Prep Basketball: Danville boys outlast Garrard in double overtime
Christian Gateskill-Fuqua of Danville shoots over Garrard County defender Clayton Ray (12) during the third quarter of Danville's 46-45 double-overtime victory Friday. (Mike Marsee / January 13, 2013)
In the wake of a close loss to archrival Boyle County earlier in the week, in the interest of staying out of the basement of their district and in preparation for this week’s 12th Region All “A” Classic, the Danville boys needed a win — any win.
So after the Admirals fought off Garrard County for a 46-45 double-overtime victory Friday night, their coach said this one would do nicely.
“I don’t care how we get the win as long as we got the win at this point,” Zaheri said.
Christian Gateskill-Fuqua buried a buzzer-beating jump shot at the end of the first overtime, then sank a 3-point shot at the start of the second overtime to give host Danville the lead for good.
Those were the only field goals for either team in the two extra periods, and they were just enough to make it a good night for the Admirals, who had lost six of their previous seven games and were looking for some momentum to power their bid for a fourth straight trip to the All “A” state tournament.
“We have the All ‘A’ coming up, and there’s a pretty good chance we’re going to be in some close games there, and it’s also good to get this monkey off our back and finally win a game,” Gateskill-Fuqua said. “We’re kind of on an emotional roller coaster. We’d get back in games and we’d give them away, but we were able to finish this one, no matter how ugly it was.”
There was much about this game that made it, well, less than attractive. The two teams combined for only 33 field goals in 40 minutes, and they totaled just nine points in the fifth and sixth periods.
Danville (5-11, 1-2 45th District) missed 14 of its 20 free throws, including five of six in the fourth quarter and the overtimes, and turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions after Gateskill-Fuqua’s 3 on the first possession of the second overtime.
But Garrard (3-13, 0-2) couldn’t capitalize. The Golden Lions went 0 for 7 from the field in extra time, and they missed two of their four free throws in the second overtime. (They were 11 for 20 overall at the foul line.)
The Lions missed two chances to win the game in the final 15 seconds. Slade Crutchfield missed a shot but tied up Danville’s Alex Burnside on the rebound, and the possession arrow gave the ball to Garrard with 4.2 seconds left. The inbounds pass went to Nick McCullom in the left corner, but he was double-teamed by Gateskill-Fuqua and Burnside, and his shot didn’t make it halfway to the basket.
“We just seem to be snake-bitten,” Garrard coach Dennis Pardue said. “I felt really good about our chances at the end of the first overtime. We go up two with 5 seconds left, they hit one at the buzzer to send it to a second overtime and get a little momentum going. ... It was a close ballgame — I’m not going to really say it was well-played, but it was a good game, close, competitive. Our kids need a win like that so bad to pick them up a little bit, but we’re not doing everything right late that we could to win, A few missed free throws, a few shots inside, a few offensive rebounds, it’s a different ballgame.”
Garrard didn’t get what Pardue said it needed, but Zaheri said Danville did.
“Every once in a while, even though it might not be the most enjoyable game for spectators to watch, as a coach you really appreciate those wins, because a lot of things happened that we very easily could have folded the tent: really poor free-throw shooting, decision-making at the end of the game. So even though it was kind of a knock-down, drag-out game, we really needed that win and I’m really happy with it,” he said. “I saw a lot of things tonight that really made me have some positive thoughts as far as how we battled. Things didn’t go our way and we stuck with it.”
Burnside scored 13 points and Damir Karapandzic had 10 rebounds for Danville, and Clayton Ray and Austin Sebastian had 13 points and eight rebounds each for Garrard in a game neither team led by more than six points. There were 11 ties, and the lead changed hands eight times.
The Admirals didn’t score again in regulation after Jawan Grey’s 3-pointer gave them a 41-37 lead with 3:09 remaining, and the Lions tied the game with 3 seconds left when Ray scored from 12 feet off a long offensive rebound.
The first overtime was scoreless until Crutchfield hit two free throws to give Garrard a 43-41 advantage with 5.2 seconds left. That was enough time for Gateskill-Fuqua to free himself up for the tying jump shot from about 17 feet.
“I just came off some screens, and I was surprised to see open floor in front of me, and I just tried to get as far in (toward) the lane as I could and pull up, and a little bit of luck helped out and I was able to knock it down,” Gateskill-Fuqua said.
He then knocked down a 3-pointer from the same side of the floor 13 seconds into the second overtime.
“We had a little momentum, and we were in that timeout ... and Coach said, ‘Are you hot?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I want the ball,’” he said. “So he drew up a play and I knocked it down, and then all five of us locked down on defense and we were able to get a win.”
Both Gateskill-Fuqua and Zaheri said Danville’s performance on defense was a positive.
“You can’t complain when at the start of overtime it’s 41-41,” Gateskill-Fuqua said. “I think the zone gave them trouble, and when we work hard in the zone, it’s a good defense for us. When you’re not doing a whole lot else right, you can always play defense.”
Pardue said he was pleased that Garrard did much to dictate a slower pace by frequently switching defenses, and he said he was satisfied with the Lions’ effort, even if they weren’t rewarded for it.
“I’m proud of the kids, the way we battled. I thought we played with a lot more confidence tonight than we had been,” he said. “I just told them, ‘We keep doing things right, we keep working hard and things are going to turn. It may not be this week, it may not be next week, but when you do things the right way, good things are going to happen.”
Garrard County 10 21 33 41 43 45
Danville 14 18 33 41 43 46
GARRARD (3-13) — Jesse Ray 4, Clayton Ray 13, Austin Sebastian 13, Slade Crutchfield 2, Nick McCullom 4, Billy Abney 9.
DANVILLE (5-11) — Alex Burnside 13, Devonta Alcorn 4, Jawan Grey 12, Christian Gateskill-Fuqua 9, Jakobi Turner 2, Cody Woolridge 1, Damir Karapandzic 5.