By KYLE McCASKEY
11:54 PM CST, December 4, 2012
When he took the role of Derby head coach, Caleb Smith asked his players to commit to a hustle-up defense and transition offense.
Two games in, the plan payed off, as Smith picked up his first victory as Panther coach with a 43-23 win at Goddard.
“It feels great, because he's done so much for us and the team,” said Derby forward Makenzie Holcomb. “ It's really great to give back to him with everything he's done for us.”
Derby put the Lions on their back paws early, storming to a 20-2 lead in the second quarter. With a 24-8 advantage heading into the locker rooms, the Panthers had already provided all the firepower it needed for a win.
In the fourth quarter, Alyxis Bowens picked off a pass and hit Madi Greenwood for a layup to put Derby ahead 39-15.
Bowens finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and seven steals. Holcomb added seven points and seven boards.
The Panthers (1-1) also got help from the bench, as freshman Grace Mitchell produced five points and four rebounds.
“I wanted to test some girls and see if they could handle the varsity game,” Smith said. “A couple of them stepped up, and that's something we're going to have to continue to develop, is our depth coming off the bench.”
Emily Rausch led Goddard with nine points. Jessica Gardiner collected six rebounds and six steals.
“Of course we'd love to run better offense, halfcourt defense, but the key right now is trying to teach how hard you have to play to be able to execute,” said Goddard head coach Dan Buchanan. “Right now, our effort has to be even better. We have to match the effort of the other teams. That's really difficult.”
The Panthers won key areas on the statbook, winning the turnover margin by 11 and forcing 32 turnovers.
“It feels awesome to show everyone all the hard work and what the coaching staff has done for us,” Holcomb said.
Schieber scorches Goddard for 32 in victory
If you happened to catch Taylor Schieber's 33-point symphony in a summer league game, you might have known this was coming.
Schieber can score, of course, as evidenced by his 17 points in the season-opener against Manhattan. But 32 points?
If this is how it is going to go this winter, there is no need to bring in your coats and mittens, because Schieber will heat up the entire gym.
“The whole starting five, they were in foul trouble,” Schieber said. “That's when I told myself I need to step up and I need to carry us right now.”
Derby found an 18-10 edge over Goddard after the first quarter behind three 3-pointers from Dylan Hunter, but foul trouble was distorting the Panther attack. Schieber responded, searing the net with 18 points in the second quarter alone.
“We felt that Taylor is one of the underrated guards in the state,” said Derby head coach Brett Flory. “I think he's as good a scoring guard as there is, just about. He's worked really hard on his game. I think he's a complete guard.”
Schieber's contributions aided a 44-26 lead at halftime, but the Lions were feisty. Derby's defense was lethargic. Flory requested a jump start.
“He said we needed to pick it up on defense, and that's exactly what we did,” Schieber said. “We pressured them a lot more, we got our traps in and they turned the ball over.”
In a span that stretched into the fourth quarter, the Panthers (2-0) put together a 34-5 run that quieted dreams of a comeback.
Tucker Vang scored 17 for Goddard. Hunter had 12 for Derby, and James Conley added 10. Along with his 32 points, Schieber hounded the Lions for five steals.
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