TMP boys fall to De Soto
By AUSTIN COLBERT
It only takes half a quarter to win or lose a game, and the Thomas More Prep-Marian boys' basketball team came up on the losing side of this fact Saturday.
After taking their first lead midway through the third quarter, the Monarchs opened the fourth quarter flat. A Wildcat run in the early minutes of the final period was the difference in De Soto's 60-49 win over TMP in the fourth-place game of the Gerald Mitchell Hays City Shootout at Hays Middle School.
"I was extremely pleased with our play for three quarters, probably three and a half quarters," TMP coach Joe Hertel said. "But we had a dead spell in the fourth quarter. That's kind of a tendency if you look at yesterday's game that we need to try and iron out."
TMP (1-2) struggled early and fell behind 11-2 midway through the first quarter. But the Monarchs scored six of the final eight points to cut the Wildcats' lead to five after a quarter.
De Soto built as much as a 10-point lead on numerous occasions in the second quarter, buta bucket from junior Cameron Fouts followed a much needed 3-pointer by junior Max Megaffin to cut the Wildcats' lead to 26-23.
TMP trailed 31-25 at halftime after DeSoto's Luke Stenzel hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"I especially liked the fact that it looked like early on it was going to be a long day," Hertel said. "It turned out we were fine. We just needed to weather a little storm."
The Monarchs dominated the early portion of the third quarter, opening the half on a 10-1 run to take a 35-32 lead. TMP hadn't led until Ryan Mayorga's layup off a steal made it 33-32.
De Soto made four free throws in the closing seconds of the quarter to take a 39-37 lead into the fourth. That's when the Wildcats opened up, scoring 10 of the first 12 points to take a 49-39 lead.
TMP could get no closer than seven points the rest of the way. De Soto outscored TMP 21-12 in the fourth quarter.
"We made a couple of mistakes and the margined widened. Then we couldn't make any," Hertel said about the slow fourth-quarter start.
"Well, we are 1-2 so I'm never happy about two losses," he added. "But I feel like there is reason to be optimistic. We are not the same bad team we were a year ago and consequently I think that's reason to be real positive about the future."
Megaffin and Kameron Schmidt each finished with 11 points to lead TMP. DeSoto was carried by 6-foot-4 senior Quinton Verhulst and his 21 points. His brother, Dalton Verhulst, also recorded 16 points for the Wildcats.