Prep Basketball: Danville boys falls to West Jessamine in season opener
Danville¿s Devonta Alcorn (10) puts up a shot between two West Jessamine defenders in the second half Tuesday. Alcorn pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds to go with seven points in the Admirals¿ 59-51 loss in their season opener. (Hal Morris / December 5, 2012)
“I don’t want to take away credit from their kids. I thought their defense was very good,”¿Danville coach Andrew Zaheri said. “However, I think we missed double digit shots in the paint. Some of that might have been fatigue. Some of that might have also been first game jitters.
“Damir (Karapandzic) and Alex (Burnside) and Jawan (Grey) had to sit a lot in the first half because of foul trouble, and I think those three had a hard time getting into the flow of the game.”
Danville shot 54 percent in the first half (14-for-26), but was just 5-for-29 from the floor over the final two quarters and finished 19 of 55 (34.5 percent), hitting four of 16 3-pointers and just 11 of 21 free throws. But the Admirals still held a 47-44 lead going to the fourth quarter, a margin the Colts (3-1) quickly erased.
Rashawn Jackson, who scored 16 points to lead West, scored twice as the Colts took the lead for good 48-47 with 5 minutes, 7 seconds to play. While he was glad to see his team come back to win, West Jessamine coach Damon Kelley said his squad can’t just start playing well when it falls behind.
“The guys are battling and getting defensive stops when we have to and they’re making the plays on offense to win games. But we can’t keep putting ourselves in those situations,” he said. “We’ve got to figure out how to get off to better starts and compete for four quarters because you’re not going to keep coming back. It’s nice to know we can, but we can’t keep doing it to ourselves.”
A layup from Daulton Peters, who had 15 points and 12 rebounds, put West up 50-47 with 3:40 to go. Karapandzic hit two free throws to make it 50-49, then Christian Gateskill-Fuqua nailed a jumper to make it 52-51 West with 2:15 to go. Gateskill-Fuqua led Danville with 16 points.
But the Ads continued to miss shots and West would claim the rebounds and get fouled. The Colts were 7-for-10 at the line over the final three minutes, and went 21 of 28 for the game.
It was a far different story in the first half, as Danville jumped on West early, leading 11-4 thanks to five straight points off turnovers to start the game.
Two free throws from Gateskill-Fuqua made it 15-6, but West’s Will Henderson nailed a 3-pointer which made it 15-9 after a quarter. A steal and layup from Burnside gave Danville its largest lead at 24-13 with 5:27 left in the first half. West cut the lead to 24-21 before Gateskill-Fuqua’a 3-pointer made to 27-21.
The Colts rallied again, and a runner in the lane from Chase Fain tied the game at 30-all with 2:14 left in the half, but Danville took control from there. A layup from Cody Woolridge, who had eight points and five rebounds, keyed a 6-0 run capped by Devonta Alcorn’s free throw with 23.6 seconds left to put the Ads up 36-30 at the half.
Alcorn finished with seven points, but pulled down 15 rebounds, including six offensive boards.
“When Devonta is engaged, I think he’s a just a high motor for everybody. The kind of defense we were playing you can be more aggressive when you’ve got somebody like Devonta inside to change shots and clean up the glass,”¿Zaheri said.
Despite going just 4-for-16 from the floor in the third quarter, Danville still held a 45-36 lead on Alcorn’s layup after an offensive rebound with 1:45 left in the quarter Up 47-41 on Wooldridge’s putback, West came down and Henderson nailed a 3-pointer in the final seconds to make it a 47-44 game after three quarters.
The Colts also struggled from the floor, going 17 of 52 and 4-for-15 from 3-point range. They outrebounded Danville 37-29. Danville finished with just nine turnovers, so Zaheri saw lots of good things in the Ads’ opener.
“I love the effort and at times we executed pretty well. And the things I was pleased with, the mistakes we made were situational mistakes,” he said. “You can never cover everything in practice. It wasn’t mistakes because of effort or as far as hustle. So for them to perform the way they did the first game, I think we can be a force and maybe be pretty competitive in this region.”
West Jessamine 6 30 44 59
Danville 15 36 47 51
WEST¿JESSAMINE¿(3-1) — Rashawn Jackson 16, Chase Fain 6, Tanner Richards 8, Will Henderson 8, Robby Irgang 6, Daulton Peters 15.
DANVILLE (0-1) — Christian Gateskill-Fuqua 16, Jawan Grey 1, Alex Burnside 4, Damir Karapandzic 6, Devonta Alcorn 7, Trenton Johnson 4, Cody Woolridge 8, Mason Stamm 1.