Danville boys fall to Covington Holy Cross in All ‘A’ Classic

Published 9:37 am Friday, January 27, 2023


Contributing Writer

RICHMOND — The Danville boys had a chance to win their All “A’ Classic game in the second half, but they lost it in the first half.

Email newsletter signup

The first two periods were a struggle for the Admirals, and they couldn’t do enough in the last two to counter that as they fell 72-56 to Covington Holy Cross in a first-round game at Baptist Health Arena.

Danville battled back from a double-digit deficit to tie the game in the third quarter, but coach Ed McKinney said the damage had already been done.

“We lost the game in the first half,” Danville coach Ed McKinney said. “We were real fragmented in the first half, had too many breakdowns, were a little too emotional early in the game.”

Those things proved to be a little too much for Danville to overcome in its first All “A” appearance in four years, and that left the Admirals with some things to work on in the final weeks of the season.

“We’re still a work in progress,” McKinney said. “I thought we had a chance to come in here and make a run. … We’ve got to develop a little more teamness, and we’re going to work on that, but we’ve got great kids and they’ll figure it out.”

Danville (14-8) couldn’t figure out how to stop Jacob Meyer, the Holy Cross guard who leads the state in scoring at 33.8 points per game. Meyer scored 21 points in the first half and finished with 37 points on 15-of-28 shooting.

The Admirals also couldn’t solve the 1-3-1 zone defense Holy Cross employed a few minutes into the game after opening with pressure.

“I probably watched six (Danville) games, and I never saw a team play man,” Holy Cross coach Casey Sorrell said. “I looked at the numbers and looked at the percentages, and I kept thinking if everybody plays them zone there’s probably a reason why.”

The Admirals made fewer than one-fourth of their shots in the first half, going 7 for 24 from the field.

They finished at 33 percent, which McKinney said wasn’t great but wasn’t that bad, especially considering they also shot 33 percent from 3-point range and considering that Sam Gibson, Holy Cross’ 7-foot center, blocked three shots and altered many more.

“You shoot 33 percent from 3 and you can live with that,” he said. “They have a big presence around the basket. Their big kid changes shots around the rim.”

Demauriah Brown led Danville with 14 points, followed by Owen Barnes with 12 and Jarius Bryant with 11.

The Admirals fell behind 16-8 after Holy Cross (14-5) outscored them 13-0 over the final 5:15 of the first quarter. The Indians then outscored Danville 13-5 during a second-quarter run to take a 31-17 lead.

Bryant scored six points and Brown and Jalen Dunn got four each in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second half as Danville cut an 11-point halftime deficit to three. Bryant and Josh Bixler then sank 3-point shots on consecutive trips to tie the game at 43-all with 3:07 left in the third quarter.

The Admirals missed a shot that would have given them the lead on their next possession, and they never got another chance as the Indians rebuilt a nine-point lead over the next four minutes.

Danville pulled within 58-53 with 5:02 to play, but the Admirals were outscored 14-3 the rest of the way as they went 1 for 11 from the field with five turnovers.

“We probably ran out of gas,” McKinney said.

McKinney said he hopes there is something to be gained from the All “A” experience, even though it didn’t go as he had hoped.

“It’s a good atmosphere to play in, but it’s nice to stay more than one day. But getting here’s also an accomplishment,” he said. “Now we’ve got to get right back at it. We’ve got a bunch of big games still left.”

DANVILLE (14-8) — Jalen Dunn 4-10 0-5 9, Demauriah Brown 5-14 4-5 14, Owen Barnes 4-12 2-2 12, Josh Bixler 3-10 0-0 9, Jarius Bryant 4-12 0-0 11, Ontario Hill 0-0 1-2 1, Journey White 0-1 0-0 0, Myles Turner 0-0 0-0 0, Camron Jackson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-60 7-14 56.

COVINGTON HOLY CROSS (14-5) — Matthew Dreas 2-4 0-0 6, Javier Ward 7-17 3-4 18, Jacob Smith 2-6 2-2 7, Jacob Meyer 15-28 5-7 37, Sam Gibson 2-6 0-0 4, Luke Arlinghaus 0-0 0-0 0, Carson Reinersman 0-0 0-0 0, Max White 0-0 0-0 0, Donovan Ambrocio 0-0 0-0 0, William McElheney 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-61 10-13 72.

Danville 8 20 47 56

Covington Holy Cross 16 31 52 72

3-Point Goals — Danville 9-27 (Dunn 1-2, Brown 0-3, Barnes 2-6, Bixler 3-8, Bryant 3-7, White 0-1), Holy Cross 6-20 (Dreas 2-3, Ward 1-6, Smith 1-3, Meyer 2-8). Rebounds—Danville 33 (Dunn, Bryant 9), Holy Cross 45 (Meyer 15). Assists — Danville 15 (Dunn, Bryant 5), Holy Cross 13 (Dreas 6). Turnovers — Danville 14, Holy Cross 15. Technicals — Brown, Meyer. Fouled Out — None.