Not many teams that get held to two points in a quarter by the eighth-ranked (KBCA, Class 6A) Derby Panther girls’ basketball team live to tell the tail.
The Newton Railers were one of those survivors, holding on for a 41-32 win Tuesday night in a key Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I matchup at Ravenscroft Gym.
Newton improves to 9-0, 5-0 in league play. Derby falls to 3-3, 3-2 in league play.
Newton was outscored 9-2 in the third quarter as a 12-point lead slipped to five, but the Railers recovered in the fourth quarter for the win. Newton had eight turnovers in the third quarter.
“I kept telling them to weather the storm,” Newton coach Randy Jordan said. “Right now, they’re hot. Abby Schmidt did a great job on (6-foot-6 post Kennedy) Brown. She’s going to get hers, but we made her work for everything. We did the same thing to Tor’e (Alford). We tried to keep her in front of us. She got behind us a couple of times. We did a great job of standing in front of her and making it hard to get a pass into Brown. That’s what we wanted to do. Except for some poor decisions, I was very proud of the way we played.”
DesiRay Kernal led Newton with 12 points, followed by Abby Schmidt with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Schmidt drew Brown for her defensive assignment all night and kept Brown in check outside of the third quarter. Derby was led by Brown with 12 points and six blocked shots.
“I came out really focused,” Schmidt said. “In the fourth quarter, the coach told me to keep her from scoring. I think I did it. We talked at halftime that we knew they were going to come back. They have a very good team. We knew when we got through it, we knew we could do it. We had a good practice Friday and Monday. We wanted to play well against a good rival. It was a fun challenge. I wanted to show I could play against a player that was taller than me. It was tough getting my shot blocked. I blocked a three. My whole team was helping me out on the back side.”
Newton jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first two minutes of play. The Panthers got within two at 6-4, but the Railers replied with an 8-0 run to lead 14-4 at the end of the period.
Each team managed just one bucket in the first four minutes of the second quarter. After trading points, a Kyndal Bacon jumper on with a foot on the 3-point line with 23 seconds left in the period put Newton up by 12 at the half, 22-10.
The Railers finished the first half nine of 22 from the field, while Derby was four of 15.
Newton struggled with turnovers early in the third quarter, allowing Brown to score three layups and cut the Railer lead to six. Newton missed four of four free throws in the Derby run. The Panthers added one of two free throws wit 1:14 left in the period. Schmidt broke the run with a putback with 30 seconds left in the period. Brown answered with four seconds left to keep Derby within five, 24-19.
Newton replied in the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run, capped by a Megan Akers layup off a Derby miss on the other end. Alford broke the run with a layup with 5:51 to play. Kernal answered with a putback on the other end.
Derby got within eight late in the game.
Kyndal Bacon took two hard charges late in the game that fouled out both players.
“I knew they were going to be driving, driving,” Bacon said. “I was just anticipating where they would be. I was just ready for them to run into me. We knew they were in foul trouble and we knew they were going to be driving. Nine and 0 is a great accomplishment, but we still have to bring it every single game.”
“Kyndal just played smart basketball,” Jordan said. “She saw that girl get loose. We tried to funnel them baseline. We knew if they went into the middle, they would hurt us. Kyndal was there for help and took a charge.”
Newton plays at 7 p.m. Tuesday at 6-1 McPherson in the first matchup between the two teams in several years.
“We have some things to work on,” Jordan said. “We’re going to keep working on our stuff. I think we’ll be fine. Playing at Mac is a great environment. We’re looking forward to it. They have to prepare for us. We have to prepare for them. I have a lot of respect for Chris (Strathman) and he respects us. That’s going to be a fun time. It’s been years. I’m looking forward to restoring this. I don’t think these girls have ever played in the Roundhouse in a true high school basketball game.”
DERBY (3-3, 3-2 AV-CTL I) — Young 1 2-3 5, 4; Aly.Myers 1 1-2 4, 3; Nilles 0 2-4 1, 2; Winter 0 1-2 0, 1; Johnson 0 0-0 2, 0; Alford 2 2-2 5, 6; He.Mukks 1 0-0 1, 2; Ho.Mills 1 0-0 0, 2; Brown 6 0-0 4, 12; TOTALS 12 8-13 22, 32.
NEWTON (9-0, 5-0 AV-CTL I) — Antonowich 0 (1) 0-3 3, 3; Simmons 0 0-0 0, 0; Remsberg 0 0-0 0, 0; Bacon 1 (1) 2-3 3, 7; Kernal 4 4-8 0, 12; Berry 1 )(1) 2-2 4, 7; Brewer 0 0-0 1, 0; Schmidt 5 0-4 2, 10; Akers 1 0-0 1, 2; TOTALS 12 (3) 8-20 14, 41.