Whenever Salina Central and Derby meet up on the court, the crowd can always expect a close game. The last nine contests in the series have been decided by single digits, including a double-overtime buzzer beat at Salina Central High School.
The 2018-19 Mustangs had other plans.
Brothers David and Mark Grammer combined for 43 points, Central nailed 13 threes, and the Mustangs throttled the Panthers, 71-37, closing out the pre-winter break portion of the schedule 5-0.
The first quarter was far from a three-point contest as both defenses forced a combined 10 turnovers and only gave up 13 points with SC hanging on to a 9-4 lead.
Mark Grammer ignited the offense in the ensuing frame, nailing three of his four treys, including one at the buzzer. Senior Kameron Demars gave Grammer the ball for the final shot, but not before scoring seven points in the quarter himself, propelling SC to a 30-15 advantage at halftime.
Central turned to the other half of the Grammer twins as David drilled four of his five triples out of the break. David poured in 18 of his career-high 25 points in the second half, giving him the Salina Ortho Player of the Game. Mark finished with 18 while senior Harper Williams added 10.
Derby (1-4, 0-3) was paced by Tre Washington, who tied a season high with 12 points. Leading scorers Clayton Hood and Grant Adler were held to a combined four points, all in the fourth quarter, on one made field goal.
Salina Central returns from break and travels to Haysville to battle Campus on January 4.
No. 1 Derby 55, Salina Central 41
The reigning Class 6A state champions refused to let their 28-game win streak come to an end.
Derby (5-0, 3-0) jumped out to a 10-0 lead before Central made its first bucket at the 2:19 mark in the opening quarter, a three by junior Kadyn Cobb. That sparked a 10-0 run, putting SC within two, 12-10, of the defending champs.
Aliyah Myers had the answer, making a three before the end of the frame. Derby’s defense did the rest, holding Salina Central without a bucket until the 3:21 mark of the third. At that time, Derby was already up by 19.
Oregon State commit Kennedy Brown scored a game-high 18 points while Sydney Nilles added 12.
Cobb and freshman Aubrie Kierscht paced the Mustangs with 12 points each.