The DeSoto County High School varsity boys’ basketball team faced a non-district but familiar rivalry in Avon Park for their last regular season home game of the year. They had lost to them earlier in the season and Coach Koonce was hoping the combination of senior night and the team’s final home game might bring different results. “The boys have been playing hard and hopefully tonight will be our night,” he said. It started well for the Bulldogs, who snagged an early lead, but too many turnovers gave the Red Devils a 59-52 victory of 59-52.
Avon Park came out pressing on defense to start the game. With the score tied at two, Koonce called an early timeout to adjust for the pressure. This helped DeSoto gain some easy shots and build a 13-6 lead midway through the period. It didn’t last long, however, as the Red Devils scored the last 11 points in the quarter, scoring inside on second chance points, and led 19-13. The second quarter saw both teams making small runs, but Avon Park still led 30-22 at the half. Most of the Red Devils’ points came from penetration for easy shots. Koonce knew he had to tighten up the defense, especially on the perimeter.
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