Perry One player's sickness is making the rest of the Perry-Lecompton boys basketball team ill.
With 6-foot-4 senior center Nate Lovercheck possibly out for the season with mononucleosis, the DeSoto Wildcats took advantage of the Kaws' small size and outmuscled Perry-Lecompton in the low post for a 74-58 victory.
"It hurt us with him not playing," said Perry-Lecompton coach Dave Lutz. "And then our other co-captain, Phillip Harvey, got into early foul trouble."
A technical foul in the first half meant more trouble for Perry-Lecompton. Still, the Kaws managed an 18-17 lead after the first quarter despite having junior point guard Jake Worthington sitting out most of the first half after receiving a technical foul for throwing the ball at a DeSoto player.
Lutz said he wasn't pleased with the call because Worthington was just retaliating after the DeSoto player shoved the ball into his stomach.
"I didn't appreciate the call but I had to take him out because I didn't want him to pick up his fourth foul in the first half. Because as Jake goes, Perry goes," Lutz said.
But in the first half, the Kaws found success through junior guard Ben Washee and senior Jared Maness and were down by just seven points at halftime, 34-27. Washee scored eight points in the first half after replacing Worthington. Maness, a 6-3 senior provided the bulk of the Kaws' inside play against DeSoto's taller players.
"With their two 6-7 kids, it was tough for us to rebound with them," Lutz said. "And also they got two really, really good shooters outside in (Curtis) Vignery and (Grant) Owens. We tried a triangle and two on them and it hurt us on the backside as far as rebounding."
The Kaws made only four of 13 three-pointers, and that kept DeSoto's zone collapsing inside.
"When one of the post players isn't playing it gets pretty difficult," Maness said.
Maness scored a game-high 21 points, despite being in the shadows of DeSoto's post players. But Lutz said a collapsing defense was becoming familiar for Maness.
"He's been getting about 20 a game and now teams are sagging in on him trying to take him away," Lutz said about Maness. "Tongie started it and now it's continued on from about three or four games ago where they're just hanging on him and making our perimeter guys hit their shots."
When the Kaws did shoot from the outside it was just a foot in from the three-point line. Lutz said although he preferred his players to step in a little farther and then drive the lane, he didn't mind them not stepping back to shoot a three-pointer.
"We were knocking down some of those closer shots tonight where a couple of games ago we were taking a step back and not hitting anything," he said.