By BRETT MARSHALL
The Scott City Beavers will get their dream match-up at 7 p.m. today when they take on Connor Frankamp and the Wichita North Redskins in the semifinals of the 70th Dodge City Tournament of Champions at United Wireless Arena.
That battle was set up Thursday night when the Beavers, the state's top-ranked Class 3A team, used a strong second-quarter effort to outpace Derby, 58-45. North, meanwhile, with Frankamp pouring in 38 points, manhandled Buhler, 67-32. Shawnee Mission South, a 68-30 winner over Wichita South, will face the Dodge City, a 44-33 winner over Newton, in the 8:30 p.m. semifinal.
Thursday's victory, though, was dampened by the knee injury to sophomore guard Trey O'Neil in the second quarter, when the Beavers went on a 17-8 tear to put themselves in command.
"We won't know anything for sure until tomorrow morning when we go see the doctor," head coach Glenn O'Neil said of the right knee injury. "He'd hurt his hand on Tuesday and had some tissue damage, and now this. It will really hurt our depth going into the North game. We'll just have to have some other guards step up and do the job."
In Thursday's victory over Derby, the Beavers used a stifling defense that limited Derby to a paltry 29.5 percent field goal effort (18-of-61). The Panthers were a miserable 1-of-16 from 3-point range.
The Beavers also outrebounded the Panthers 42-32 as Joey Meyer led the way with nine boards.
"I thought our toughness factor was good tonight," O'Neil said. "But we didn't take care of the ball very well (23 turnovers) so that's something that has to be better. We didn't shoot free throws particularly well (10-of-19), but we did make some at the end."
Scott City hit a solid 23-of-46 field goals for 50 percent shooting.
The Beavers led just 14-13 after one quarter and then extended it to 31-21 by halftime thanks to that strong second quarter.
"The intensity was good on our part, the kids played hard," coach O'Neil said. "The key was our defense and that's what we've always strived for is to have the defense key our offense. Derby likes to dribble penetrate with their ballhandlers and that's the challenge we had. I thought we did a pretty good job of shutting off that part of their game."
O'Neil said the Beavers have a tall task in taking on North and Frankamp, who signed in November with the University of Kansas. The 6-1 guard averages 35 points per game this season.
"They're very talented and I imagine they'll try to go right at us early and challenge our guards," O'Neil said.
Senior Brett O'Neil paced the Beavers (7-0) in scoring with 19 points, while Drew Kite was right behind with 17 and Tyler Hess chipped in with 13. Derby (8-2), the No. 6-ranked team in Class 6A, was led by Jeremy Dunham with 12 and Taylor Schieber with 11.
Scott City 14 17 15 12 -- 58
Derby 13 8 11 13 -- 45
Scott City (58) — B. O'Neil 6 6-11 19, Wells 0-1 0-0 0, T. O'Neil 0-4 0-0 0, Hess 5-7 3-3 13, Habiger 1-4 0-0 3, Wilson 0-1 0-0 0, J. Meyer 3-4 0-2 6, Kite 8-14 1-3 17. Totals 23-46 10-19 58.
Derby (45) — Theis 1-4 1-2 3, Rogers 0-4 2-2 2, Dunham 6-13 0-2 12, Conley 3-5 0-0 6, Hunter 1-8 0-0 3, Schieber 3-10 5-8 11, Ray 4-9 0-1 8. Totals 18-61 8-15 45.
3-point goals--Scott City 2 (B. O'Neil 1, Habiger 1), Derby 1 (Hunter). Rebounds--Scott City 42 (Meyer 9), Derby 32 (Ray 8). Fouls--Scott City 14, Derby 21. Fouled out--none.