The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 22, 2013

Scott Dudinskie's girls basketball column: Danville refuses to lose

Steve Moser was moved to tears last week.

The good kind.

By a group of young ladies after his own heart.

You see, beneath Moser's smile-for-everyone, friend-of-yours-is-one-of-mine exterior (which is as genuine as the Hope diamond, we might add) lies a fierce competitor.

As Danville's coach of seven seasons and, more to the point, a father of two, Moser knows a young person's limitations.

His Ironmen wound up playing six games in as many days last week -- every day between Sundays -- due to their regular-season schedule, a couple make-up games and the new Pa. Heartland Athletic Conference tournament.

After four days, Danville won its way to consecutive winner-take-all games. The first was its regular-season finale against Shamokin with the HAC-I championship at stake. Next was the inaugural HAC Tournament championship the following day against Benton.

Moser wanted that HAC-I title, as did his girls.

Shamokin was two-time defending division champion, having beaten Danville for the title the previous season. And the Ironmen, after losing three starters from a 17-win team, weren't expected to be in the mix for the HAC-I crown; they were picked to finish fourth in the division by The Daily Item (Here's hoping that writer landed on his feet).

So, even though it might come at the expense of the HAC tournament championship, the Ironmen went all-in for the HAC-I title.

They won by 18, blanking the Indians in the fourth quarter.

The following day, running on little more than fumes, pride and want-to, the Ironmen were down eight to Benton with about three minutes to play. Yet they rallied into position for sophomore Paige Harris' putback jumper at the buzzer to force overtime, then made history by winning the first HAC tournament championship.

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