Danville uses long range bombs to oust Lady Mustangs from 2A State Tournament
Danville built a 25 point first half lead but watched Buffalo Island Central fight back to pull within four in the final quarter before the Lady Little Johns regained control to post a 66-45 victory in the first round of the 2A State Tournament Wednesday night at Cedar Ridge High School in Newark.
Danville pulled out the long range artillery, drilling six three pointers in the first half in building a 31-6 lead with 4:55 to go before intermission.
Things got off to a bad start for the Lady Mustangs, as the Little Johns built an 18-4 lead after the first period. Callie Brooks opened the second quarter with a basket for BIC, but the Little Johns went on a 13-0 run, capped off by back to back treys from Emily Tramel and Mariah Dorrough.
BIC answered with a 13-0 run of its own, pulling to within 31-19 with 12 seconds left before halftime. The Lady Mustang surge was sparked by Brittany Stockton, who came off the bench to score six points during BIC's spurt. Danville ended the BIC run with a big three pointer from Tora Eggleton at the buzzer, giving the Lady Little Johns a 34-19 halftime lead.
BIC continued its comeback in the third period, cutting the deficit to single digits on a three pointer by Brooks and a driving bucket by Brittany Fowler to trim the Danville lead to 41-33 at the 3:29 mark. The Lady Mustangs sliced the margin to 41-37 after a pair of Fowler free throws and a lay-in by Emily Owens off a no-look pass from Fowler at the 14 second mark of the third quarter.
Danville came up with another huge trey, this time by Katelyn Derrick just before the horn ended the period, giving the Little Johns a 44-37 advantage entering the final frame.
BIC began the fourth quarter with a bucket by Owens and a Fowler free throw, slicing the Danville lead to 44-40 with 7:05 left in the game, but that was as close as BIC would get. Back to back three pointers by Dorrough and Derrick jumped the Little John lead to 50-40 and a three point play by Alexus Elmore gave Danville a 54-41 lead at the 4:58 mark. Danville went to the foul line down the stretch as BIC was forced to foul, and the Little Johns extended their winning margin to 19 points.
"I was very proud of my girls for their comeback, "said Mustang Coach Stan Fowler. "We got off to a terrible start and dropped behind by 25 points. But we rallied and pulled to within four before Danville hit a pair of three pointers. When they got the lead to 13 we were forced to foul and never could get back in the game. I was really proud of Brittany Stockton tonight. She gave us a big spark when we put our rally together. She got some big rebounds for us and gave us some scoring. It was one of her best games of the year. It's disappointing because you want to go far in the state tournament, but I am proud of the way our kids never gave up. I am really going to miss our seniors, Hayley Parker and Callie Brooks. They are both great kids and have worked very hard for us."
Fowler led BIC with 15 points while Stockton added 11. Parker scored seven while Brooks and Owens added six points apiece. BIC hit just nine of 20 free throws, well below their average, and committed 16 turnovers. The Lady Mustangs hit only one three pointer.
Derrick led Danville with 16 points, including five treys, while Elmore chipped in 14. The Lady Little Johns connected on 15-25 free throws and drained 10 three pointers on the night.