DeSoto defense shuts down Rowlett in rout

DALLAS -- Matt Jones and the rest of the offensive weapons get all the attention, but DeSoto is advancing in the playoffs because of its defense.

The latest example came against Rowlett on Saturday.

DeSoto shut down Jeffrey Carroll and an offense that averaged more than 63 points per game to take a convincing 63-46 win at the American Airlines Center.

DeSoto (31-5) advances to face Richardson Berkner in the Class 5A Region II quarterfinals.

"You have to work hard against great players," DeSoto head coach Chris Dyer said. "They have a couple guys who are going to be highly, highly, highly recruited. You just try to make them catch the ball where they don't want to and shoot the shots they don't want to."

Rowlett (22-9) led by as many as four in the second quarter before DeSoto pulled away.

After Albert Coleman gave Rowlett a 20-17 lead with a layup, DeSoto went on a 13-3 run in which Jones scored nine points, including a four-point play. DeSoto took a 35-25 lead into halftime.

After holding a 10-point lead for much of the third quarter, DeSoto pulled away for good behind the play of guard Benquan Petty. He scored eight straight points for DeSoto to open the final frame, helping his team extend its lead to 20 by the end of the fourth.

"We just played defense," Dyer said. "Our guys battled inside. It's what we've been trying to do the last couple weeks."

Jones lead all scorers with 21 points while Petty was right behind him with 20. Franklyne Okeke had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Conversely, Carroll never got going against DeSoto's stingy defense, finishing with 10 points. Nathan Hawkins led Rowlett with 19 points while Austin Luke had 11 points and five assists.