DCA does it!
Danville Christian teams upset Danville to reach All “A” state

Published 7:06 am Monday, January 17, 2022

Firsts are coming fast these days for the Danville Christian basketball teams, and a historic night in Somerset earned them the opportunity to enjoy at least one more this season.

The DCA boys and girls will compete in the All “A” Classic for the first time later this month after both teams won regional championships in the small-school tournament Friday.

Both teams won those titles by defeating Danville for the first time in school history, and both teams came from behind to do so in the championship games of the 12th Region All “A” Classic at Somerset.

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First, the DCA girls rallied to edge Danville 55-51. Then, the DCA boys stormed past Danville in the fourth quarter for a 63-49 victory. Then there were trophies to hoist and nets to cut.

The Warriors and Lady Warriors claimed their spoils after earning their spots in the statewide All “A” Classic, which will be played Jan. 26-30 at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.

The DCA girls will play 15th Region champion Pikeville in the first round of the 16-team tournament at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 26, and the DCA boys will play 1st Region champion Murray in their first-round game at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 27.

The Lady Warriors lost to Danville three times in the 2020-21 season, their first year of playing a full 45th District schedule, and the Warriors lost to Danville twice. The teams are scheduled to square off at least once more this season in a Feb. 4 doubleheader at Danville.

Danville Christian 55, Danville 51
DCA (14-3) scored more than twice as many points in the second half as it had in the first to upset Danville (12-3).

Grace Mbugua scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 28 points and 16 rebounds to help the Lady Warriors knock off a Danville squad that has consistently been ranked among the top teams in the 12th Region this season.

DCA trailed 26-18 at halftime but outscored Danville 37-25 over the final two periods to win for the first time in five meetings between the teams after losing the first four games in the series by an average score of 64-26.

Maggie Bentley scored nine of her 12 points in the third quarter for the Lady Warriors, who scored 18 points in the third quarter to double their halftime score and pull within 37-36.

The score was tied at 46-all when Mbugua gave DCA the lead with a three-point play. Following a Danville free throw, Esther Kwagala sank a jump shot for her only points of the game to give the Lady Warriors a 51-47 lead with 1:13 to play.

Love Mays scored 15 points,Tyliah Bradshaw scored 13 and Lara Akers added 12 for Danville, which lost for the first time in seven games.

DCA’s victory extended the longest winning streak in program history to eight games, although that streak ended with a 55-54 loss to Estill County on Saturday.

The Lady Warriors lost to Danville three times in the 2020-21 season, their first year of playing a full 45th District schedule. The Lady Admirals had won the most recent meeting 62-31 in a 45th District semifinal.

Danville Christian 63, Danville 49
DCA (14-3) dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring Danville (10-7) 28-5 to win going away.

Titus Boyd scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, when the Warriors used a 20-0 run to leave the Admirals in the dust.

Danville led 48-41 with 6:01 remaining, but DCA scored 20 unanswered points over about 3 1/2 minutes to take a 61-48 lead into the stretch run.

Xavier Yamo scored 10 points in the first quarter to stake DCA to a 21-14 lead. The Warriors clung to a 29-26 edge at halftime, but Danville rallied in the third quarter, when Jalen Dunn scored eight of his team-high 15 points, to take a 44-37 lead.

Yamo finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Lual Ayiei had 12 points, 17 rebounds, and five blocked shots for the Warriors, who were 0-3 against Danville and had lost those games by an average margin of 26.7 points.

Demauriah Brown scored 11 points and Dante Hayden added 10 for Danville, which saw its six-game winning streak end.

Joe Mathis of WHIR-AM/FM contributed to this story.

12th Region All “A” Classic
Championships at Somerset
Danville Christian 14 18 36 55
Danville                    11 26 37 51

DCA (14-3) — Maggie Bentley 12, Tristen Himes 2, Victoria Inmon 6, Grace Mbugua 28, Braxtyn Heck 5, Esther Kwagala 2.
DANVILLE (12-3) — Love Mays 15, Lara Akers 12, Jenna Akers 2, Tyliah Bradshaw 13, Samantha Bottom 9.

Danville Christian 21 29 37 63
Danville                   14 26 44 49

DCA (14-3) — Titus Boyd 16, Noah Imfeld 4, Xavier Yamo 24, Ryan Ridge 7, Lual Ayiei 12.
DANVILLE (10-7) — Dante Hayden 10, Ontario Hill 8, Demauriah Brown 11, Jalen Dunn 15, Jarius Bryant 5.