PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg High School basketball teams came away with one win and one loss in the mid-season match up against De Soto on Friday, with the girls losing 49-35 and the boys winning 78-49.
PHS BOYS EXPLODE IN FIRST HALF
The Wildcats held the lead for all of one minute in their 78-49 loss to the Pittsburg boys’ team, as the Purple Dragons answered De Soto’s opening bucket with 23 consecutive points en route to the blowout.
“I thought we played well in the first half,” PHS head coach Kiley Roelfs said. “I thought we were a little out of rhythm early by getting them out of their strengths. We rebounded pretty well and started to get it going offensively, which is what led to that big run in the first half.”
The 23-0 run was highlighted by 10 points from Marque English and included eight points from Drew Roelfs.
Pittsburg went on to extend the lead to 42-17 on the strength of a 13-2 run — with four points coming from Chase Curtis — to end the first half.
De Soto fought back in the second half with 22 points in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough, as the Purple Dragons kept pace to hold the lead down the stretch.
“I thought the second half was up and down,” Kiley Roelfs said. “I didn’t think we were consistently good in the second half, but I thought the first half was really where the game was decided.”
English led the way with a team-high 25 points.
Roelfs and Curtis also had a big hand in building the large lead, scoring 13 and 10 points respectively.
TIGERS RALLY IN FOURTH QUARTER TO BEAT PHS GIRLS
The Pittsburg girls’ team held a three-point advantage over De Soto with one minute remaining in the third quarter, but a 13-0 run by the Tigers gave them a 10-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter and led to a 49-35 win.
“Sometimes we just have a hard time scoring,” PHS head coach Kris Crotts said. “They buckled down on defense and we were having trouble taking care of the ball. I think turning the ball over and missing shots wears on your defense. I thought we played good defense for three quarters, but when you’re not scoring, it’s hard to keep it up.”
The lead changed hands eight times throughout the contest, as both teams were matching each other point-for-point throughout the first three quarters.
Pittsburg fell behind 8-4 in the early going, before scoring six consecutive points from Sophia Pinamonti, Kaitlin Kidd and Madden Petty to go on top 10-8 in the early going of the second quarter.
PHS fell behind by three with four minutes remaining in the first half, but went on another 6-0 run later in the second quarter — on the strength of points from Kidd, Rylee Johnson and Abbie Casper — to regain the lead at 20-17.
The Tigers went on to tie the score at 20-all before taking the lead 22-20 just before halftime.
The lead changed hands five more times throughout the third quarter, as Petty put the Purple Dragons on top for the final time on a pair of free throws before a 13-0 run by the Tigers put De Soto in control of the contest.
The Tigers protected the lead by holding PHS scoreless for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, while putting up 18 points as a team to get the win.
Petty was the offensive catalyst for Pittsburg with 11 points, while her teammates Kidd and Casper chipped in eight points apiece.
The Purple Dragons will host Coffeyville at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.