De Soto boys fire away from downtown
It’s safe to say that the De Soto High boys squad is a team that lives by three. The Wildcats (5-3) feature about five players who can hit from beyond the arc, and they are not afraid to fire away from deep at any time.
At the Hays City Shootout in early December, De Soto hit 11 threes in one game and the team consistently makes five or more most every game. Senior guard Tommy Elmer scored 16 points and hit five threes
against Wyandotte and senior point guard Brendon Hudson scored 18 points and hit five three-pointers in a recent win over Paola.
Junior guard Dylan Burford comes off the bench and can also hit from the perimeter. With De Soto's shooting ability from the outside teams have to come out and guard against the three, which leaves room
inside for De Soto's big guys.
Down low, De Soto is led by 6-foot-2 senior Jamel Townsend. Townsend is quick, athletic and can out leap defenders for rebounds. He is also left-handed, which seems to give him an advantage on the left block.
“Jamel’s a great security blanket because if we get in trouble outside we can just throw it into him and we know he'll do something good with it,” Elmer said.
Townsend also gets help on the boards from 6-foot-4 junior Brandan Philbrook, 6-foot-5 junior Paul Stallbaumer and 6-foot-6 sophomore Aaron Nutterfield. Philbrook creates matchup problems for opponents
not only because of his height, but also his shooting ability from the perimeter.
Like Elmer and Hudson, Philbrook also is a weapon from three-point land. At Hays, Philbrook hit three three-pointers in a game and he and Townsend both were named to the all-tournament team.
On defense, the Wildcats will press at times but mostly play man-to-man in the half-court. After a rebound, De Soto looks to Hudson to push the ball up the court and then find a teammate on the wing for the quick open three.
De Soto took second at the Hays City Shootout and has since notched wins against Maranatha of Shawnee, Wyandotte and Paola. De Soto missed two games in December because of bad weather, including a road contest against Atchison, which also is in the Tonganoxie Invitational.