DERBY — There haven’t been many basketball games played between the Garden City Buffaloes and Derby Panthers boys teams.

The schedule just doesn’t work out for the Class 6A schools to meet up.

So much of the time they’ve battled, it has been in the postseason, with the latest coming Saturday night in Derby for the sub-state championship and a berth in next Thursday’s state tournament at Koch Arena in Wichita.

On Derby’s home floor, the Panthers once again took control of the game early and gradually pulled away for a 63-38 victory over the Buffs to move on to the state tournament.

The Buffs, meanwhile, saw their season end with a 13-9 record while Derby improved to 15-6.

Jayden Crook had one of his best offensive outings in his final game with 17 points, including 5 of 9 three-pointers. He was the lone Buff in double figures.

Derby’s dynamic duo of Tyler Brown and Bryant Mocaby led the way with 20 and 14 points, respectively.

The Panthers held a narrow edge on the boards, 32-29, but the turnovers were a big factor, with the Buffs guilty of 22 miscues to just 8 for the Panthers.

The last time the teams had met was in 2013 in the first round of the state tournament, with the Panthers claiming a win. And then there was the 2011 regular season game at the (old) Garden, with the Buffs winning 67-64 in overtime on a Cody Bernbeck buzzer-beater.

The Buffs got off to a quick start, scoring the first five points of the game on a 17-footer by Carlos Acosta and a deep trey from Jayden Crook.

But that would be it for the Buffs who didn’t score in the final 6:40 of the opening quarter.

Meanwhile, the Panthers warmed up their offense, while also forcing the Buffs into five turnovers in that stretch to score 15 unanswered points and a 10-point lead at the end of the first break.

It was a rough and tumble style of play, with Derby using a fullcourt press and halfcourt traps to get the Buffs out of rhythm.

The second quarter was somewhat better for the Buffs but after cutting the lead to 21-14 on another 3-pointer by Crook, the Panthers finished out the half on a 9-1 run and a 30-15 margin at intermission.

Crook’s pair of treys took the halftime scoring honors for the Buffs with 6 points. Derby, meanwhile, got 10 points from its high-powered point guard Tyler Brown and 6 from 6-5 forward Bryant Mocaby.

The Buffs were just 5 of 17 shooting and 3 of 8 from the free throw line and had 13 rebounds and 9 turnovers in the half. Derby was 10 of 20 shooting, 8 of 11 at the charity stripe, grabbed 16 rebounds and committed just four turnovers.


Class 6A Sub-State Championship

Saturday at Derby

Derby 63, Garden City 38

Garden City (13-9): Springston 1-3 1-2 3, Doll 2-4 0-0 4, Acosta 1-4 0-2 2, Crook 5-12 2-2 17, Sexton 1-4 0-2 2, Coleman 1-2 0-1 2, Lamb 0-6 0-0 0, Elliott 4-7 0-0 8. Totals 15-42 3-9 38.

Derby (15-6): Brown 8-12 2-2 20, Karsak 1-4 2-3 5, Washington 1-3 2-5 4, Valentin 2-5 0-0 5, Adler 3-5 0-0 7, Hood 2-4 2-2 6, B. Mocaby 4-10 5-6 14, J. Mocaby 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-44 15-20 63.

Garden City;5;10;14;9;—;38


3-point goals: Garden 5-13 (Springston 0-1, Doll 0-1, Acosta 0-1, Crook 5-9, Lamb 0-1), Derby 6-15 (Brown 2-5, Karsak 1-2, Valentin 1-2, Adler 1-1, Hood 0-1, B. Mocaby 1-4). Rebounds: Garden City 29 (Elliott 9), Derby 32 (Adler, Hood, B. Mocaby 5 each). Turnovers: Garden City 22, Derby 8. Fouls: Garden City 19, Derby 17. Fouled out: None.