DCA girls smash Shawnee in All ‘A’

Published 9:16 am Friday, January 26, 2024


Contributing Writer

CORBIN — The Danville Christian girls’ first taste of the All “A” Classic was a little bitter; the second bit was considerably better.

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Two years after a lopsided loss in their All “A” debut, DCA was on the right side of a blowout in its return Wednesday night.

The Lady Warriors blasted Shawnee 55-22 in their first-round game at Corbin Arena to extend their stay at the statewide small-school tournament.

“It’s amazing, really,” DCA guard Paisley Metz said. “Our team has a big part of it … and we wouldn’t be here without God so we give glory to God.”

Metz and Grace Mbugua combined for 45 of their team’s 55 points as DCA (17-1) rolled to their 10th consecutive win, extending its longest winning streak in five years as a full member of the KHSAA.

The Lady Warriors returned to Corbin on Friday to face No. 6 Owensboro Catholic in the quarterfinals.

It was a far better result than they got two years ago when Pikeville dealt them a 63-32 defeat in the first round.

“We really didn’t feel like we performed well last time,” DCA coach Billy Inmon said. “We didn’t represent the school and the mission like we wanted to. We just want to glorify God through our effort and our attitude, and I think that we did an OK job with that today.”

The Lady Warriors weren’t at their best, but they cruised through their first-round game against overmatched Shawnee (10-4), which shot just 15 percent from the field.

DCA raced to a 19-2 lead early in the second quarter after Shawnee missed 16 of its first 17 attempts. The Lady Warriors stretched their lead to 27-4 midway through the period and 36-5 at halftime, and the final 9:43 was played under the running-clock mercy rule.

Even so, Inmon said there was much they could have done better.

“I felt like the moment got a little bigger than what it should have been,” he said. “We were just way too nervous, very, very hesitant and not the aggressors for a lot of the game. And the defense was there at times but the communication wasn’t, and I think that was a product of the nervousness.”

Shawnee had more turnovers (15) than field goals (10) in its first All “A” appearance, but Inmon said the Golden Eagles’ poor shooting – they were 10 for 66 from the field and 1 for 11 from 3-point range – wasn’t a reflection of DCA’s defense.

Inmon said the Lady Warriors also played passively on offense when they were shut out for almost four minutes at the start of the second half.

“I said, ‘I’ve watched this team play, and they’re going to come out in that third quarter in a man press, and it can be physical and it can be overwhelming,” he said. “And they really took it to us for about three minutes there and we weren’t the aggressors at the beginning of the third quarter.”

All of DCA’s early offense came from Metz, who scored a career-high 24 points and whom her coach calls “Bucket.” Metz scored the Lady Warriors’ first 11 points and 15 of their first 23 and had 19 points at halftime.

“I looked at ‘Bucket’ in the first quarter and said, ‘Well, thank goodness you showed up tonight,’” Inmon said. “She showed up in a big, big way, and I can’t be prouder of this girl and how far she’s come in the last two or three years as a basketball player and more importantly as a great Christian young lady.”

Metz, a sophomore who was scoreless off the bench two years ago in DCA’s All “A” loss to Pikeville, went 3 for 6 from 3-point range and 10 for 15 overall from the field and finished 13 points above her season scoring average, and she also had three assists and three steals.

“I think I was ready to play,” she said.

She’s one of a handful of players who have taken advantage of the attention opposing defenses must give Mbugua.

“It’s really helpful because when we have a big in the center, which is Grace, and we have someone on the outside it draws the attention in and one of us is always open,” Metz said.

Mbugua had 21 points as she went 7 for 12 from the field and 6 for 6 at the free throw line, and she also had 11 rebounds, six blocked shots and five steals.

Amauri Blackford had eight points and was the only player other than Mbugua and Metz to score for DCA.

Blackford had 11 rebounds and Grace Meyer had eight for DCA, which outrebounded Shawnee 44-30 but gave up 21 offensive boards.

The Lady Warriors shot 44 percent from the field, going 22 for 50 overall and 4 for 15 from 3-point range.


Scoring summary

DANVILLE CHRISTIAN (17-1) — Paisley Metz 10-15 1-1 24, Grace Meyer 0-3 0-2 0, Grace Mbugua 7-12 6-6 21, Amauri Blackford 4-9 0-0 8, Braxtyn Heck 0-5 0-0 0, Adelis Gjoci 0-1 0-0 0, Isabella Bradshaw 0-0 0-0 0, Tatum Boyd 0-1 0-0 0, Emily Musasi 0-0 0-0 0, Nadya Abrams 0-1 0-0 0, Isabella Perez 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 7-7 55.

SHAWNEE (10-4) — Jalayah Madden 2-10 1-4 5, Treasure Gist 1-11 0-0 3, Jalaisah Hamblen 2-8 0-0 4, Tamiah Wadlington 3-19 0-0 6, Shakira Muhammad 2-12 0-0 4, Savannah Bivens 0-2 0-0 0, Sakarra Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Quanisha Lanier 0-0 0-0 0, Calisha Reliford 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-66 1-4 22.

Danville Christian 13-23-11-8 — 55

Shawnee 2-3-11-6 — 22

3-Point Goals—DCA 4-15 (Metz 3-6, Meyer 0-2, Mbugua 1-1, Blackford 0-1, Heck 0-1, Gjoci 0-1, Boyd 0-1, Perez 0-2), Shawnee 1-11 (Gish 1-7, Hamblen 0-3, Bivens 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—DCA 44 (Mbugua, Blackford 11), Shawnee 30 (Muhammad 8). Assists—DCA 12 (Meyer 4), Shawnee 2 (Hamblen, Wadlington 1). Turnovers—DCA 18, Shawnee 15. Total Fouls–DCA 6, Shawnee 9.