By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item
SUNBURY -- Hovering under .500 into the middle of January is not a place the Shikellamy boys basketball team wants to be at this point in the season.
So the Braves were looking for a signature win on Tuesday night in a Heartland Athletic Conference-Division I matchup with defending league champion Danville visiting Phil Lockcuff Gymnasium.
Through the first 12 minutes, it didn't look like that victory was going to come for the Braves as Danville built a double-digit lead.
However, in the second half, Shikellamy's turned up the defense and rallied for the HAC-I victory.
Garrett Kemberling scored the go-ahead bucket with 1:07 left, but Shikellamy, which made just one of four foul shots in the final 30 seconds, forced a missed a shot and two turnovers on last three defensive possessions to notch a 58-55 victory.
"We thought we had a lot of missed opportunities in the first half -- missed layups, missed free throws. We were doing the things we needed to do (in the first half). We weren't finishing the situation," Shikellamy coach Tim Foor said. "It's a good win for us. We fell behind by double digits, but we just chipped away and chipped away."
"They spread us out and tried to take us one-on-one and it got us into some foul trouble," Danville coach Lenny Smith said.
Shikellamy improves to 6-7 overall (4-2 HAC-I), and with four consecutive home games, the Braves have a real shot to get back into the thick of the District 4 Class AAA race.
"This is a good win for us," Foor said, "but we have to put this one behind us and get ready for Jersey Shore on Friday. We still have a lot of work to do."
The Braves struggled early with the Danville offense, especially guard Anthony Renz. He scored 16 first-half points as Danville built a 22-12 lead with 6:24 left in the first half.