Danville wins sixth-straight 12th Region All-A title
SOMERSET — Danville head coach Clifford Berry knew his team was in good shape before he was even on the bus.
The Admirals were focused from the beginning in Saturday’s 12th Region All-A championship game against Washington County, winning 60-30 in Somerset.
“They’re really starting to mature,” Berry said of his team. “When we left the school, I knew that they were ready to go because I didn’t have to tell anybody to get on the bus. I came out of the locker room and there were just two kids waiting on me, the rest were on the bus. They know that we’re coming to these games to handle business. We don’t come here to joke around, have fun. It’s business. It just shows that they’re taking it serious.”
Danville jumped out to a 6-0 lead and led 20-5 after one quarter against the Commanders.
At halftime, Danville led 37-17. Ivy Turner led the way with 19 points for the Admirals, with five of her teammates also getting on the score sheet.
“Just like you saw tonight, some of the young ones are growing up,” Berry said. “We’re finally starting to play, be aggressive and they’re starting to help Ivy out so we don’t have to rely on her to do all of the scoring. They’re starting to grow up and I think this experience right here will really help us in the district. That’s what we’re working for, we know that this is another step in the right direction.”
Turner finished with 27 points to lead all scorers. She’s now at 1,520 career points — and Berry said she’s started to step up her vocal leadership on the court.
“Ivy’s taken that vocal leader and being a lot more serious about it. She’s stepping up,” he said. “She gets in the huddle, she speaks up, she tells the girls where to go and points them in the right direction. They’re getting comfortable with her and they know what she wants of them because it’s pretty much the same thing I’m asking them to do, it’s just a different voice.”
The Admirals will attend the All-A state tournament for the sixth-straight season. This year, it’ll return to Eastern Kentucky University after being held in Frankfort in previous years.
“It’s big. The first time I went, it was at Eastern,” Berry said. “They switch it back my first year of coaching, it’s going to be a good experience. That’s what I told them, it’s going to be fun and it’s another experience for our young team to have.”
Berry said that he and his coaching staff had a discussion with his team about being focused on the little things — things like getting on the bus ready to take care of business — and he’s seen his team respond.
“We had a conversation a week ago about them having to show that they care about the game, because it’s the small stuff that matters,” Berry said. “Being mentally prepared matters, being tough enough to go rebound the ball, all that small stuff that they have to do, they’re really starting to take care of and care about it now.
“Everyone is coming along. I think some of the pressure that they felt early is coming off of their shoulders, and now they’re able to just play basketball.”
Ten different Admirals scored in Saturday’s game, with Carolina Gonzalez next on the score sheet behind Turner with 10 points.
The Admirals have a busy week next week — Tates Creek will visit Danville on Monday. The Ads’ first All-A game in Richmond will be Wednesday against Covington Holy Cross at 9:30 p.m.
“I know (Covington Holy Cross) lost a lot from last year, I think they’re in the same situation as us with some older players and a lot of young players,” Berry said. “We’re going to be working on our defense, figure out their offense over the next couple of days and prepare for them.”
12th Region All-A championship
DAN 20 17 14 9 — 60
WC 5 12 6 7 — 30
DANVILLE — Ivy Turner 27, Carolina Gonzalez 10, Lara Akers 6, Madison Terrell 4, Ahyana Burnett 3, Jenna Akers 2, Amber Wheat 2, Kirby Harrison-Alcorn 2, Tyliah Bradshaw 2, Haylee Price-Hancock 2.
WASHINGTON COUNTY — Kailey Thompson 7, Maddy Riley 5, Megan Cloyd 4, Abigail Mattingly 3, Amber Murphy 2, Madison Snellen 2, Aleeara Lawson 2, Madeline Townes 2, Becca Kealing 2, Maddy Sagrecy 1.