Written by Matt Wixon
Galena Park North Shore defense forces 26 turnovers in wild win over DeSoto
In any game that goes down to the wire, the losing team can look back at a moment it would like to do over.
DeSoto had at least 26 of those moments Friday in its 48-45 loss to Galena Park North Shore in the Class 5A semifinals. DeSoto’s 26 turnovers doomed their first trip to the state tournament since winning the title in 2009.
“We just didn’t take care of the ball,” DeSoto coach Chris Dyer said.
North Shore (34-3) had a lot to do with that at the Frank Erwin Center. Its full-court trapping defense flustered DeSoto (31-4) and offset some serious offensive struggles. North Shore made only 15 of 57 field goals (26 percent) and was 2-of-16 from 3-point range.
North Shore even went scoreless for a six-minute stretch that bridged the second and third quarters. But it only had 11 turnovers and attempted 23 more shots than DeSoto.
“Defense is our staple,” North Shore coach David Green said. “Even when we’re not scoring, we know we can force turnovers.”
DeSoto took a 32-25 lead midway through the third quarter on a tip-in by forward Terry Maston, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds. But North Shore then forced eight turnovers during a seven-minute, 13-4 run that gave it a 38-36 lead with 6:13 left.
“They were just moving too fast. Nobody came back to help,” said DeSoto guard Takedrick Brown. “We were playing their game. We needed to calm down and play our game.”
DeSoto’s game starts with defense, but by the game’s end, it was desperate for offense. Devin Wyatt’s dunk gave DeSoto a 43-42 lead with 43 seconds left. But a pair of free throws gave North Shore the lead, and DeSoto lost the ball on a turnover. Two more free throws gave North Shore a 46-43 lead with 18 seconds left.
DeSoto’s Cedric Carson cut the lead to one with a layup with 10 seconds left, but after North Shore pushed the lead back to three with two free throws, DeSoto committed its 26th turnover with five seconds left.
DeSoto got another chance when guard Julian Miranda made a steal in the backcourt and got off a 3-pointer that could’ve tied it. The shot bounced off the rim and went out of bounds off North Shore with seven-tenths of a second remaining. DeSoto inbounded to Miranda in the corner, but his off-balance 3-pointer was well short at the buzzer.