Boyle County boys grind out district win at Danville

Published 11:36 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sometimes you have to win ugly.

That’s what Boyle County did Tuesday at Danville, beating the Admirals 42-35 in a 45th District slugfest.

The Rebels’ gameplan worked — they successfully packed inside the three-point line and the Admirals had their worst shooting night of the season, going 1-for-19 from beyond the arc.

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“We’re getting better. We did things that we needed to do” Boyle County head coach Steve Adams said. “They’re just so athletic and big. When they shoot it well, they’re tough. We just wanted to grind this one out, make sure we rebound it, take care of the ball and made free throws. To win and to get where you need to get, there are games like this that you need to win. You just have to grind it out and make them ugly and play. Our guys did a tremendous job.”

Danville led early, but neither team shot the ball well throughout the game. The Admirals led 23-22 at halftime thanks to nine points from Zach Thornton and eight more from Jared Southerland.

But driving lanes for the Admirals closed even tighter in the second half, and The Rebels continued to create chances at the other end of the court.

“On the defensive end, we were making sure they didn’t get into the gaps,” Adams said. “Our kids did a great job of that. In the first half they had a couple fast breaks, but second half, I don’t think they had one at all.”

That frustrated the Admirals’ offense, and fast-break opportunities were limited due to Boyle’s methodical offense.

“I told them, we did a lot of things right. They were just packed in,” Danville head coach Ed McKinney said. “It’s hard to drive it because they were so tight and compact. They were just kind of daring us to shoot it, and when you shoot some and miss, it just bogs down. They’re so packed in, ball movement doesn’t help because they don’t come out. You swing it, looking for ball reversal penetration and they don’t move.”

Boyle slowed the game down even more in the fourth quarter, limiting Danville to just three points in the final eight minutes. The Admirals finished 0-for-9 from beyond the arc in the second half.

The Rebels’ offense controlled the tempo of the game and finished the second half with just four made field goals.

“I think we gave up four field goals in the second half,” McKinney said. “If you tell me that before, I’d say we would win … We got after it. Maybe too much. Maybe we were too tight. There’s not many times I yell about a bad shot, I want you to shoot the ball. The problem is that I can’t give you confidence, you’ve got to see the ball go in the basket.

There’s opportunities for improvement on both sides of the ball for Danville, McKinney said. But his team has to finish opportunities on offense.

“This game, ultimately, you’ve got to throw it through the basket,” he said. “I thought we competed hard, I thought we were after loose balls, we were after rebounds. If we can get hot, we’ve just got to make shots. It’s disappointing at home because you think you’d shoot better than 1-for-19 at home. And we’ve struggled from the line all year. We struggled from the line last year.”

DeShaud St. Martin had the best game from the field for Danville, going 4-for-6 with eight points and six rebounds. No other player was above 50 percent from the field for the Ads.

“I thought Shaud played well on both ends, Zach did well,” McKinney said. “But it’s hard to say, it was a weird game. It’s hard to get any emotion because you’re not scoring.”

The Rebels were led by Jason Alexander’s 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He took charge after fellow senior Bryce Slone went down with an ankle injury. Slone would continue to play but was limited to three points.

Reese Smith scored 12 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field. He was 6-for-6 from the foul line.

“Baby J took care of the ball. We took care of the ball, and we’ve really been working on that and making sure we get a quality shot on every trip,” Adams said. “If we do that or get to the free throw line, we’re going to be OK.”

The Rebels are 2-0 in district play and will host Lincoln County on Friday.

“We’re doing some things better every game,” Adams said. “This type of game was good for us, we had to make good decisions and had to make plays on both ends of the floor to get the win. The guys did it against an athletic team on the road. So we’re getting where we need to be.”

The Admirals are searching for their first district win and will visit Garrard County on Friday.

“We’ve got to have a win there,” McKinney said. “We’ve just got to shoot the ball. There’s some things we can work on, we’ve got some things we can do better, but we’ve just got to shoot it and have fun.”


Box score


Boyle County 11 11 9 11 42

Danville 13 10 9 3 35



Boyle County: Jason Alexander 17, Reese Smith 12, Grant Hotchkiss 6, Will Bramel 4, Bryce Slone 3.

Danville: Zach Thornton 12, Jared Southerland 11, DeShaud St. Martin 8, David Walker 4.



Boyle County: Slone 5, Smith 5, Hotchkiss 5, Alexander 3, Bramel 3, Caleb Jackson 1.

Danville: Thornton 9, St. Martin 6, Walker 4, Southerland 4, Tanner Ford 2, Darrian Bell 2.