Danville boys rout Casey for 2nd district win in two days

January 18, 2004|JILL ERWIN

LIBERTY - Danville sure didn't look like a team that had played just 20 hours prior to its game against Casey County Saturday night.

The Admirals used an overpowering defense, key outside shots and a strong transition game to shut down Casey 71-38 just one day after beating rival Boyle County.

"We challenged them to have the same intensity that they played with last night," Danville coach Craig Pippen said. "The challenge paid off. I've got to give it to them. I think the team is finally starting to realize that it will take hard work to win. We have to outwork our opponents, and if we do, we'll have success."

It didn't hurt Danville's odds that Casey had one of its worst shooting nights of the year. The Rebels hit just 14 of 70 shots, a 20 percent mark.


Casey coach Shawn Conley said his team's inability to hit a shot had a poor effect on other aspects of the Rebels' game.

"When you're not making shots, your defense, your ballhandling, your enthusiasm all suffer," Conley said. "It's hard to get the kids to do the things they have to do if shots aren't falling.

"We missed some baskets early that were good looks. It was just one of those nights when we couldn't drop it in the ocean."

Danville (4-9, 2-1 45th District) didn't have that problem, hitting 17 of 36 shots in the first half. The two teams took almost the same number of shots (70-66) but Danville connected on twice as many as Casey (6-7, 1-2).

Ads jump to quick lead

The game was over almost as soon as it began, as Danville used a 13-0 run in the first quarter to take a 15-3 lead, and Casey never challenged again.

Casey drew within 23-11 with five minutes to play in the first half, but eight consecutive points from Ronnie Hawkins, including two 3-pointers, gave Danville a 20-point lead.

Hawkins finished with a game-high 21 points, including five 3s, and Pippen said that's the kind of game he's been looking for from the junior guard.

"I've challenged Ronnie personally to step up and be more of a scorer," Pippen said. "I've got all kinds of confidence in his offensive skills."

Casey never got closer than 19 after Hawkins' run.

The Admirals were able to use their athleticism and speed against Casey, as Danville broke free for several fast breaks and points in transition.

Pippen said he's been pleased with how his team has picked up its pressure defense, and he said Danville's goal is to play uptempo game that uses all 84 feet of the floor.

When Casey fell behind, Conley said it had to try to speed up the game and that played into Danville's hands.

"We can push the ball a little bit," Conley said. "But we were still missing shots, and then the kids started to try too hard and it got real ugly."

What made the game even uglier for Casey was the loss of senior forward Derek Vest. Vest injured his right knee in the first quarter, and returned only briefly before retiring to the bench to have it iced down. Conley said he doesn't know the status of Vest's injury.

Danville put four players in double figures. In addition to Hawkins' 21, Ben Carter came close to a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. Chase Overstreet added 12 points off the bench, and Phillip Dunn had 11.

Charlie Fox led Casey with seven points.

"This is what we needed," Pippen said. "Our team believes in themselves. And regardless of what we hear, we're going to continue to believe in ourselves. We're just going to stick to what we know and continue to turn heads."

DANVILLE (4-9) - Chad Bartleson 7, Ben Carter 11, Phillip Dunn 11, Damien Young 2, Ronnie Hawkins 21, Eric Caldwell 2, Steven Gray 2, Darius Baughman 3, Chase Overstreet 12.

CASEY (6-7) - Charlie Fox 7, Dustin Johnson 2, Corey Dial 3, Derek Vest 3, Keith Price 6, Jason Sanders 4, Ben Barlow 2, Andy Canon 6, Will Johnson 2, Russell Abner 3.

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