Garrard shoots past Ads

December 15, 2003|MIKE MARSEE

LANCASTER - For Garrard County, the first step toward getting back on track was better shooting.

That didn't solve all of the Golden Lions' problems, but it was enough to get them back into the win column.

Garrard put a disappointing loss behind it by hitting half its shots from the field Friday night to defeat Danville 58-53.

It was a far cry from the Lions' previous game, when they shot just 32 percent in a 67-61 loss at Burgin.


Garrard center Sean Paul Leavell, who led the Lions with 17 points, said coach Cecil Combs made shooting a point of emphasis in the two practices between the two games.

"Coach stressed it all week in practice," Leavell said. "We shot 30 to 45 jumpers in a row, and when you work like that, it pays off."

Garrard (2-1) overcame 23 turnovers by hitting 22 of its 44 shots, but there was still some bad shooting on display. It came from Danville (0-1), which hit just 19 of 62 shots for 30.6 percent.

"They shot like we shot at Burgin the other night," Combs said.

Still, the Admirals cut Garrard's double-digit lead to three points in the final seconds before coming up short, and that was enough to give Danville coach Craig Pippen hope for the weeks ahead.

"We've got guys who have a lot of heart," Pippen said. "One loss is not going to set us back."

One loss didn't seem to set Garrard back, as the Lions bounced back to win their home opener.

"It's good, coming in and getting a win," Leavell said. "It lets you know you're back on track and headed the right way."

Better ball movement is one thing that got Garrard headed in the right direction.

"The one thing we stressed in practice is that we don't have to have these quick shots," Combs said.

"I wanted to see some passing. We worked on it in practice, and it looked pretty good tonight."

Spencer Crutchfield and Leavell combined for 11 of Garrard's first 13 points, and the Lions got seven points from Leavell in the first period and seven from Coy Lucas in the second.

They took advantage of eight Danville turnovers in the first quarter to take a 19-12 lead, then held the Admirals scoreless for more than four minutes in the second period to stretch its lead to 31-21.

Danville cut its deficit in half in the final 1:39 before halftime, but the Admirals couldn't get any closer in the third quarter even though Garrard committed six turnovers in the first 31/2 minutes.

Then a 7-0 run that included five points by Lucas gave Garrard its largest lead of the night at 47-35 with 2:51 left in the third period.

The Lions led 55-46 with 3:31 to play after two free throws by Leavell, then missed seven straight free throws to allow Danville to get back in the game.

Garrard was 10-for-20 at the free-throw line, but the Lions outrebounded their opponent for the first time this season, 38-37, on the strength of nine rebounds by Michael Dick and eight by Crutchfield.

Still, they weren't getting the big boards down the stretch.

A putback by Danville's Darius Baughman made it 55-50 with 1:11 to play, and a 3-pointer by Danville's Chad Bartleson, who hit five 3s in all and scored a game-high 23 points, made it 56-53 with four seconds left.

But the Admirals left Leavell unguarded on the inbounds play, and he broke free for a dunk that guaranteed a win for Garrard, which played Madison Southern on Saturday night.

Lucas and Crutchfield had 12 points each for Garrard, and Crutchfield also had six assists.

Pippen said it was "a typical first game" for Danville. The Admirals used a 10-player rotation that should serve them well this season, but six of those players were still playing football seven days earlier, when they helped the Danville football team win its 10th state championship.

"Considering that fact, I thought we played pretty well," Pippen said. "It's going to take us a while to get clicking, more so defensively, to watch film and learn what we have to do to stop people and be able to execute it in practice."

DANVILLE (0-1) - Chad Bartleson 23, Steven Gray 6, Eric Caldwell 3, Phillip Dunn 7, Ronnie Hawkins 5, Mario Berry 2, Chase Overstreet 3, Darius Baughman 4.

GARRARD (2-1) - Dan Leavell 2, Spencer Toler 3, Sean Paul Leavell 17, Spencer Crutchfield 12, Jake Cool 6, Coy Lucas 12, Tyler Oliver 2, Micahel Dick 4.

Central Kentucky News Articles