SUNBURY -- Even for a program that has been as successful over the years as the Danville boys basketball team, it had a chance on Wednesday night to enter some rarified air in its regular-season and Heartland Conference-Division I finale with Shikellamy.
The Ironmen were looking to win their 20th consecutive game and become the first squad with an undefeated league season in 12 years.
Consider the mission accomplished.
Danville used a huge first-quarter run and held off two Shikellamy rallies to down the Braves 69-53 at the Shikellamy Field House, becoming the first Danville team to finish the league season undefeated since the 1999-2000 squad.
"This is pretty special. We certainly didn't expect this in the beginning of the season. With the way we schedule and to start 0-2, 20 wins didn't seem possible. You are not going to have too many 20-win seasons anymore," Danville coach Lenny Smith said.
Danville improves to 20-2 overall, 14-0 HAC-I and will be the top seed in the District 4 Class AAA playoffs. The Ironmen will face No. 4-seed Shamokin at a date and time to be determined in the semifinals. It was a great night overall for Danville basketball. Shikellamy drops to 15-5, 10-4. The Braves have a road game with State College on Friday night and will play Selinsgrove for the fourth time this season in the other District 4 Class AAA semifinal.
The game started close as the teams parried early in the first quarter and the Braves took an 8-7 lead on a Tyler Pratt drive midway through the first. However, as the Ironmen have done numerous times this season, they exploded at the end of the opening stanza, using a 17-2 run to open up a 21-10 lead.
Senior center David Vitunac had two 3-pointers in the run, while Andrew Andreychik chipped in five points in the spurt.