Girls basketball team makes big strides, wins nine
Just one year removed from a disappointing three-win season, Dwight Spencer led the Wildcat girls out of the Frontier League cellar in 2010.
The Wildcats added six more wins this season and finished with a 9-12 overall record. The season saw several highlights, including the play of point guard Shelbi Petty, who illustrated her ability to take over games numerous times throughout her junior campaign.
Four memorable games for fans of De Soto’s No. 22 came in the first few weeks of the season. Petty dropped 28 points on Maranatha after knocking down a remarkable seven three-pointers en route to a 56-22 season-opening victory. A few weeks later she repeated the performance, sinking six threes against Jeff West, and scored 28 points.
Petty was equally impressive after winter break with back-to-back games of 21 and 17 points against Maize South and Spring Hill, respectively. And against Maize, the guard hit four threes in the first 12 minutes of the game.
“It’s going to be great to have Shelbi, our leading scorer, back next year,” coach Dwight Spencer said.
The coach also was quick to point out, however, that the Wildcats are graduating four key players in Tami Crow, Kelsey Fisher, Katie Williams and Jordin Burford.
While Burford was sidelined with an injury for most of the season, Crow, Fisher and Williams started for the Wildcats.
“Kelsey Fisher is one of the most skilled players I have ever coached,” Spencer said of his shooting guard. “She was always a threat in every game. Tami Crow was one of the best defenders and workers on our team.”
“Katie Williams gave us a nice presence at the high post,” he added. “She opened up some things down low for us and was a good rebounder.”
In addition to Petty, the Wildcats will return two talented post players in the Gorman sisters, Ashley and Katie. Their return should provide a solid inside-out game for De Soto in 2010-2011.
Spencer said he also was excited about some of the younger guards that saw limited minutes this year.
“We have a lot to look forward to,” he said. “I think it will help that all of those girls will have another year of experience under their belts next year.”