Danville girls elevate their game to beat Boyle in OT

Published 6:29 pm Friday, February 9, 2024

The Danville girls took their game – and their coach’s heart rate – to another level Tuesday night.

In a game in which seemingly every possession was contested, the Lady Admirals got what coach Judie Mason said was their biggest win of the season “by far” when they fought off Boyle County in a 59-54 overtime victory.

The Lady Admirals lost a 20-point lead in just over eight minutes and a five-point lead in the final three minutes before outplaying their archrivals in overtime to get a win that Mason said should be a big step in their growth.

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“That was probably the best game from beginning to end for this program, for these kids to know they can win,” Mason said.

But maybe not the best game for Mason’s health.

“My watch went off five times and said my heart rate was 120 or above, so if I die out there, y’all please pray,” she said.

Boyle had beaten Danville 61-47 just 2 and a half weeks earlier to end a five-game losing streak in the crosstown series and was poised for a regular-season sweep after erasing a 31-11 deficit.

The visiting Lady Admirals survived two possessions in which the Lady Rebels had a chance to win in the final 25 seconds of regulation, then outscored them 8-2 in the first two minutes of overtime to regain control of a game they desperately wanted to close out.

“We needed it really bad,” Danville forward Myla Turner said. “We needed to just come together as a team to win it, and now we’ve just got to keep pushing each other.”

Turner scored 17 points to lead four girls in double figures for Danville (8-13, 3-4 45th District) in a game in which seemingly every possession was contested.

“I am proud of their effort,” Mason said. “That’s what I’ve been looking for from the beginning. … I can’t even be disappointed in the big mistakes we made because they worked hard.”

Turner scored the first four points in overtime from the free throw line to give her team the upper hand and a 52-48 lead with 3:02 remaining.

Boyle (17-8, 3-2) went 1 for 7 from the field in overtime against a Danville defense that held the Lady Rebels to 24 percent shooting in what Turner said was one of the Lady Admirals’ best defensive games to date.

“We all played as a team, we all knew what we were doing on defense,” she said. “Everybody talked, everybody was switching, there was good communication.”

Boyle defended well, too, forcing 25 turnovers and holding Danville scoreless for 8:30 in the second and third quarters.

“It was a battle. We went to war for 32 minutes tonight,” Boyle coach Brian Britt said.

It was the first overtime game this season for Boyle, which has authored one of the best turnarounds in the 12th Region this season, and Britt said it presents another opportunity for growth for his team as well.

“We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got a long, long way to go,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of teaching and learning that we can do to build off this game, and in the long run I think it’s going to help us.”

Tayvionna Caldwell had 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, Jazelynn Doneghy had 13 points and Alayah Quisenberry had 11 for Danville, which moved into a tie for third place in the district standings.

Mason praised the play of Doneghy, who shot well and stuck to Boyle’s Addison Yates, who had five three points in the teams’ first meeting and six in Boyle’s previous game at Lincoln County.

“That’s probably the best Jazzy has played for me,” Mason said.

The rebuilding Lady Admirals had lost four of their previous five games, including their first meeting with Boyle, which had won five of its last six.

They got the jump on the Lady Rebels, opening a 13-2 lead over the first four minutes while Boyle missed 11 of its first 12 shots and Danville dominated the boards.

That lead grew to 23-5 late in the first quarter and 31-11 less than three minutes into the second thanks in part to consecutive 3-pointers by Doneghy.

Boyle tightened its defense and scored the final 13 points of the first half – Ashlen Young closed the half with a pair of 3-pointers – and the first seven of the second to tie the game, and it held two brief one-point leads late in the third quarter before Danville regained a 45-39 lead.

“Once we came out of that first quarter we (said), ‘There’s three quarters left, just stay patient. You’re not going to get everything back in one possession,’” Britt said. “They chipped away, they chipped away, and we gave ourselves a chance to win the game.”

Young had 14 points and Yates had 10 for Boyle, which remains second in the district standings. Annabelle Tarter had nine rebounds, including seven in the final seven minutes, and Maggie Burke had eight.