But they did. The Rebels overcame a serious rash of injuries, got healthy at the right time and put together a big second half to put away a talented Danville team.
Casey hit 11 of 14 shots in the second half, and also hit12 of 19 free throws. Casey finished the game 19 of 33 from the field for 57.6 percent.
"That's been a pattern of ours here recently," Salyers said. "We've shot 50 percent or better in four of our last five games, and I think that goes back to our senior leadership and experience."
It was the run that started in the final two minutes of the third quarter and lasted through the first three minutes of the fourth that made the difference.
A basket by Monica Vonderbrink and back-to-back shots from eighth-grader Tasha Milby pushed Danville to a 33-30 lead with 2 minutes, 11 seconds to play in the third quarter. But Danville got just two field goals over the next six minutes.
Casey got eight points from Patterson in that 17-4 run that pushed the Rebels to a 10-point lead.
"We played a good game going into the third quarter, but I thought at the start of the fourth quarter we rushed a few shots," Danville coach Justin Schommer said. "Then we went down by 10 and once you're down by 10 to a good team, it's tough to come back."
Danville got within six with 1:30 to play
Danville tried, though, after falling behind by 11. A 3-pointer by Vonderbrink got Danville within six at 50-44 with 1:30 to play, but Casey hit five of six free throws and got a basket from sophomore Bethany Snow at the buzzer to set the final score.
"We just had a good pep talk," Patterson said. "If we were down, we probably wouldn't have come back so strong, but we still had a lead and we just had to finish it off."
Casey faced foul trouble for the second game in a row, but instead of it being the inside tandem of Murphy and Patterson, it was the guards - Kelli Warner, Lindsay Wilson and Lindsey Hoskins who each had two fouls in the first quarter.
Murphy, who fouled out of the semifinal game against Lincoln County, and Patterson were in the clear at halftime, and Salyers said that allowed his guards to lay off the defense a little bit and let the inside playersdo more.
"At halftime, Beth had one foul and Meagan had none," Salyers said. "We knew we would have fouls to give on the inside, and we didn't want to give up anything easy."
Tabitha Yaden led Casey with eight rebounds, while Murphy had seven and Patterson six.
Danville hit 16 of 45 shots for 36 percent and was only outrebounded 30-24. Guards Vonderbrink and Krystal Jackson and forward Shatoniah Miller each had five boards for Danville.
Vonderbrink led Danville with 13 points, but Jackson was held to just se-ven points. She hit just two field goals.
Schommer was pleased with his team's play. It was the first time anyone on the Danville roster had played for a district title (Danville's only other district title game berth was in 1976), and he said that probably played a role in the team's mistakes.
"Being in a district championship game for the first time, you might just be rushing yourself and you just need to slow yourself down and execute better," Schommer said. "Overall I was happy with our effort. We played hard and the girls battled. When you're looking at a 10-point difference, it's basically two stops for us and two makes on the offensive end and we're right there."
CASEY (12-16) - Meagan Murphy 14, Beth Patterson 14, Kelli Warner 6, Tabitha Yaden 7, Lindsay Wilson 5, Lindsey Hoskins 6, Tiffany Roy 3, Bethany Snow 2.
DANVILLE (20-7) - Amber Wood 1, Renee Chiu 5, Monica Vonderbrink 13, Shatoniah Miller 8, Krystal Jackson 7, Tasha Milby 10, Diamond Smith 2.
Cassie Anderson, Boyle County; Mickie Brunton, Kentucky School for the Deaf; Lindsey Hoskins, Casey County; Krystal Jackson, Danville; Jenny Jones, Lincoln County; Meagan Murphy, Casey County; Beth Patterson, Casey County; Monica Vonderbrink, Danville.