The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Danville Sports

February 29, 2012

Defense helps Danville girls rally

WILLIAMSPORT -- There were many times when Danville coach Steve Moser could only run his hands through his hair and wonder what was going on.

His Ironmen struggled offensively for three quarters at the worst possible time of their season in Tuesday's District 4 Class AAA semifinal with top seed Athens at Williamsport High School.

Danville had managed only 13 points on 10 shots in that span and trailed the Wildcats by eight points in a low-scoring game.

However, one thing Moser still was counting on for his Ironmen was their resiliency.

"They've been a resilient bunch all year. They were frustrated with (Athens') defense. They played a sagging man-to-man and it didn't allow us to use our speed," Moser said. "If we did get by somebody, there was somebody there to help them and we got frustrated. (Athens) did a very good defensive job."

That belief along with a defensive switch to some pressure made all the difference in the world for Danville as it scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and Rachel Herman scored seven of her game-high 15 points in the final 2:30 of the game as Danville rallied to a 29-24 victory over the Wildcats.

"The second half, though, we got the ball into the foul line much more. We were able to kick it out for open looks or shoot foul shots," Moser said.

Danville improves to 17-7 on the season and qualifies for the PIAA Class AAA playoffs. They will face Shamokin, a 62-50 winner over Shikellamy in the other semifinal, for the District 4 title on Friday at a site and time to be determined. Athens finishes the season at 17-6.

The game had seemed to get away from the Ironmen in the third quarter. Kylie Romeo hit a 3-pointer with 6:47 left in the third to tie the game at 11-11, but Danville went almost six minutes without a basket, while Athens scored eight in a row to make it 19-11 with less than a minute left in the third quarter.

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