"With Derek Vest out, I challenged both Charlie and Dustin to step up their leadership and they played well," Conley said. "We played extremely hard and shot the ball decent (42 percent), and did a lot of nice things defensively until we began to get tired. Danville makes you play fast and we committed 20 turnovers, 13 of which came in the second half."
Pippen was unavailable for comment after the game.
Conley was pleased that his team didn't fold after digging a hole to start the game.
"I liked what I saw out of our kids after getting behind," the Casey coach said. "We bounced back, even after the tough start."
Freshman Keith Price's free throw to begin the second frame gave the Rebels a 17-16 lead, and the lead changed hands six times and was tied twice the rest of the half.
Danville finally grabbed the lead for good at 30-28 on a Chad Bartleson 3-pointer and led 36-32 at the half following four more points from Dunn.
Casey, which committed only seven turnovers the entire first half, made nine miscues in the third quarter alone against the Ads' pressing defense. Danville went on an 11-0 scoring run midway through the second half to lead 52-36. Pippen went to his bench freely again in the second half and at one point had five freshmen (Rich Witten, Perrin, Chase Overstreet, Jeffrey Guest and Daylen Morris) on the floor together. Casey closed the quarter on an 11-4 run and trailed 56-47 after three periods.
Danville, who plays rival Boyle County tonight and at Lincoln County Friday, saw Casey make one last run and cut the lead to five at 62-57 with 3:40 to play. The Ads responded again as Bartleson scored on an old-fashioned 3-point play while Eric Caldwell and Damien Young scored two points each to push the lead back to 72-61 and the final margin would be as close as Casey would get.
Despite the loss, Conley said he was proud of his team's effort.
"I don't ever like to lose, but I can see improvement in our basketball team," Conley said. "We played hard and I was pleased with our effort."
Danville connected on 32 of 74 shots from the field for 43 percent while Casey hit 23 of 55 attempts for 42 percent. Casey cashed 14 of 22 free throws compared to seven of 12 for the Ads.
Danville won the rebounding battle 43-38 as Carter pulled off seven missed shots, Bartleson six and Caldwell and Perrin had five each. Fox led the Rebels, who will finish district play Saturday night at Boyle County, and took game honors with nine rebounds while Barlow and Sanders had seven each.
CASEY (6-13, 1-4) - Dustin Johnson 20, Corey Dial 7, Charlie Fox 20, Ben Barlow 7, Keith Price 1, Jason Sanders 9.
DANVILLE (7-11, 3-1) - Chad Bartleson 11, Ben Carter 4, Darius Baughman 10, Phillip Dunn 10, Damien Young 2, Ronnie Hawkins 8, Steven Grey 4, Eric Caldwell 10, Rich Witten 7, Spencer Perrin 4, Chase Overstreet 2, Jeffrey Guest 2, Daylen Morris 2.