DERBY, Kan. -

Hutchinson girls shut down Derby

Some people say size doesn’t matter. Those people haven’t played basketball against a team with a rebounder who’s 3 inches taller than every other player on the court.

Hutchinson’s clear size advantage inside led to an overwhelmed Derby frontline. The Salthawks defeated the Panthers 52-36.

The 6-foot-4-inch Center, McKinna Kraus, for Hutchinson anchored the Salthawks’ defense, making it near impossible for Derby to corral a rebound.

Casey Stiggins, head coach of Hutchinson, counts on his Salthawks to maintain a constant defensive pressure, but that’s not the most important aspect, to him.

“It’s great to play good defense,” Stiggins said. “But you’re also going to have to rebound and not let [Derby] get second chance opportunities.”

Hutchinson didn’t just play solid defense, the Salthawks played a balanced game offensively as well, with Shayla DeGarmo, Connor Atkinson and Abby Calvillo all scoring in double digits.

The Salthawks held just a five point, 26-21, lead heading into halftime, but Stiggins wanted his girls to shut down Derby in the second half.

“Don’t give them a chance to get back in it,” Stiggins said. “Let’s put [Derby] away early and don’t give them that thought that they can stay in this game.”

Hutchinson clamped down defensively and held the Panthers to just 15 points in the entire second half.

Stiggins knew he needed Kraus to respond to the pressure the Panthers were putting on Hutch with their fast break.

“I kind of got onto her in the first half about being more aggressive, playing 6’4”, not 5’10”,” Stiggins said. “She responded and played really well in the second half, got some huge rebounds and finished a couple baskets.”

Derby Boys outpace Hutchinson

The Panthers defeated the Salthawks 55-44.

The Derby boys got off to a quick start against Hutch leading 17-6 after the first quarter.

Junior James Conley, who scored 17 points off of eight field goals, led all scorers and handled the Panthers’ offense.

Hutch went perfect from the field, scoring seven baskets off of seven attempts. But the Salthawks still found themselves behind by nine heading into the second half.

Derby never lifted off the gas after the first quarter and let Hutchinson back into the game. The Panthers would win by eleven points.