Ahyana Burnett boosts Danville to All-A region victory

Published 11:27 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2019

SPRINGFIELD — Somerset gave Danville girls a different kind of challenge Tuesday at Washington County.

The Admirals would answer the call and come away with a 71-43 victory in the 12th Region All-A tournament semifinals.

In the first half, Somerset opened the game in a triangle and two defense, with two players face-guarding Ivy Turner and Lara Akers. It’s the first time Danville has seen that defense and the first time that Akers has shared an opponent’s focus with Turner.

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“I thought they’d try to triangle and two us, if I were playing us that’s what I’d try and do,” Danville head coach Judie Mason said. “And I thought Lara handled it pretty well, she didn’t force it. With Ivy, I just don’t think anyone can guard us. I’m trying to motivate the others by saying, ‘they’re disrespecting you by doing that.’”

Mason had to motivate her team after a sluggish first quarter — the Admirals led 16-13 — and her team responded, specifically Ahyana Burnett.

Burnett would score 11 points in a 25-point second quarter for Danville, helping her team to a 41-26 lead at the break.

“She took a butt-chewing and responded,” Mason said. “That’s what I want them all to do, and that’s what I told them other kids. I’m not excited that I get to yell at a teenager, I yell because I want them to respond. She responded, more or less, by saying, ‘coach Mason, I’ll show you. Take that.’ That’s what I want them to do, get mad at me and respond.”

Burnett’s 11 points led Danville at halftime, while Lara Akers had nine and Ivy Turner added eight. Desiree Tandy scored six and Jenna Akers had five.

That balanced scoring continued in the second half, and Danville pushed its lead to 58-36 after three quarters.

With Somerset out of its triangle and two defense, Turner took over. She scored 12 second half points, eight coming from the foul line, and kept the ball out of Somerset’s hands.

“I told Ivy two weeks ago, it’s her team,” Mason said. “I did all the summer, preseason, we’ve played 17 games. This is her team now. I want her to coach on the floor. That’s what she did in the second half, I thought in the first half she was a little passive, trying to get everyone else involved. But I’d just as soon keep the ball in her hands.

“In the fourth quarter, they weren’t going to guard us. I don’t normally hold the ball but said, ‘why not?’ Like I told her, I don’t think they could’ve stopped her even if they double teamed. I told her to take over the game.”

Turner led Danville with 20 points. Lara Akers and Burnett each scored 14, and Desiree Tandy scored 10 points off of the bench.

It’ll take more balanced scoring for the Admirals to advance in the All-A tournament — Danville plays the winner of Burgin and Washington County on Friday — and Mason said she expects to see more junk defenses in the future.

“I thought (Somerset) had to come out of it because of Ahyana,” Mason said. “We will see that, good coaches will do that. If we make it, I think we’ll see that again. That probably prepared us more than any game we’ve played all year.”


Box score


At Washington County


SOMERSET 13 13 10 6 43

DANVILLE 16 25 17 13 71



SOMERSET (8-9): Grace Bruner 20, Rachel Presley 7, Payton Acey 6, Lauren Foutch 4, Ashley Holt 4, Madison Garland 2.

DANVILLE (15-3): Ivy Turner 20, Ahyana Burnett 14, Lara Akers 14, Desiree Tandy 10, Jenna Akers 5, Tyliah Bradshaw 4, Madison Terrell 2, Haley Price-Hancock 2.