Boyle County defense stifles Admirals’ upset bid in fourth quarter

Published 12:12 am Thursday, February 22, 2018

Danville had the defensive gameplan to beat Boyle County on Wednesday.

But the Rebels again proved their experience pays off, shutting down the Admirals 47-34 in the 45th District semifinals.

The two teams were separated by one point entering the fourth quarter but the Rebels’ defense locked in and allowed just three points in the final eight minutes of the game. Ivy Turner, who scored the Ads’ first 15 points, finished with a game-high 29 and scored two points in the fourth.

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“Ivy, being the player that she is, really caused us a lot of damage in the first half,” Boyle head coach Greg Edwards said. “But in the second half, I thought we really got into gaps and we did a better job on her. That gave us a chance.”

Gracie Edmiston paced the Rebels all night, scoring a team-high 19 points.

It was Boyle’s balanced scoring throughout the game and on the scoresheet that gave the Rebels the edge. McKayla Baker, Danielle Roney and Lauren Steinhauer all had eight points.

“Offensively, we struggled tonight, but we made baskets when we had to have them,” Edwards said. “McKayla hit a couple big shots there, Lauren played well inside and so did Gracie and Dani. Kasey McGirr came in and gave us some key minutes, Rachel was steady. We got effort out of everybody tonight and we had to have effort out of everybody.”

The Admirals hit just one three in the game, something that head coach Clifford Berry touched on after the game.

“We just couldn’t buy one,” Berry said. “Like I told them, you can’t hit shots like that when you’re rattled. You’ve got to get out there and take good shots. And for a lot of them, they’ve never been in that situation. Getting them away from their distractions is the problem. They’re so caught up in the crowd or what Boyle County said on Twitter. We’ve just got to play ball. If you stay composed, that will take care of a lot of things. That’s what we’re still working on with these girls.”

Edwards expected a challenge — Boyle beat Danville in both regular-season meetings, but both games were tight until the fourth quarter.

“Danville has really improved. I didn’t think this one was going to be easy, I was more worried about this one than I have been in awhile for our first-round games,” Edwards said. “I think their young kids have matured as the season moved on and they’ve really gotten better. We had to really battle, even though we struggled offensively, we hung in when we needed to.”

The Admirals’ defense kept Boyle’s offense from staying in flow through the first three quarters, something that Berry was happy to see from his young team.

“They fought really well. I think the defensive gameplan was right on point, we got everything we wanted to on defense,” Berry said. “We just couldn’t hit any shots, and I know with them, that discourages them. They want to see the ball go in. That wears on you, and I think that’s what happened in the fourth quarter. Just couldn’t get a shot to keep going.”

It was a defensive switch from Boyle that put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Edwards extended his defense into the backcourt, forcing Turner to slow the game down.

“I thought we did a better job, we were more alert and we picked them up earlier,” Edwards said. “You let Ivy get a whole half court to speed up and find gaps, she’s going to really hurt you. That was important for us to slow her down. And our rebounding affected it, we really limited them on the boards.”

Berry said that change was the perfect move for Boyle when the rest of his team was struggling.

“That was genius. When you see for three quarters that the other girls on the court aren’t going to attack the rim, that’s what I would do, too,” Berry said. “We need our other pieces to play in big games. In a big game with a big crowd, they kind of stand in a corner and hide. That was genius, Ivy scored 29 and they made her get rid of it.”

Boyle led 32-31 entering the fourth quarter, and after the break between frames, Berry knew his team had some nerves going into the final eight minutes.

“I could tell they were a little nervous when they came in (the fourth quarter), it’s a one-point game and they got it there. All I can tell them is to keep calm and play basketball,” he said.

The loss ended Danville’s season at 14-14, but Berry said he’s already excited to see Turner and company back next season.

“That girl, she’s one of the smartest and toughest basketball players I’ve ever coached, boys or girls,” he said. “I’d pick her over a lot of guys. She plays tough, she’s willing to get her teammates involved. She knows how much she needs them in order to win big games. Now, she’s a lot more vocal.”

“That’s one thing I love, at the end of the game she didn’t let the girl bully her at the end of the game. She stood up for herself and her team. She’s growing and growing. She was sitting in that locker room saying that she doesn’t want to feel this way next year. I think when she puts down the challenge to them, they show up. I think she’s showing a lot of schools that she can be an asset. She scores against bigs, she’s starting to shoot the three better.”

The Rebels survive and advance, and they’ll take on district 1-seed Lincoln County on Friday at Danville in the district title.

“It’s always tough going against Lincoln County, but right now I think we’re playing pretty good basketball,” Edwards said. “At this point in the season, it’s all about getting that first game and we’ve done that. Now it’s about practice tomorrow and being ready to go on Friday.”


45th District semifinals

At Danville


BOYLE COUNTY 9 11 12 15 47

DANVILLE 12 10 9 3 34



BOYLE COUNTY (20-7, 5-2): Gracie Edmiston 19, Danielle Roney 8, Lauren Steinhauer 8, McKayla Baker 8, Rachel Leath 3, Kasey McGirr 1.

DANVILLE (14-14, 2-5): Ivy Turner 29, Lara Akers 4, Ahyana Burnett 1.