Derby basketball was in desperate need of a spark heading into the second half against Campus on Jan. 11.
The spark came from nine-second points by sophomore Dallas Metzger as the Panthers rode a 22 point fourth quarter to defeat the Colts 67-64.
Metzger hit key threes down the stretch for the Panthers to give Derby strong momentum in the second half.
“I think this team is going to be one of those teams that is going to have a different guy [stepping up] almost every night,” head coach Brett Flory said. “...Dallas got an opportunity in the second half tonight and was absolutely lights out from the perimeter, which was the spark we needed.”
Junior Kaeson Fisher-Brown continued his hot stretch with a team-high 13 points. Fisher-Brown got a lot of help as the Panthers got balanced scoring. Metzger, senior Trent Parke and senior Amari Thomas finished with nine points each.
The rest of the Panther scorers combined for 27 points, which provided the added edge to improve to 4-3 on the young season.
The Colts were led by junior Zion Young, who led all scorers with 24 points. Sophomores Andrell Burton Jr. and Kaason Thomas finished with 13 and 12 points, but outside of the main three, Campus scorers combined for 15 points.
Derby struggled to limit Campus in the first half as the Colts took a 29-26 lead into the break. The Panthers made a crucial defensive adjustment to limit drives inside.
“We made a couple of minor defensive tweaks to stay in front of them a little bit better,” Flory said. “They are super athletic and really good drivers. In the first half, we weren’t doing a good job of staying in front.”
Young was nearly the lone source of offense in the second half for Campus, with 18 of the 25 points as the Panthers found success after the defensive adjustments, especially in the final quarter.
Derby took over in the second half that featured a 22 point fourth quarter to take the lead and seal the win.
The Panthers will face Newton on Jan. 14.
CAMPUS: 16 13 20 15 64
DERBY: 12 14 19 22 67
COLTS: Young 24, Burton Jr. 13, Thomas 12, Howard 6, Jay 3, Pearce 2, Whitson 2, Knight 2.
PANTHERS: Fisher-Brown 13, Metzger 9, Thomas 9, Parke 9, Clemons 7, Titus 5, Samè 5, Shields 5, Brown 3, Nikolov 2.