By Scott Dudinskie
The Daily Item
SUNBURY -- When the mob of Danville students had all but cleared the court, David Andreychik got to his son and locked him in a bear hug.
The elder Andreychik spoke through a broad smile directly into Andrew's ear, no doubt voicing his pride to the hero of Danville's thrilling 31-30 playoff win over Shamokin.
"He said he was proud of me, and he joked that the score was a little low," Andrew Andreychik recalled. "I think he said, "Thirty-one points? You should be scoring 31!'"
The score of District 4 Class AAA semifinal was especially low because the Indians, victims of 23- and 18-point losses at the hands of the Ironmen during the league season, went all-in on playing deliberate half-court offense. The Indians made the decision a week ago to slow down the game, limit Danville's touches and lay it all on the line defensively.
"Not to take anything away from Danville, but we knew we could guard them in a halfcourt. Our problem has been guarding them in transition," said Shamokin assistant Chris Zimmerman, who took the reigns as longtime mentor Joe Klebon was sidelined by a back ailment. "Kind of jokingly we said, 'We'll play this in the thirties,' but that's what we were looking to do."
The Indians' gamble paid off big, keeping the halftime score in the teens and helping them to a 23-18 lead after three quarters when Danville went more than 11 minutes without a field goal.
Andreychik, though, scored eight points in fewer than 5 minutes of the fourth (two more points than Danville scored in the middle quarters), including a pair of 3-pointers for the lead. He added two foul shots for a 30-27 edge with 52 seconds to go after Shamokin fouled its way to the bonus.