The Salina South boys basketball team’s offense exploded in the final period.
Derby had every answer.
The seventh-ranked team in Class 6A scored 32 points in the fourth and drilled 12 threes for the game, powering the Panthers to a 75-67 victory over No. 7 in 5A Salina South Friday night. Derby improved to 10-3, 5-1 in ACTL-I play while South dropped to 10-4, 5-2 in league action.
Both offenses weren’t always clicking, though. Derby logged five buckets in the opening quarter, three coming from beyond the arc. Salina South only had three field goals, resulting in a 16-10 deficit after one.
Derby stretched the margin out to 11 early in the second, 23-12. Salina South clawed back, turning to the free throw line. The Cougars made eight shots from the charity stripe, climbing to within two, 28-26. South could never take the lead, and that theme continued in the third, trailing 43-40 through three frames.
After having a combined 57 points in the first half, the two ranked programs combined for 59 in the last quarter. Derby pushed the margin out to 10, 63-53. South cut the deficit down to six multiple times, but every time the Cougars were close, Derby made a clutch shot or free throw, hanging on for the victory.
Isaac Ray had two of his five treys in the fourth, finishing with 19 points. Amari Thomas added 15 points off the bench. Nick Bonner chipped in 13, eight coming in the final period.
AJ Johnson paced Salina South with 22 points. Colin Schreiber matched his season high with 14 points. Devon Junghans provided 12 points, 10 coming in the last stanza.
DERBY 42, SALINA SOUTH 18
Salina South might have turned in its best defensive performance of the season. Derby’s was stronger in the second half.
A combined six buckets were made in the opening stanza. Only two belonged to South (7-7, 3-4) as the Cougars trailed the Panthers 10-5. Derby (11-2, 6-0) increased its advantage to 14, 22-8. The next five points were registered by South, bringing the Cougars to 22-13. Derby made a triple, pushing its margin to 25-13 at halftime.
Derby only scored eight points in the third, making three field goals. However, Salina South didn’t get its first second-half basket until the 5:05 mark in the final quarter.
Mariah Janda led South with five points. Three Panthers had nine points each in Maryn Archer, Addy Brown and Heather Mills.
Salina South hosts Campus on Tuesday. Coverage begins at 5:45 on Y93.7.