Going into their home finale against Avon Park, boys’ junior varsity coach Darby Ellis mentioned how pleased he was with the progress of his team. They had won their last six games and were jelling as a team. “They have bought into the system, and with a lot of good players we are able to sit kids down during the game to teach them, and give attention to the system,” he said. Once the game began, the Bulldogs used an effective man-to-man pressure defense to slowly pull away from the Red Devils, winning 56-49.
The Bulldogs applied full-court pressure and dropped into a half-court man defense with pressure on the ball, catching the Red Devils off guard. Avon Park frequently turned the ball over and a couple of three-point shots by Caleb Blackwood gave DeSoto a 16-9 lead at the end of one quarter. Avon Park settled down in the next quarter, using the same pressure defense on the Bulldogs tying the game at 18. Center Jeffery Hamm entered the game and quickly made two inside baskets to put the Bulldogs back up, and DeSoto led 26-25 at the half.
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