Rebels claim 45th District title in win at Danville

Published 12:10 am Saturday, February 24, 2018

Danville made its run, but Boyle County responded.

The Rebels defeated Danville in the 45th District championship 64-53, their eighth-straight district victory this season.

Boyle was looking forward to playing the Admirals on their home court with it all on the line.

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“We were looking forward to playing Danville because we knew it was their home court, we knew it was going to be a hype environment and they always bring it when they play us,” Bryce Slone said. “Coming in, we knew they were going to play their game, they played how we expected and we finished.”

Both teams traded blows early in the game: Boyle led 16-10 after one quarter and 30-27 at halftime.

The Rebels had just three players score in the first half: Jason Alexander (12), Slone (11) and Reese Smith (seven).

Contrast that with the Admirals, who had seven different players on the score sheet, in part due to foul trouble: Four different Danville starters had two fouls at the end of the first half.

The game broke open for the Admirals in the third quarter: Danville went on a 14-2 run to open the second half, thanks in part to an inspired performance from senior Jaleel Warren off of the bench.

Warren scored 11 points in the second half and led the Admirals with 17 for the game.

Boyle head coach Steve Adams called time twice during Danville’s run, and the second timeout sparked his team.

“We came together when they went on that run and we said we needed to play the way we know how to play,” Alexander said. “We had to get defensive stops and we were able to come back and win this game. We went on a run of our own.”

Boyle answered a 14-2 run with a 16-2 run, taking a 48-41 lead into the fourth quarter.

“That stretch right there was the game, go from up seven to down six in about four or five minutes,” Danville head coach Ed McKinney said.

Alexander and Slone combined for nine points in the second half, but Smith and fellow sophomore Grant Hotchkiss stepped up: Smith had 10 in the second half and Hotchkiss scored eight. Hotchkiss also led the game with 11 rebounds.

“They have both really stepped up this season,” Alexander said of Smith and Hothckiss. “This was a big game and they just proved that they’re not young anymore. They’re just like us. They know what they’re doing. It’s nice, we’re an experienced team and it’s looking for us going into the region tournament.”

Adams praised the two sophomores for staying tough down the stretch. Danville cut the Boyle lead to 55-51 with just over two minutes left, but Hotchkiss came up with a steal that ended the Ads’ run.

“Grant is our glue. He does all the dirty things,” Adams said. “He probably should’ve been on the all-tournament team. He makes every play late. He did the same thing against Garrard County. He’s just a competitor, just gets after it.

“Reese hurt his hand and wouldn’t let me take him out. He said ‘coach, do not take me out. We’re finishing this.’ I get on them all the time, telling them they’re not tough. But we’ve got a bunch of tough kids, they just keep fighting. I’m very proud of them.”

For Boyle’s three starting seniors — Alexander, Slone and Bramel — Adams heaped praise.

“Will didn’t get to play much but he’s our leader on the bench,” he said. “He’s rallying, talking to them at halftime, he’s keeping everybody focused. He does an outstanding job. But we’re much better when he’s in the game. Baby J and Bryce, what can you say? They just find ways to win. They do some silly things sometimes but when they need to make a play, they always find a way.”

It was turnovers and one-shot possessions that killed the Admirals, McKinney said.

“Those 19 turnovers. You just can’t turn the ball over that many times when you’re not pressured,” McKinney said. “That’s what stands out to me. And we shouldn’t get outrebounded. It’s just disappointing, turning the ball over so much against no pressure. We turned it over, they turn around and score points.”

Boyle takes an undefeated district record into the 12th Region tournament, where it will face a district runner-up: West Jessamine, Wayne County or Somerset.

“We go one game at a time,” Slone said. “Freshman year, getting to go to state, that’s what we’re looking for right now. That’s the goal.”

Danville will face a district champion in the region first round: Mercer County, Southwestern or Pulaski County.

“You don’t want learning experiences in the postseason, but I think you get better win or lose in all of these,” McKinney said. “You learn what you can and can’t do, what you should and shouldn’t do.”


Box score


45th District championship


BOYLE COUNTY 16 14 18 16 64

DANVILLE 10 17 14 12 53



BOYLE (19-7, 8-0): Jason Alexander 18, Reese Smith 17, Bryce Slone 15, Grant Hotchkiss 8, Will Bramel 4, Caleb Jackson 2.

DANVILLE (15-15, 3-5): Jaleel Warren 17, DeShaud St. Martin 9, Zach Thornton 8, David Walker 5, Jared Southerland 5, Tevin Kavanaugh 5, Tanner Ford 2, Dante Hayden 2.



BOYLE: Hotchkiss 11, Alexander 4, Smith 2, Jackson 2, Slone 2, Bramel 2, Team: 1.

DANVILLE: Warren 7, St. Martin 4, Southerland 3, Walker 3, Ford 2, Hayden 1, Team: 2.


Boys 45th All Tournament team


KSD: Payne Yance, Garrard: Brayden Sebastian, Lincoln: Chase Phillips, Danville: Zach Thornton, DeShaud St. Martin, Boyle: Jason Alexander, Bryce Slone, Reese Smith