Derby overwhelms Free State girls basketball at substate

The Free State girls basketball team’s season ended Wednesday night in a one-sided loss to Derby, 80-9, in the first round of the substate playoffs at Derby High School.

The Firebirds (0-21) struggled to keep up with the top-seeded Panthers (19-2) and scored just two points in the entire first half, but FSHS coach Summer Frantz said they kept fighting all the way to the end.

“I was proud of them for battling,” Frantz said. “We kept battling just as we have all season. Overall, I was proud of them.”

At halftime, the Firebirds were facing a 44-2 deficit. But they scored four points in the third quarter off of baskets from Symira Spencer and Aly Richardson, and Sydney Hulcher scored a 3-pointer for FSHS in the fourth.

Even though Free State didn’t win a single game this season, Frantz said the team learned and grew over the past few months. She said many of the players came into the season with little experience, and that they expected some adversity from the beginning.

“We knew it was going to be tough and we knew some of them were going to get thrown into the fire,” Frantz said. “We have a lot of stuff to work on, but we have a better idea of how to compete in the offseason.”

As they prepare for next season, Frantz and the Firebirds will be looking for continuous improvement, and they hope that next winter will bring brighter days.

“I’m looking forward to seeing us improve individually and as a group,” Frantz said. “I am really excited to see what these kids can do moving forward.”

Score by quarters

Derby 19 25 20 16 — 80

Free State 2 0 4 3 — 9


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