King of court
Townsend scores 17 in win over Broncos
Jamel Townsend was king of two courts last Friday night at De Soto.
On the basketball court he dominated Spring Hill’s interior for 17 points and double-digit rebounds en route to a 66-42 blowout league win for the Wildcats.
Then at halftime his royal status was made official when he was presented with the crown for being De Soto High School’s Winter Sports King.
“It was pretty cool,” Townsend said. “Anybody could have won it. I really had no idea who would win.”
While the winter dance royalty result was in doubt, the evening’s basketball game was anything but, as Townsend and the rest of the Wildcats used their significant size and strength advantage early to out-muscle the Broncos.
“Jamel was just a workhorse on the boards tonight,” coach Jim Bonar said. “He sat quite a bit, too. So putting up 17 points is impressive. The guys matched up against him today were a little smaller or about his size. So we got the ball into him and he used his size and quickness to jump around them.”
The squad’s starting frontcourt – which went 6-6, 6-4, 6-2 – threw a block party in the first half as seemingly any shot thrust up from inside the paint was rejected by Aaron Nutterfield, Brandan Philbrook, Tommy Elmer or Paul Stallbaumer.
Perhaps the most memorable came late in the first quarter when a Spring Hill guard drove the lane and hoisted up an off-balance shot. A lurking Nutterfield brought a raucous De Soto crowd to its feet as he leapt up, palmed the ball with his right hand mid-flight, and slammed it ferociously to the floor.
Nutterfield, who scored 10 points in the contest, added two more blocks in the first half alone.
“We knew they had a couple kids who could stretch the defense, but after that we knew they were relatively smaller than we were,” Bonar said. “So knowing we had some shot blockers, we stayed behind a little bit and didn’t want to front because if they missed the outside shots, they get the inside positions for the rebounds.”
De Soto also got to run a little in transition, and freshman guard Mason Wedel came off the bench and scored eight points. A layup and a three-pointer from Wedel on consecutive trips down the floor late in the first quarter sparked a 12-4 run to give the Wildcats a 12-point advantage going into the second quarter.
A healthy dose of Townsend and Wedel in the second quarter gave the home team a 33-15 lead going into halftime. Despite rotating several players in and out in the second half, the lead would only increase, as nine boys scored for De Soto. Wedel was the primary contributor as he went 10-of-11 from the free throw line. He finished the night with 20 points.
The win moved the Wildcats to 11-4 on the season. The team traveled Wednesday to Atchison and played a makeup game that was originally scheduled for Dec. 19. Results from that came were not available at press time. Next up, the Wildcats will play Friday at Ottawa.