The Salina South Cougars made their way to Derby on Friday to wrap up the regular season. The hosts would earn a sweep, with the girls game dominated by the Lady Panthers from start to finish, while the boys contest was an entertaining, high-scoring affair that Derby was able to win with a late run.
GIRLS: 6A #5 DERBY 71, SALINA SOUTH 37
The Lady Cougars were hoping to slow down the Derby attack like they were able to do in the teams’ first meeting, a 42-18 loss on Feb. 7 and like they did in holding a talented Maize team to 41 points in a 13-point defeat on Tuesday. But the Lady Panthers came out and were bound and determined to not let South set up their halfcourt defense. Whether off a make or a miss, Derby pushed the ball and threw long passes to set up shots right at the rim, or used dribble penetration to set up open looks from the outside. The results were too much for the Lady Cougars to absorb as Derby led 20-4 after the first quarter, and continued to pour it on in the second period, taking a 45-17 lead at halftime.
South was able to knock down some three-pointers to help stave off the running clock in the fourth quarter. Acacia Weis hit three treys and Kalysa Hamel made a pair from the outside, and it was not until the two minute mark that Derby was able to stretch the lead to thirty points. Addy Brown scored 18 points to lead Derby, who had four players score in double figures. Weis was the only Lady Cougar to score in double figures as she finished with 14 points.
South ends the regular season at 9-11 overall, while Derby improved to 18-2.
BOYS: DERBY 75, SALINA SOUTH 67
This contest would play out very closely to the first meeting three weeks earlier. So much so that the final score was identical to the Feb. 7 meeting. Derby started fast, building an 8-0 lead. It would take three and a half minutes for South to score. But the Cougars to their credit battled back which would be a theme throughout the game.
Derby led 18-11 after the first quarter, then the Cougars got hot offensively in the ensuing period, taking a brief lead before the Panthers jumped back in front 35-34 going into halftime.
Like in the first half, South started slowly in the second half before making a run at the Panthers. The Cougars hung tough, despite having two starters (Colin Schreiber and Cade Hannert) out due to injury. Derby led 53-49 at the end of the third quarter, and then scored the first five points of the fourth period for a nine-point lead. South stormed back with a 15-3 run, started by pair of treys from Josh Jordan. Jace Varela’s fastbreak layup gave South its first lead of the game at 62-61. Koby Ratcliff added a bucket for a three-point lead with just over two minutes left. But Derby had one more run left in them as slashing guard Nick Bonner took over, scoring eight of his team-high 20 points in the final stretch, and the Panthers were able to get a couple of defensive stops to stave off an incredible effort by the Cougars.
South got 23 points from Jordan, 21 from Devon Junghans including five three-pointers. A.J. Johnson was good as well, chipping in with 15 points. Derby had five players score in double figures and the Panthers finished the regular season at 13-7 while South ended at 11-9.