"The kids were unbelievable," Moser said later, admitting to being overcome by emotion at his team's remarkable feat.
Danville's week-long run stripped the cliché from "refuse to lose." The Ironmen trailed tournament favorite Mount Carmel 7-2 early in their HAC semifinal and fell behind Benton 10-0 after two minutes of the final. Both were overtime wins.
So you'd have to be a few beads short of an abacus to pick against Danville in the District 4 Class AAA tournament. Doesn't matter if the second-seeded Ironmen lost at No. 1 Athens by 16 a few weeks ago. Different time, different team. Danville is 8-1 since, it's only loss by a point to Milton.
In District 4 Class AA, we expect a Mount Carmel three-peat, with the Red Tornadoes winning a rubber match against Southern Columbia. In the last few weeks of the season, the Tornadoes tore through a second cycle of HAC-II games, including impressive wins over Southern, Montoursville and Lewisburg. They rebounded from the HAC tournament loss to Danville by beating 16-win Minersville.
The trio of senior post Christina Perles (16.9 ppg.) and juniors Ali Varano (13.9) and Ana Raybuck (9.4) pose match-up nightmares. The Tornadoes have been more prone to turnovers than in last season's run to the state quarterfinals, but if they don't beat themselves they won't lose in this tournament.
In District 4 Class A, four-time defending champion Lourdes Regional is the No. 3 seed but the choice here.
The Red Raiders' prospects were cast into doubt when Perles transferred to Mount Carmel. However, junior Rachel Schultz blossomed into a 15-point scorer with a 30-point game under her belt, while veterans Sarah Getchey (11.1 ppg.) and Nikki Komara (9.2) are still strong scoring options.
No team in the Class A field plays the caliber of competition Lourdes does in the Schuylkill League. The proof was in the Red Raiders' dismantling of unbeaten Line Mountain in last year's district final.
While we can't guarantee any of these predictions, we will guarantee tears.
n Scott Dudinskie covers girls basketball for The Daily Item. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.