Danville dominated the first half, but the second half belonged to Boyle County.
It took some time Wednesday to Boyle boys to turn the tide, but they attacked the basket and fought their way through the faults in the last two periods to defeat Danville 76-69 at half final tournament of the 45th district in Danville.
The Rebels used a 22-2 run to go ahead in a second half in which they shot a sizzle 68% from the field.
“I thought we were going to settle and make a little run. It was just a question of whether we could get stops, “the coach said Boyle, Dennie Webb.
Boyle (22-6) beat rival Crosstown for the third time in as many games this season to advance to the district final and earn a spot in next week’s 12th regional tournament. The Rebels, who have won six straight games, will face Lincoln County for the district title at 7 p.m. Friday.
Webb said the Rebels outlasted Danville (16-15) perhaps because of and perhaps despite a defensive strategy designed to wear down the Admirals.
The Rebels’ defensive pressure didn’t work so well in the first half, when Danville shot 52% from the field, but it may have taken its toll in the second.
“I’ve put us in a difficult situation,” said Webb. “We went in thinking we were going to press a little and perhaps a little exhausting, and it could turn against us in the get easy leaving early. … We somehow fell (in the second half) and made them work a little. The second half made me feel much better about the call that we made out there.
Boyle guard Hagan Webb said he thought the pressure started to take its toll as the Rebels began their decisive run midway through the third quarter.
“With our press defense they wore themselves out, and finally in that fourth quarter we were like, ‘Okay, we wore them out. Let’s just lock ourselves into our man-to-man half court and see where it takes us,” Hagan Webb said.
Danville led 39-35 when Hagan Webb scored on a layup with 4:24 left in the third quarter to start Boyle’s 22-2 run. Webb scored nine points in that run to help the Rebels take a 59-41 lead with 4:48 to go.
“We just stopped making saves,” Danville coach Ed McKinney said. “(The game) was pretty loose offensively… and you have to keep scoring. They’re one of the top two or three teams in the region, so you’re not going to win defensively. You have to score the ball, and they get you out of tricks.
Danville went 12 for 36 from the field in the second half after going 13 for 25 in the first. Meanwhile, Boyle was 15 of 22 in the second half and 12 of 28 in the first.
The Rebels scored 24 points in the paint and made it to the free throw line 11 times in the third and fourth quarters.
They led to 18 points but only managed seven of 14 free throws in the 3:09 final and put the Admirals within seven points in the final minute.
Luke Imfeld led Boyle with 25 points but was on the bench for long stretches of the second half and fouled out with 3:04 left. Another starter, Jakei Tarter, fouled at 4:35, leaving seniors William Carr, Hagan Webb and Cruise Wilson to lead the way.
These three players combined for 34 points in the second half. Hagan Webb finished with 18 points, Carr with 15 and Wilson with nine.
“We basically played the second half without two starters, but it’s an honor for all the other guys,” Dennie Webb said. “That’s what older people should do. They shouldn’t want to lose that one and stay hungry, and they made plays.
Boyle also got critical contributions from reserves Kason Myers and Jack Little.
“Kason and Jack really stepped up tonight,” Hagan Webb said. “It was huge for both of them, and I’m really proud of them.”
Dante Hayden led Danville with 25 points and Demauriah Brown added 19.
Hayden hit two 3-pointers and Jarius Bryant had two layups in a 12-0 run that gave the Admirals a 22-14 lead early in the second quarter.
Boyle tied the game at 26 all after an unanswered seven-point streak by Imfeld, who was 7 for 13 from the field and had 18 points in the first half. However, Danville took a 33-27 lead in the final minute of the first half.
“I’m proud of our guys,” McKinney said. “We were absolutely embarrassed here (in the first Boyle-Danville game) and then we were a little closer (in Boyle) and I thought we had a good fight in us. And I thought we had a good fight tonight; they were just a bit too good for us.
Danville is firing a number of young players who lacked experience at the start of the season, and McKinney said they would benefit from a better understanding of what it takes to win at this level.
“They see how competitive college basketball is,” he said. “It’s just hard to come out of any game (in this district) with a win. I think the thing you learn is, ‘Oh my God, I gotta get into the weight room, I gotta to be a better shooter, I have to be faster.” It’s a lot harder than I thought.
As the Admirals look to the future, the Rebels will return on Friday to try to win their first district title since 2018. They have shared their two games with Lincoln this season, winning 43-40 at home and losing 49-41 on the road, and the teams have shared eight games since Dennie Webb became Boyle’s coach in 2019.
45th District Tournament
Danville 14 33 41 69
Boyle County 14 30 47 76
DANVILLE (16-15) – Dante Hayden 25, Ontario Hill 5, 19 Demauriah Brown, Jalen Dunn 6 Jarius Bryant 9, Journey White 3, Jayden Beeman 2.
BOYLE (22-6) — Jakei Tarter 4, Luke Imfeld 25, Hagan Webb 18, William Carr 15, Cruise Wilson 9, Kason Myers 3, Jack Little 2.