By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- Shikellamy's Taylor Mantz jumped up and grabbed yet another rebound to start the fourth quarter after Danville's Bret Berg missed a jumper.
Just as Mantz was about to turn upcourt, a Danville player got his hand in and knocked the ball loose. The Ironmen's Scott Heeter grabbed the loose ball and quickly put up a shot.
It all happened in a 20-second span and kept the momentum with Danville inside the McCloskey Center on Tuesday night.
From there, Shikellamy could do little offensively, scoring just three points the entire fourth quarter as Danville rolled to a 51-27 win in a big Heartland Athletic Conference-Division I game.
"That scrappy play right off the bat, I think, helped us get some confidence and showed the other players on the court maybe this is what it's going to take to get a little bit of a cushion and get a win," Danville coach Lenny Smith said.
The Braves (6-6, 4-2 HAC I) kept it close the entire first half against Danville (9-2, 6-0). The biggest lead the Ironmen had until the half was just six points.
Shikellamy battled back early in the third quarter thanks to a scoring run by Mantz. He hit a shot with 4:55 to play that briefly tied the game at 21-all, but Berg scored on a layup not much later and the Danville lead continually increased from there.
Shikellamy was outscored 32-12 in the second half alone, including its one 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. The Braves were shut out the final 6:41 of the game. Danville closed it out with 13-0 run.
"Second half, we played more at our pace. We got the game going a little bit up and down the court, a little bit more the tempo we like to play at, and that sort of got us the cushion we needed to seal the win," Smith said.