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Brayden Sebastian’s heroics not enough to overcome Danville depth

Brayden Sebastian had the performance of the night.

Danville’s overwhelming depth stole the show.

The Admrials’ balanced scoring pushed them past the highest-scoring performance from Garrard County this season, winning 89-82 to improve to 16-1 (2-0).

“I keep saying it every game. We’ve got a bunch of guys that can play for a lot of people,” Danville head coach Ed McKinney said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that can play, it’s hard to get them all in.”

DeShaud St. Martin led Danville with 20 points. Seven players scored for the Admirals, six in double figures. Caden Hill’s eight points were the lowest amount on his team.

“Caden Hill, he got hurt right before the season, missed two weeks,” McKinney said. “Then he missed practice with illness. I thought he came right out tonight, we need him going. He can do some things, he’s one of the most versatile kids we got, as far as defending, putting it on the floor, shooting it. He hasn’t played a ton, I thought he played well.”

But the best performance of the night came from the visitors: Sebastian netted a stellar 44 points, the most scored by an individual against Danville this year.

Five teams couldn’t score 44 points against Danville this year.

“I’ve been telling people. We have people tell us that he’s not the best player in this district,” Garrard head coach Ryan Young said. “I mean, I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. He just plays like a warrior. He’s not always the most vocal kid, but he shows up in the big moments and that’s what a great player does. That’s what he comes with.”

McKinney had nothing but praise for Sebastian. He kept the Golden Lions within reach throughout the game, scoring 21 in the first half before a 23-point second half.

“Sebastian is just a heck of a player,” McKinney said. “I really don’t know what you do with him. I thought there were a few times, we had pretty good defense on him. We were up on him with our hand up and he still buried it. I knew he was good, he played great against us last year, but he’s the real deal. He’s difficult to deal with.”

Danville pushed the tempo and Sebastian was happy with that, but the Golden Lions didn’t expect so many scorers for the Admirals.

The Admirals’ leading scorer Dante Hayden checked out in the first half with just four points and three fouls, but Danville didn’t miss a beat. Trey Dawson scored nine points and Ethan Wood added eight off of the bench in the first half for the Admirals.

“We knew it was going to be (up tempo),” Young said. “We didn’t expect them to shoot it collectively the way they shot it tonight. We know that Hayden and Dawson, some of those guys can make it but their other guys stepped up. That’s why they’re 16-1, they’re a quality team. But I thought we answered their runs, and I think that’s the best we’ve been offensively. That’s the way we need to play going forward.”

Young said the gameplan was to keep the Admirals off of the boards as much as possible, a challenge given the Admirals’ height and athleticism across the board.

“Early, we probably could’ve gotten a few more defensive rebounds,” Young said. “But man, I think coach (Jeff) Jackson said it when they played ’em last week, Steve (Adams) said it when they played them Tuesday. It’s the biggest key when you play them. Unfortunately for us, they made more shots than they made in those other games.”

McKinney was happy with his team’s offensive performance, but the Admirals are still learning to play defense without lockdown defender Tevin Kavanaugh.

“We’re still trying to figure out how to play without Tevin,” the coach said. “We celebrate when we hit a shot, Tevin’s back. He gives us a lot of things that our kids don’t realize. They’re seeing it. He was a big part of everything we do defensively. We’re missing him on both ends, but defensively especially. He did a lot of good things our guys don’t realize, they’ll understand that when we watch film. We’ve got to be better.”

St. Martin’s 20 points set the pace for Danville, and his past two games epitomize just the kind of team that McKinney has this season: He shot three times for seven points against Boyle County earlier in the week.

“Shaud played well. He shot the ball three times against Boyle. When we can win a game on the road when Shaud takes three shots, tonight he gets 20. That’s just how this team is, it’s going to be that way every night. The district tournament, wow. It’s going to be tough.”

Young agreed that it’ll be a challenging district: Every game matters. Danville (3-0) leads, with Garrard (1-1), Boyle (1-2) and Lincoln (0-2) following.

“We’ve got really good coaches in this district, we’ve got really good players,” Young said. “Me and my staff, we work our tails off and we had a good gameplan. I think every coach and team in this district prepares the right way. When you prepare the right way you’ve got the opportunity to win the ball game on any given night.”

 

Box score

 

GARRARD 21 15 13 33 82

At DANVILLE 23 18 22 26 89

 

Points

 

GARRARD (6-8, 1-1): Brayden Sebastian 44, Brice Burkhart 16, Charles Jones 7, Brock Milburn 7, Ethan Wall 5, Hudson Cornett 3.

DANVILLE (16-1, 3-0): DeShaud St. Martin 20, Dante Hayden 16, Zach Thornton 12, Trey Dawson 12, Darrian Bell 11, Ethan Wood 10, Caden Hill 8.