
The win was the Wildcats ninth overall and second victory in league play. Bonar said while he was concerned with wins and losses, he just wanted the team to keep playing better.
“We just needed something better for us on Friday night,” Bonar said. “I just thought the kids needed to go out and play a good team. We just needed to play well. We knew Baldwin was a good team, but we just wanted to play well out there.”
The Wildcats played Louisburg Tuesday night at home and won 68-64. Hudson scored 20 points and hit the game winner with 3.9 seconds to go.
Next up for De Soto (10-4) is a home match with Spring Hill on Friday night.
(Baldwin City Signal reporter Jimmy Gillispie contributed to this story.)