45th District basketball: DCA girls capture school’s first district title

Published 6:44 pm Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Danville Christian girls have climbed another mountain, and they’re enjoying the view.

DCA won the school’s first district championship in any sport Friday night when it defeated Danville 53-35 for the championship of the 45th District Tournament at Garrard Middle School.

Fourteen years after the girls basketball program was born and five years after becoming a full member of the KHSAA, the Lady Warriors pulled away from Danville in the fourth quarter, then celebrated perhaps their most significant achievement to date.

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“We praise God for every milestone, and we’re more thankful just for what it represents for the future of the school,” DCA coach Billy Inmon said.

Center Grace Mbugua dominated the second half to help DCA (26-2) clinch its championship. She scored 23 of the Lady Warriors’ 30 second-half points and finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

“It was really my team just feeding me the ball. My shots weren’t really falling in the first half, so I just want to thank my team for feeding me the ball and trusting me with it,” she said.

Mbugua scored all of the Lady Warriors’ points in a 6-0 run late in the third quarter that gave the a 38-27 lead and did so again in a 9-2 run early in the fourth period that made it 47-33.

Danville (15-15) stayed in the game by finding ways to work around the 6-4 Mbugua and Amauri Blackford on the inside, and Inmon said Blackford stepped up on defense down the stretch to slow the Lady Admirals’ roll.

The Lady Admirals scored only four points in the fourth quarter, when they went 2 for 14 from the field, and none in the final 3:33.

DCA outrebounded Danville 14-5 in the fourth quarter and 39-24 overall, getting five rebounds from Blackford, Braxtyn Heck and Grace Meyer in addition to Mbugua’s boards.

Paisley Metz scored 17 points for the Lady Warriors, including all 10 of their points in the second quarter, as they defeated Danville for the fourth time in as many tries this season.

Alayah Quisenberry scored 10 points and Nemeah Jackson added eight for Danville, which had won the last four district titles.

Both teams will play in the 12th Region Tournament, which begins Wednesday at Pulaski County. Visit @Advocate_Sports on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday for information on the regional draw.

Most Valuable Player

Grace Mbugua, Danville Christian

All-Tournament Team

Amauri Blackford, Danville Christian; Maggie Burke, Boyle County; MaKayla Greer, Lincoln County; Braxtyn Heck, Danville Christian; Paisley Metz, Danville Christian; Alayah Quisenberry, Danville; Myla Turner, Danville