By Shawn Wood
The Daily Item
— DANVILLE -- In a battle of inside players, Selinsgrove's Laura Long and Danville's Amber Renz just about matched each other point-for-point on Tuesday night.
Renz scored a game-high 22 while Long had 21, but Selinsgrove (8-9, 6-5 HAC-I) went scoreless for more than six minutes in the third quarter as Danville (14-4, 8-3 HAC-I) turned a seven-point halftime lead into a 21-point win, 60-39, in a Heartland Athletic Conference Division I game in Danville.
The loss snapped Selinsgrove's three-game winning streak.
"They have a nice team, we knew we were going to have our hands full with their guard and the big girl inside," Seals coach Tim Lauver said. "We have to come out and capitalize the first two or three minutes in the quarter."
Long scored the Seals' first eight points and eight of the 11 they scored in the first quarter.
"Laura's been playing real well," Lauver added. "We challenged her today because we know the Renz girl is a really good ballplayer and she stepped up. We gave her more responsibility and we tried to get the ball inside to her more. She's learning to dish the ball out now and open people on the wings."
Renz matched Long with eight first-quarter points of her own including a 3-point field goal.
Long's final points of the first quarter came with 3:39 left on a layup to give the Seals an 8-7 lead.
It was their last lead of the game.
Danville went on an 11-0 run on the strength of three straight 3-point baskets by Kylie Romeo, Donie Ann Keeley and Renz.
Renz capped off the run with a layup as she made a nice spin move on Long in the paint for the basket.
"Laura started off hot because we weren't working our positions and when coach switched us around and I played her, I think I played her good enough to not let her score as much as she did in the first quarter," Renz said.
Long was held to a field goal and two free throws in the second quarter while Renz scored six points.
Leading 30-23 at the start of the third quarter, the Ironmen went on a 10-0 run as Selinsgrove did not record its first points of the quarter until Nikki Krebs made a pair of free throws with 2:49 left. Long had the only bucket of the quarter which came with eight seconds remaining.
Danville outscore Selinsgrove 14-5 in the quarter.
"That was a good battle and Laura Long is a good player," said Danville coach Steve Moser. "The last time we played Selinsgrove (Jan. 12, a 57-40 Danville win), Long was banged up a little but. We really didn't get to see the real Laura Long that night.
"I thought early, she got real good position down too deep and so the adjustment we made was to put Amber on her man-to-man and the other four girls were going to play zone."
After the adjustment, Long was held to nine points in the second half.
In Danville's last outing, Moser felt the girls did not play a complete game in the one-point loss to Milton on Feb. 1.
Tuesday was a different story.
"Your goal is to win each quarter," Moser added. "We won three and tied one, but I thought our effort was much, much better. We knew that Selinsgrove is a physical club and they've been playing better lately. We knew coming in this was going to be a war. When they came out on all cylinders and I'm thinking, 'uh-oh, this is going to be a 32-minute job.' But we shot very well and we had very few turnovers."
Erica Heath and Keeley each scored 11 points for Danville, which hit the 60-point mark for the sixth time this season. They are 6-0 when doing so.