Danville pressure too much for Garrard County girls

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Danville’s speed caused problems for Garrard County.

From the start, the Admirals forced turnovers — more than one per minute — on the way to a 58-40 victory in 45th District play.

The Admirals jumped out to an 11-2 lead after one quarter. Shots weren’t falling for the Admirals, but their defense kept Garrard in the backcourt.

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Danville head coach Clifford Berry said he challenged his team after a first-round loss in the All-A state tournament to Covington Holy Cross.

“I think they wanted to show that they wanted to compete,” Berry said. “That first group, they surprised. They did everything that we asked them to do, they did great on the defensive end, shots weren’t falling but they just kept shooting.”

Danville’s press kept Garrard off-balance all game.

“We were scared and intimidated, bottom line,” Garrard head coach Scott Latham said. “We had 23 turnovers in the first half, 37 for the game. That’s what we talked about, we’re having the same mistakes that we had at the beginning of the year. When are you going to learn to fix them? When are you going to do what is best for your teammate? What do you have to do to fix it and help our team get better?”

The Golden Lions were without two of their primary ballhandlers — Fran Montgomery (concussion) and Ashlynn Clark (ankle).

“Of course it doesn’t help not having your point guard, with the turnovers,” Latham said. “You’re playing younger people there that aren’t physically strong enough to do this, but that’s no excuse. We’ve got to play and get better. This is a great opportunity to step up and get better and we were scared and intimidated in the first half, and that’s the bottom line. We can’t have 23 turnovers in a game, much less a half, and expect to win.”

Berry put the pressure on his team before the game, and they came out and proved they were ready to handle a must-win game.

“The first group played well,” Berry said. “I told them that this was a game that we had to win for us to not fall behind in the district. And they came out and performed. We really put it on them tonight, told them that we were going to play man-to-man the whole game. We’ve got to figure out how to guard somebody instead of getting back and playing zone. And I think that is what caused (Garrard) a lot of trouble because their main ballhandler was out.”

The Admirals were led by Carolina Gonzalez’ 16 points. Ivy Turner added 12 more and seven other Admirals were on the score sheet in the win.

“Before the game, I told (Carolina) that we needed something,” Berry said. “I know she can play, I’ve coached her since eighth grade. When I first had her she was a scorer. Now, she plays with Ivy, I think she’s holding back a bit. But I told her, we need more scorers. She grew up tonight.”

Berry’s seen his team grow up in recent games, and despite shots not falling in the first quarter, he saw his team keep shooting.

“That’s the biggest thing we try to get out of them: Shots might not fall sometimes, but you’ve still got to keep playing ball,” Berry said. “That’s showing that they’re starting to grow up a bit, they’re starting to mature. Now, they realize that they’re varsity basketball players. No excuses that you’re a freshman. You’ve played enough games, you have enough skills, just go out there and compete.”

It’s the opposite for Latham, who said he’d like to see his team break out of its shell against teams that put on the press.

“I loved the way they competed and battled some in the second half, but we’ve got to be better than that,” Latham said. “I told them that they’re better than what they showed tonight. I think it’s the name across the chest that scared them. They got up in our shirt in the first part of the game and we panicked.”

Danville turns to Boyle County on Friday while Garrard will take on Lincoln.

“We’re excited,” Berry said. “We’ve got Ivy back, her legs are back under her, we’ve got others scoring. There’s no reason to be rattled. We’ve seen them, we know what we have. Now it’s just about going out and competing. There’s no more nerves like that first game, we just couldn’t get going. Now, I think they’ve grown up a little bit. When I call their name, there’s no deer in the headlights. They’re ready to go play.”


Box score


At DANVILLE 11 22 22 3 58

GARRARD 2 12 10 16 40


DANVILLE (10-11, 1-2): Carolina Gonzalez 16, Ivy Turner 12, Lara Akers 8, Ahyana Burnett 6, Tyliah Bradshaw 6, Desiree Tandy 4, Tailyn Guest 3, Kassidy Lanigan 2, Nancy Gonzalez 1.

GARRARD (8-15, 0-4): Olivia Saylor 9, Katy Pozzuto 8, Madison Neeley 6, Morgan Day 6, Macy Abney 4, Kara Moiser 4, Jade Pevley 3