Admirals start season with win over Pioneers

December 15, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - The Danville Admirals were eager not just to get the season started, but to get started on the right foot.

Two weeks after the start of the high school basketball season, the Danville boys took the floor for the first time Tuesday night determined to get something they couldn't get in their last two openers: a win.

And the Admirals got what they came for, staring the season at 1-0 for the first time in three years by beating Harrodsburg 65-45.

"We didn't want to start the year off with a loss like we did the last two years," Danville coach Craig Pippen said.


It has become a habit for the Admirals to begin their season long after other area teams have taken the floor. Harrodsburg had four games in the books, and every other local team had played at least twice, while the Danville players had to wait their turn.

"That just pumped us up more," forward Steven Gray said.

Danville waits to play because several of its players are almost always involved in football until late November or early December, and there were eight football players among the 12 boys in uniform for Danville Tuesday night whose previous season ended 10 days ago.

But Pippen said it didn't take them long to get up to speed in the gym, and he said the entire team has worked well together in their recent practices.

"I'm proud of them because they listened in practice the past week," Pippen said. "The football players have only been out a week, and we threw a lot at them, but they picked up on it."

While Danville was taking its first steps forward, Harrodsburg coach Chad Luhman said the Pioneers (0-5) took a significant step in the other direction since a 56-55 loss to Anderson County on Friday.

"It's amazing," Luhman said. "It's a real change from Anderson County to tonight. We'd been taking a big step forward.

"We played a really good Anderson County team to one point, and we felt like we had turned the corner on our defensive intensity and communication and effort. I didn't recognize the team on the court. That's not what we worked on for so long."

Danville dominates the boards

Danville's greatest area of dominance was on the boards, where the Admirals outrebounded Harrodsburg 47-27.

"I watched Harrodsburg three times, and the teams they played did not block them out in the paint, and that's what allowed them to stay in the game," Pippen said.

Gray, who led the Admirals with 20 points and 11 rebounds, said that's something they should do well all season.

"We blocked out well and rebounded well," Gray said. "I think we do that real well, and we're looking to keep that up."

Luhman said Harrodsburg's beating on the boards was a reflection of what he said was a lack of effort by the Pioneers compared to previous games.

"The team that played harder and wanted it, they got it," he said. "Our effort was not there at all. And I can't single out any one person; I've got to point the finger at all of them.

"We gave them confidence they could rebound any time they wanted to on us."

Danville didn't score for nearly half of the first period, going 0-for-5 from the field before Eric Caldwell's layup with 4:21 left in the quarter erased a 1-0 Harrodsburg lead, the Pioneers' only lead of the game.

The Admirals went on to take a 9-1 lead, while Harrodsburg missed its first six shots before Chrys Jones gave the Pioneers their first field goal with a 3-pointer at :49.

Spurt in third quarter puts game out of reach

Danville stretched its lead to 24-11 with three straight layups in less than a minute late in the first half, then put the game out of reach in the third quarter by scoring 12 straight points - and holding Harrodsburg scoreless for a span of 4:13 - to take a 43-19 lead.

Gray had nine points in the third period, and he finished 7-for-11 from the field for the Admirals, who shot 43 percent (23-for-53). Ronnie Hawkins had 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting, and Ryan Harper went 3-for-6 and added 10 points.

Caldwell and Darius Baughman grabbed seven rebounds each, and Harper had six boards.

Danville's only weakness was its free-throw shooting. The Admirals were fouled 27 times, but they were just 17-for-37 at the line.

Reserve Seth Leeds led Harrodsburg with 12 points. Chrys Jones added 10 points for the Pioneers, who shot 34 percent (14-for-41) from the field after a 5-for-20 first half.

DANVILLE (1-0) - Steven Gray 20, Ryan Harper 10, Ronnie Hawkins 13, Daylen Morris 6, Eric Caldwell 4, Chase Overstreet 7, Darius Baughman 1, Kelvin Turner 4.

HARRODSBURG (0-5) - Chase Wofford 3, Kenton Masterson 2, Cory Jackson 3, Jarrod Holt 7, Adam Gray 3, Seth Leeds 12, Chrys Jones 10, DeMarkus Masterson 3, Tylo Williams 2.

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