Prep Basketball: Danville downs DeSales 46-41 in All "A" Classic opener
Danville¿s Tryston Ford drives the ball up court against DeSales during the first half of the Admirals¿ 46-41 win in the All ¿A¿¿Classic at the Frankfort Civic Center. Ford scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half as the Admirals advanced to play Louisville Collegiate tonight. (Tim Webb)
They are well aware that their first-round game at the boys All “A”¿Classic was no thing of beauty, but they were more interested in earning a ticket to the quarterfinals than in earning style points.
Besides, the game looked much better to the Admirals after they rallied to defeat DeSales 46-41 Thursday night at Frankfort Convention Center.
“All you remember is the score at the end of the game, so that’s all that matters. We’ll take ugly wins over pretty losses every day,”¿Danville’s Christian Gateskill-Fuqua said.
Danville, making its fourth consecutive All “A”¿appearance, wiped out a seven-point deficit late in the third quarter, then outscored the Colts 7-2 over the final 3 minutes to advance to a quarterfinal game tonight against Collegiate.
Tryston Ford scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, sparking the Admirals in a game in which points were at a premium — it was their lowest point total in a win this season — and shooting percentages were low for both teams until Danville hit better than half of its shots in the second half.
“It wasn’t probably the funnest game to watch, and probably a lot of people might not want to spend top dollar for that game, but that being said, I felt like it was a game where both teams played very hard,”¿Danville coach Andrew Zaheri said. “The scoring was low, the shooting was low, but a lot of that was because of the defensive pressure both teams put on.”
Danville (8-10) used a zone defense to force DeSales (9-11) outside and away from its leading scorer, 6-foot-6 Evan Bingham.
“Our big concern was Bingham on the inside. I didn’t think we were going to match up with him very well,”¿Zaheri said. “And one thing about a zone, especially when you haven’t got to watch a team as many times as you’d like, you can kind of get an understanding of what they want to do real quickly.”
The Colts were inclined to settle for 3-point shots. Half of their attempts came from outside the arc, where they were just 5 for 25, while Bingham scored 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting.
“The whole second half, I don’t think they got any good shots in the paint, really — not any good shots. They had to settle for jump shots, and that’s what we wanted,” Ford said.
DeSales shot just 28 percent from the field and had only three field goals in the final 11:17, the last coming with 3:11 to play.
Danville was a chilly 6 for 22 in the first half, but the Admirals went 9 for 16 in the second half to finish at 40 percent.
“In the first half we didn’t play well offensively, so we just tried to run with our defense. We knew that the shots would eventually start falling,” Ford said.
Ford went 5 for 15 after missing his first five attempts and going 1 for 9 in the first half.
“Tryston’s a competitor, he’s just so hard on himself. I thought in the first quarter he was trying to push it a little too much, but ... he was the only one from last year’s team that got a lot of playing time, so I’m sure part of him felt like that was his role,” Zaheri said. “And Tryston taking a tough shot is better than a lot of people taking a good shot.
“But he’s not going to quit, and him attacking the rim is one of the reasons why we got into the bonus in the second half, so that was a big plus for us.”
Danville went 8 for 12 at the free throw line in the second half, and Ford and Rob Caudill combined to hit six of eight foul shots in the last 3 1/2 minutes.
“We didn’t want to settle for jump shots playing in an arena we’ve never played in, so we wanted to go with our bread and butter and just attack the basket, get some good calls and hopefully knock down some free throws down the stretch, which we did,” Ford said.