Prep Basketball: Burnside scores 29 points to help Danville boys edge Garrard 57-54
Danville defenders Alex Burnside, left, and Jawan Grey double-team Garrard County's Jacob Smith during the first quarter of Danville's 57-54 victory Tuesday. (Clay Jackson / January 30, 2013)
The Danville forward scored 10 of his game-high 29 points in the second half Tuesday, including a huge putback and a 3-point goal late in the game as the Admirals hung on to edge host Garrard County 57-54 and snap a two-game losing streak.
“I just kind of took it upon myself. I had to step up as a senior leader,” said Burnside, who also had five rebounds. “This is a good win for us. We worked hard for it, fought through all the way. This is a big week for us. We can get a lot of good wins this week.”
Danville coach Andrew Zaheri said it was good to see Burnside step up and lift his team to a big district win prior to games Friday against Boyle County and Saturday at Pulaski County.
“I have no doubt evey single game he tried his hardest to do exactly what I ask of him. Tonight it paid off because of how hard he worked,” Zaheri said. “He’s one kid that in the summertime or offseason when the gym is open, he’ll always come in and work. And I’m just happy for him, especially in a district game his senior year to step up and knock those shots down for us.”
And the Admirals needed every one of them.
Danville (7-13, 2-2 45th District) led 44-37 entering the fourth quarter and was still up 49-43 on Burnside’s drive with 3 minutes, 55 seconds to go. But back-to-back 3-pointers from Austin Sebastian and Clayton Ray tied the game with 2:54 to go.
It was reminiscent of the team’s meeting Jan. 11, when Danville survived in a 46-45 double-overtime win over the Golden Lions. And Zaheri reminded his team of that before the game.
“I was letting the boys know it could have very easily been a win for Garrard,” Zaheri said. “I knew it would be a contest for 32 minutes.”
But Burnside proceeded to hit two free throws, then grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to make it 53-51. Four of his five boards were on the offensive glass.
Billy Abney, who had 17 points off the bench to lead Garrard (3-18, 0-5), scored on a drive to tie the game again on the next possession. But Burnside answered, stepping out and hitting a 3-pointer from the right wing to put Danville in front for good 56-54 with 41 seconds to go.
After a Jawan Grey free throw, Garrard had two chances at a game-tying 3-pointer. Ray missed from the right corner, but Garrard kept the ball on a held ball with 4.4 seconds left.
That wasn’t enough time for the Lions to set up a play, and Slade Crutchfield’s desperation 3 from the left wing at the buzzer missed as they dropped their ninth straight game.
“It’s kind of getting under our skin, but it’s one of those things we just can’t get over the hump,” Garrard coach Dennis Pardue said. “And the things we can control we’re not doing a very good job of. And I think combined with a little bad luck in certains situations, it’s hard to stop something once it gets going, and it seems we’ve lost so may of those this year.
“You’ve got to win a couple of those to stop it, and unfortunately, we’re not doing that right now.”
It was an 18-all game at the half, and Sebastian’s drive put Garrard up 34-31 with 3:35 left in the third quarter. He finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
But the Admirals closed out the quarter on a 13-3 run to lead by seven going to the fourth quarter.
Cody Woolridge started the run with a putback, Damir Karapandzic scored inside and Burnside converted a three-point play after a Garrard miss to make it 38-34 with 1:47 left in the quarter.
After another Garrard miss, Pardue was whistled for a technical foul. Burnside hit both free throws and Woolridge scored on the ensuing possession, then added a layup with 2 seconds left to make it 44-37 after three quarters.
Zaheri said the biggest difference in the third quarter, when Danville was 8 for 15, was hit team simply hit shots
“Even in the first half I know it was tied ballgame, but as far as executing and running our offense, we did a really good job,” he said. “Our movement against the zone was the best I’d seen. We got the ball inside, we just missed some layups, and we missed six free throws (4-for-10) in the first half. So the only thing different in the second half during that stretch when we got that lead was we knocked down shots and the boys got more confidence in themselves.”
Karapandzic finished with nine points and five rebounds, and Devonta Alcorn pulled down seven boards for the Admirals.
Both teams put up similar numbers. Each grabbed 28 rebounds, and Danville finished 19 for 49 from the field and 4 for 14 from 3-point range. Garrard was 19 for 45 overall and 4 for 16 from 3-point range. But Danville took seven more free throws, going 15 for 23, while the Lions finished 12 for 16.
Danville 9 18 44 57
Garrard County 10 18 37 54
DANVILLE (7-13) — Christian Gateskill-Fuqua 7, Jawan Grey 1, Alex Burnside 29, Devonta Alcorn 5, Damir Karapandzic 9, Cody Woolridge 6.
GARRARD (3-18) — Slade Crutchfield 5, Austin Sebastian 14, Jacob Smith 2, Clayton Ray 9, Billy Abney 17, Nick McCollum 1, Logan Teague 2, Jaylen McPherson 4.