There was nothing about its Dec. 22 loss to Maize that Derby wanted to repeat.
One month later and one game prior to its second game with its league rival, it once again saw sophomore Maryn Archer go down with an injury.
Even with the personnel loss, Derby’s defense stymied arguably one of the better rosters in the area. Nine days after seeing No. 3 (in 5A) Maize knock off No. 8 (in 6A) Wichita Heights, coach Jodie Karsak’s squad shut down the previously unbeaten roster on its home floor, 36-24.
Sophomore Addy Brown scored a game-high 11 points in the Derby win.
“Across four quarters, that was one of the best defensive outputs that I’ve seen from a team we’ve put out there in a really long time,” Karsak said. “… We’ve had some really great defensive games, don’t get me wrong, but I’d rank that up there as one of the better ones.”
The numbers were staggering. The Lady Panthers held their league foe to their lowest point total since Dec. 8, 2017, which also came against Karsak’s crew in a 49-24 loss. The Eagles were also held without a 3-point make in the game.
A Sydney Holmes basket with 3:49 remaining in the second quarter was Maize’s only field goal in that frame.
After an 11-0 run to start the second quarter, Derby led the remainder of the game by double digits for all but 10 seconds.
“It’s not about one player being able to guard somebody,” Karsak said. “We have to have all five players in the right spot. We are learning our rotations and understanding help. We’re seeing that when they can get in the paint, where our next line of defense should be.”
The longtime Derby coach saw an all-around more confident team take the floor in Archer’s second absence. Not only did it lose its sophomore point guard for the game, freshman Destiny Smith was also unable to play.
Brown was Derby’s catalyst, scoring all 11 of her points in the first half.
“We were more detailed and executed better on Friday,” Karsak said. “It’s a huge, just huge confidence boost for our team.”
Derby (8-1, 5-1) will now play its final two games of its “midseason” tournament. Due to COVID-19 scheduling changes, its final two games of the Glacier’s Edge Tournament in Emporia will be played over a three-day span. It’ll play Wichita Heights on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 5:00 p.m. It’ll head back on the Kansas Turnpike for a date against Wichita South on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 12:00 p.m.
vs. Maize (Jan. 22)
DERBY: 7 13 7 9— 36
MAIZE: 5 4 6 9— 24
LADY PANTHERS: Brown 11, Boettjer 8, Roland 6, Schomp 6, Cobbins 5.
EAGLES: Holmes 13, Frenchers 6, Wedman 5.
NOTE: Box score from Derby’s 54-22 win over Newton was unavailable for publication.