Girls’ basketball opens season with first victory over UKC opponent

Junior LaMyah Ricks calls a play as she brings the ball up the court against Shawnee Heights on Nov. 30.

Morgan Laplante

Junior LaMyah Ricks calls a play as she brings the ball up the court against Shawnee Heights on Nov. 30.

The De Soto High School girls’ basketball team played in their first game of the season on Friday Nov. 30 against new conference foe Shawnee Heights. The girls won 44-39 in a closely contested match despite battling foul trouble for much of its duration.

“First game of the year … it’s never really all that pretty, but I thought our kids competed and that’s the big thing, and we can work out the kinks on offense and defense,” said head girls’ basketball coach Ryan Robie.

With typically contributing juniors LaMyah Ricks and Mackenzie Shupe sitting out for much of the game with fouls, players who were newer to the varsity level were forced to take on a big role against SHHS. One of those players was senior Olivia Collins, an experienced player who was able to sidestep the pressure in the game.

“Since I’ve been playing for four years, I kind of wasn’t thinking about like ‘how am I going to do?’” Collins said of her mindset. “I just went out there and was like ‘I’m going to try my best, and we’ll see how that goes.’”

Senior Linnea Searls was a top contributor for DHS as was Shupe, despite her setbacks with the referees. Together they combined for nearly half of the Wildcats’ scoring. However, Searls was more focused on her actions in the game that didn’t go on the scoreboard.

“Personally, I thought I did really good defensively and I thought my passing was really good, but there’s always ways for me to improve so I’m going to keep working hard,” Searls said.

The student section was also out in force for the first game of the season, to the delight of Robie. Although attendance typically slacks for the earlier girls’ game as compared to the boys, Robie noted that it was an improvement over previous seasons.

“It was a better student section. We hope they continue to come out because it does make a difference,” Robie explained. “We love having the kids cheering for us and giving the other team a hard time. It makes for a better environment.”


Boys’ team falls to Heights, both squads prepare for upcoming home tournament

After the girls game, the boys played the Thunderbirds, and though they were close early in the game, they were unable to hold their pace down the stretch, ultimately falling 67-43.

Both teams will be back in action at the Huhtamaki Hardwood Classic hosted by De Soto High School. The boys will begin play against Blue Valley Southwest on Monday, Dec. 3 in a rematch of last year’s semifinal game, which DHS won. The girls will play Gardner-Edgerton the following night in their opening round.