This time around it was the Danville girls who controlled the throttle, and they used it to throttle Garrard County.
The Admirals dictated the pace of play against a team that had done the same thing to them less than three weeks earlier, and the result was a much different game than the first one between these two teams.
Danville used an aggressive defense to confound Garrard’s offense, holding the Golden Lions to just five field goals in a 50-24 romp Tuesday night.
And everything else seemed to go Danville’s way as well, as the host Admirals hit more than half of their shots and held an edge on the boards.
“The last game was a slowdown game, and this one was a quick game. We’re two totally different teams,” Danville coach Judie Mason said. “Last time we played their game, this time we played our game. Next time, who knows?”
Next time, it might be for all the marbles. Danville (14-6, 2-2 45th District) and Garrard (15-8, 3-2) are on track to meet in a district tournament semifinal later this month that would be a rubber match between teams that complete opposites of each other in almost every way.
“Garrard County and Danville are two nice teams, but they’re two totally different teams. They couldn’t be any more different,” Garrard coach Scott Bolin said. “We got it handed to us tonight. I got outcoached, (and) they beat us in every aspect of the game.”
Danville, which lost 48-41 at Garrard on Jan. 13, won behind a balanced offense in which five players scored between eight and 12 points each, led by Kasey Young with 12 and Essence Grey, who was battling a case of strep throat, with 10.
But Danville’s dominance was most evident on defense, where its pressure held Garrard to 18 percent shooting. The Lions were just 2 for 12 in the first half and 5 for 28 overall, and they went 16 minutes, 21 seconds without a basket.
“I thought we got after them defensively. I thought we used our quickness, and I thought we were smart,” Mason said. “Last time our press didn’t bother them at all and they walked the ball up the floor, and we knew that we couldn’t have them walk the ball up the floor, because, let’s face it, they’re one of the best teams on the inside in the region.”
The Danville coach said forward Jordan Leavell negated Garrard’s inside advantage with strong play on defense.
“I don’t have a true post player, but I thought ‘JoJo’ really played hard tonight. She put a body on the line, she dove on the floor, and in the last game she didn’t score,” Mason said. “I really think ‘JoJo’ was the difference in the ballgame tonight.”
It was the lowest point total allowed by Danville since a 74-20 win over Fort Knox on Dec. 20, 2007, a span of 121 games, and the lowest score for a Garrard team since a 39-19 loss to Lincoln County on Jan. 11, 2008, a span of 115 games.
Devin Conley, who led Garrard with six points, hit two of the Lions’ first three shots to give them a 5-0 lead 3:52 into the game, but they didn’t get another field goal until Victoria Floyd scored with 3:46 left in the third quarter, by which time Danville led 28-13.
The Lions also struggled at the free throw line, where they were 13 for 27.
Danville shot 51 percent from the field and was 12 for 17 in the second half.
This was the Admirals’ third game in 15 days since they lost in a 12th Region All “A” Classic semifinal Jan. 16, and Mason said she was pleased with what they have been doing with their extra practice time.
“The kids have really, really been practicing hard, and they got rewarded tonight,” she said.
Bolin said the Lions now have some work to do, and it may start with reviewing the tape of this game.
“I like to move on, but also I like to figure out what went wrong and fix it. So this game film will be watched many, many times — many times by me and many times by the team,” he said. “How she played me tonight was not a shock. I wasn’t pleased with how we handled it.”
Garrard County 7 12 19 24
Danville 8 21 37 50
GARRARD (15-8) — Devin Napier 5, Kelly Smith 4, Victoria Floyd 5, Devin Conley 6, Autumn Murray 4.
DANVILLE (14-6) — Jordan Leavell 8, Kasey Young 12, Jordyn Perry 2, Essence Grey 10, Laken Grey 9, C.J. McPherson 9.