Admirals come back in the fourth to beat Garrard

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Both teams had the offense.

It was Danville that made the stops late in the game to get the win.

The Admirals came back with a big fourth quarter to beat Garrard County 77-72 to earn their first district win of the season. Four different Danville players finished in double figures on a strong offensive night from both teams.

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“I’m not sure we’ve ever won a game where it felt like we got no stops,” Danville head coach Ed McKinney said. “It didn’t feel like we got a stop. We haven’t been done like that. They drove at us, they shot it in, they ran their stuff. We’ve been decent defensively, especially here. We haven’t given up a lot. I thought they were impressive.”

Garrard also had four players in double figures, led by Brayden Sebastian’s game-high 21 points.

“I think our kids were surprised, they’ve got three or four who can put it in the basket,” McKinney said. “They’re going to be a tough out. They’re a whole lot better than their record. That was a big game, that felt like a district tournament. Both teams were playing like it was a big game.”

Danville trailed by two points after one quarter but led 40-35 at halftime.

Garrard would surge past the hosts in the third quarter as Justin Preston scored eight of his 18 points in the frame, one that would give Garrard a 58-52 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Garrard head coach Ryan Young said he wanted his players to be confident through the Admirals’ pressure.

“I just told the guys before the game that we knew they would pressure us, that’s what they do,” he said. “I felt that at times this year, some of our guys have been tentative. I just told them to be confident, go out there and make plays. I feel like we had those guys I’ve been waiting on all year to step up and play, and that had to do with a lot of our offensive effort tonight.”

But Danville’s constant full-court defense started to wear the Golden Lions down in the final eight minutes.

“I think we’re turning a corner as far as how hard we’re playing,” Young said. “It’s difficult for us, we don’t have a lot of bench presence right now, they were running guys in and out and pressing the whole game. I think they might have gotten into our legs a little bit at the end of the game. But at the end of the day, they just made more plays than us in the fourth quarter and I think we started scoreboard watching a little bit. We didn’t do the things that got us the lead in the first place.”

Danville tied the game 67-67 with 2:31 remaining, and DeShaud St. Martin hit a pull-up jumper in rhythm to give Danville the lead one last time.

“DeShaud made some big shots,” McKinney said. “We got good play out of everybody, we had to or we wouldn’t have won. We were two points away from having five guys in double figures. David played well and he scored eight. Offensively we did a lot of good things.”

McKinney said he was surprised by his team’s defense after having such success on offense.

“One thing that was a little disappointing, we were scoring the ball and I thought we’d get some defensive energy,” he said. “A lot of times, we can’t score and we’re still playing hard. Usually you get some energy off of scoring and they ran it back down our throats. That is not the typical Danville game.”

Young went back to his team’s “scoreboard-watching” and said that his players tightened up late in the game.

“The problem with us, and it comes with trying to turn a program around, is that these kids haven’t experienced a lot of winning,” Young said. “I think they just wanted it so bad there late, they took their foot off of the gas and were a little tentative. You can’t be tentative against a team like that, they’re going to keep coming after you. Our decision-making late can be attributed to that, maybe fatigue a little bit but we’ve got to get out of that. It’s hurt us the past three games in district games.”

Both teams have big games later in the week: Danville visits Boyle County and Garrard faces Lincoln County.

Does tonight’s win give Danville any momentum?

“I don’t know,” McKinney said. “Coaching high school kids, you don’t know day to day. I think we’re getting better offensively. Being able to practice and play, our basketball play is getting better. Does that mean we’re gaining momentum? What’s the saying in baseball, momentum is as good as the next day’s starting pitcher.”

Young said his team has dug itself a hole with an 0-4 record in district play, but there’s still plenty of basketball left.

“We just preach next game,” Young said. “We’ve got two more district games left, we’ve got a big one Friday against Lincoln and we’ve got (Danville) again. We’ve backed ourselves into a corner but I think we’re going to come out and play hard. These kids are preparing well. We’re starting to play better basketball.”


Box score


At DANVILLE 13 27 12 25 77

GARRARD 15 20 23 14 72



DANVILLE (9-11, 1-2): Zach Thornton 18, Jared Southerland 16, Dante Hayden 16, DeShaud St. Martin 10, David Walker 8, Tevin Kavanaugh 4, Tanner Ford 3, Ethan Wood 2

GARRARD (5-16, 0-4): Brayden Sebastian 21, Justin Preston 18, Trevor Jones 11, Brice Burkhart 11, Charles Jones 7, Carter Moss 4