Blue Valley Northwest accomplished in Friday’s first quarter the only apparent recipe for a Kansas team to beat the Huskies – make every shot.
BV Northwest made all 11 of its first-quarter attempts in the Class 6A semifinals against Derby at Koch Arena and was scarcely threatened after that, even though perfection wasn’t again achieved.
The Huskies, the defending 6A champions, reached Saturday’s championship with an 82-61 win, a dominating performance following a similarly overpowering win over Lawrence in Thursday’s first round.
After five minutes, BV Northwest led 16-4 and increased its efficiency by scoring 11 points in the final 150 seconds of the first quarter. Most of the shots were high-percentage looks, but Jack Chapman and Christian Braun made three-pointers in the final minutes to increase the degree of difficulty.
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“When you’re shooting at that great a clip, why in the world would you shoot outside?” BV Northwest coach Ed Fritz said. “But we still did. We made a few.”
BV Northwest didn’t shoot below 55 percent in any quarter and made 14 of 19 shots in the second half, including 8 of 10 in the fourth quarter. Derby missed 20 of 28 three-point attempts and made 22 of 58 overall.
Derby, which plays a perimeter-oriented, fast-paced style, was no match for BV Northwest’s post duo of Joseph Pleasant and 6-foot-9 senior Parker Braun, who combined for 38 points and 12 rebounds while making 16 of 18 shots.
Most often, Derby’s only weapon against BV Northwest’s superiority was senior wing Bryant Mocaby, who scored 31 points. Mocaby was as versatile as many of BV Northwest’s players, taking on Braun in the paint and trying to keep Derby close with three-pointers.
But there was only one Mocaby against a BV Northwest starting five that played well across the board. Four players scored in double figures including Christian Bruan with 17 points and Sam Ward with 18.
Derby’s best run saw the Panthers get to within seven points after scoring six of the first eight points of the third quarter. Derby hung around briefly but BV Northwest led by double digits for the final 12-plus minutes.
“They got the lead to seven points,” Fritz said. “They put so much pressure on us and that made it really hard. They had a great game plan against us. We really couldn’t run an offense, all we really could do was score.”
Derby 13 20 15 13 — 61
BV Northwest 27 17 17 21 — 82
DERBY: T. Brown 9, Valentine 14, Adler 3, Hood 2, Mocaby 31, A. Brown 2.
BV NORTHWEST: C. Braun 17, Johnson 3, Ward 18, P. Braun 18, Pleasant 21, Chapman 6.