Boys JV Basketball is on a roll

The Boys Basketball program at Darby is on a roll. On Tuesday, January 15 the Panthers took on the Watkins Memorial Warriors on the Panthers home court. The Freshmen team started of the night with a hard fought win over the Warriors, ending up with a score of 36-34, edging Watkins Memorial out by just two points. JV took the court next, bouncing back from a deficit in the fourth quarter to secure a victory over the Warriors, 45-41. Finally, Varsity, led by senior Kyle Miller with 23 points, finished the night with an easy victory, sweeping the Warriors.

  The JV team has had a lot of success in the 2018-2019 season. Their success continued on Tuesday with their victory over the Warriors. The Panthers struggled to keep up with the Warriors in the first quarter, trailing from the start, 0-2. Freshman Matt Sech put up the first points for Darby with a three pointer, giving the Panthers a lead of 3-2. The Warriors retaliated with a few more baskets and the Panthers had a bit of trouble staying in the game. Sophomore Derrick Smoot had a breakaway layup to tie it up at 6-6, but the Warriors ran away with the lead, ending the quarter with a score of 8-12.

  The Panthers fought hard in the second quarter, keeping the score close and minimizing Watkins Memorial’s scoring. Freshman Blake Horvath went three for four at the free throw line and finished out the quarter with five points for the Panthers. Combined with another two points from Sech, the Panthers managed to close the gap between themselves and the Warriors, with a score of 17-18 at the end of the half.

  Watkins Memorial started off the first half with a quick four points, prompting Darby to call a timeout early in the quarter. The Panthers began to pick up momentum, but it was not enough to take the lead, as they ended the third quarter trailing 23-28. Darby stepped up their game in the second quarter, quickly catching up to the Warriors, 30-30. Sophomore Connor Jones secured the Panther’s lead with a breakaway layup, and Sech helped to put the Panthers even farther head, with a three pointer, making the score 36-32. From there, the panthers were able to run away with the lead, and the game ended with a final score of 45-41, with Sech leading the team in scoring with 18 points.

  The JV team’s success throughout their season can be attributed to the hard work that they put in at practice and the mental preparation that goes into each game. The team is extremely focused on preparing their minds and well and their skills for each game. JV coach Jim Smalley has helped to instill the “relentless” mentality into his players this season. However, what really makes the team unstoppable is their team chemistry on and off the court.

  Sophomore Jake Swartzmiller spoke out about what he thinks has been one of his favorite parts of the 2018-2019 season.

  “One part of the program that I have enjoyed this season is the team environment and fun we have outside of playing basketball,” Swartzmiller said.

  The team’s bond on and off the court, despite their age differences, helps to make the JV team a tough competitor and entertaining to watch. If you want to see the JV team in action, be sure to catch their next home game against Worthington Kilbourne on Friday, January 25 at 6:00pm in the Darby main gym. Followed by Varsity at 7:30 and preceded by the Freshman team at 4:30.

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