Second half surge lifts Cyclones past DHS girls 56-21
For 16 of the required 32 minutes the De Soto Wildcat girls basketball team stayed stride-for-stride with the No. 5-ranked Ottawa Cyclones.
But after halftime, the Cyclones flexed their muscles and cruised to a 56-21 victory.
“They’re a good team,” coach Dwight Spencer said. “That was the biggest thing we took from that game. We went in with the idea that we would make someone other than Jordan Baldwin or Kearsten Peoples beat us, and we did a decent job of that. But then (Shelbey) Miller got hot in the second half. We just didn’t get out fast enough on those jump shots.”
Miller hit a barrage of 15-footers to help bring the Cyclones the victory after the break, tallying 20 points to lead both teams. Peoples, the Ottawa center, finished with a relatively quiet 12 points and guard Jordan Baldwin scored 10.
“I think Ottawa is definitely No. 1 in the league,” Spencer said. “Then, probably a close No. 2 is Gardner, who we have on Friday. But Ottawa is definitely the class of our league. After that it’s pretty wide open.”
De Soto (9-8) struggled shooting for most of the game, as even top-scorer Shelbi Petty was held to five points in the contest. In fact, both teams struggled from the field in the first half, missing several shots and committing too many turnovers.
After only scoring four points in the first quarter, the Wildcats rebounded in the second thanks to strong inside play from Ashley Gorman. With five minutes remaining before the half, Gorman hit a soft fade away off the window to cut the deficit to just four points, and the Wildcats went into the half down 18-14.
But the Cyclones found their form in the third quarter, however, and outscored De Soto 18-3.
“We struggled scoring the entire game,” Spencer said. “They did a nice job taking Petty away from us. When that happens, we need other kids to get shots, and we got some decent looks, we just couldn’t knock them down. If we hit a few more shots, we could’ve kept it closer.”
Ashley Gorman finished the night with six points to lead the team. Kelsey Fisher scored her three points on a trey that came in the first quarter.
Spencer said his team would work on its overall game this week as it prepares for Friday’s game at Gardner.
“Defense is going to be key for us,” he said. “They’re another team that has several weapons that can shoot the ball well. Gardner is not as strong inside as Ottawa, so hopefully we won’t have to collapse on their inside game as much.”