Written by Corbett Smith
DeSoto boys make emphatic statement vs. Mesquite
When Mesquite upset DeSoto on Jan. 25, Mesquite guard Alex Thomas said that he'd celebrate the six-point win over the state's then third-ranked team on Facebook.
DeSoto's players didn't like the status update.
“Going into the game, that really fueled our fire a lot,” DeSoto forward Antwan Space said. “It made us want to come out and make a big statement.”
The message in the rematch was clear and decisive: a decidedly one-sided 63-39 victory put DeSoto (30-3, 8-1) in sole possession of the District 11-5A lead race with one game left.
“When we played there, I felt that their kids really wanted it more than we did,” DeSoto coach Chris Dyer said. “That really hurt.”
Three DeSoto players scored in double digits, highlighted by Space's 15 points, six rebounds, two blocked shots and three assists. Reserve post Franklin Okeke scored four points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
“We decided five weeks ago that we were going to play 10 guys,” Dyer said. “It was a team effort.”
Mesquite (18-11, 7-2) started the game exceptionally cold from the floor, making only three of 17 shots in the first half.
Eric Reed led Mesquite with 16 points but sat out much of the first half with two fouls. Reed picked up his second foul with 5:18 left in the first quarter and sat until three minutes remained in the half. He returned to the game after DeSoto had taken a 21-5 lead.