Girls: Derby 53, South 27
Not only did the South Lady Cougars have to face a tall and very talented Derby squad, but they had to do so without their point guard and top scorer. Sydney Peterson sat out with a shoulder injury and it took the Cougars some time to figure out how to play without her. By the time they settled in, the Panthers had built a large lead.
It was a rough start for South. Derby’s Tatum Boettjer hit a pair of threes to give the Panthers an 8-0 lead two minutes in. The Cougars couldn’t get shots to fall when they got opportunities and they were not able to keep Derby off the offensive glass early on and the deficit ballooned to 21-0 with less than a minute to go in the first quarter. Elena Herbel finally got South on the board with a three-pointer and then just before the horn sounded, Lauren Harris cut to the basket and converted a layup to make it 21-5.
The Cougars started to play much better, and held the ball for much of the second quarter. They trailed 27-10 at the half and then chipped a little further into the deficit in the third with good offensive execution. Giselle Nash’s three-pointer cut the Panther lead to 40-26 at the end of three. But in the fourth, Derby (15-1) tightened up their defense and held South (4-12) without a basket the rest of the way.
Lauren Harris led the Cougars with nine points.
Boys: Derby 72, South 53
The game was closer than the final score indicates, but truth be told, Derby led from start to finish and used hot perimeter shooting and quickness to defeat the Cougars on Friday night.
The Panthers got three treys early to build a 13-2 lead. South would respond to end the first quarter with a 9-0 run. But they struggled to get stops the rest of the way. Derby kept the Cougars at bay with timely baskets just as South found a rhythm in the second period. The Panthers took a 33-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. They used a mix of threes and baskets at the rim coming from dribble penetration.
Derby increased the lead to double figures in the third. It was 52-40 heading into the fourth. The Cougars would shave six points off the deficit and it was 52-46 with six minutes left. But a pair of threes pushed the Panther lead back to double figures. South had to begin gambling on defense and it simply did not work against the quick ball movement execution by Derby (9-7).
In all, the Panthers made 11 three-pointers. South (6-10) got 21 points from Te’Jon McDaniel.
The Cougars head back on the road next week, starting with games at Campus on Tuesday.