In a game filled with pivotal plays, the Salina Central Mustangs didn’t back down.
Derby just had one more.
Senior Bryant Mocaby connected on a top-key three at the buzzer, propelling the Panthers to a 63-62 double-overtime win at Salina Central Tuesday. The win kept Derby (11-4, 7-1) in a tie for first in the AVCTL-I.
The first half was a true defensive chess match. Both squads combined for six charges and 16 forced turnovers with Central grabbing a 19-16 advantage at the half.
The Mustangs (11-5, 4-4) created separation with an 11-2 start in the third period, giving them a 30-18 cushion. Mocaby ended up getting his third and fourth fouls following a blocking call and a technical foul. Derby didn’t flinch, responding with a 13-0 run to close out the third, putting Derby out front 33-32.
Central once again threatened to go up by double digits. Senior Ethan Speer sparked a 10-0 explosion, pouring in seven of his 13 points in the final quarter, allowing SC to go ahead 47-38. Trailing by three with 20 seconds left, Mocaby made his first clutch triple to knot up the score at 50-50.
In overtime, Derby received a giant trey from senior Emilio Valentin in the left corner, making the score 57-54. The answer belonged to SC senior Sam Shaffer, who promptly connected on a three of his own with 1:05 left. The Panthers held for the final shot, but Mocaby couldn’t end the game OT.
Central junior Harper Williams took over in the second extra period, scoring all five points for the Mustangs, the last being a drive with 2.9 seconds remaining. Williams finished with 15 points, giving him the Salina Ortho Player of the Game. Derby’s Mocaby finished with 18.
Salina Central is off Friday before traveling to Campus next Tuesday.
DERBY 53 (13-1, 8-0), SALINA CENTRAL 48 (12-4, 5-3)
The Lady Mustangs didn’t back down from the second-ranked team in Class 6A.
After a 7-0 run by Derby in the first quarter, Central reclaimed the lead after a three by senior Myah Ward. The Panthers had the final bucket, taking an 11-10 cushion into the second frame.
Derby created a bit more separation with the help from junior Tor’e Alford, who hit two of her four threes in the period, giving Derby a 23-16 advantage. Central’s response was a pair of triples, one from Ward and another from senior Ellie Cobb to get the Mustangs to within one.
The Lady Panthers sprinted ahead to a 39-22 advantage after a 14-0 blitz to open the second half. SC senior Elisa Backes helped that, getting her fourth foul 30 seconds into the third. Central trimmed at the deficit, bringing the margin down to 51-45 with 2:12 to play, but couldn’t get over the hump.
Ward finished with a career-high 15 points, giving her the Salina Ortho Player of the Game. Backes recorded her sixth 20-point game of the season. Alford paced Derby with 14 points while junior Kennedy Brown poured in 11.