Danville basketball and other hot topics
There’s no hotter topic in the early days of this basketball season than Danville hoops, whether you’re talking about boys or girls. With new coaches, new players and new styles of play, both the Admirals and Lady Admirals are turning heads as they try to turn their fortunes around.
Let’s start with the boys, who opened their season with a surprising victory over defending 8th Region champion Oldham County in their first game under Matthew Yates.
Players who weren’t with the program last year have come into the fold — seven of them on the varsity roster, not counting freshmen — and they have taken to Yates’ style, in which he has put a premium on playing in a hurry.
The Admirals haven’t played enough games to get a good read on what they’re capable of, and an overtime loss to Berea in their only other game was an obvious setback after their win over Oldham. But we’ve seen enough already to realize that this is going to be a much different season for a Danville team that won only five times last year.
The girls have submitted a slightly larger body of work, and the conclusion is pretty much the same there as well.
The arrival of Judie Mason is a shot in the arm for a program that has gone through coaches at an alarming rate in recent years, and the arrival of a new point guard makes this a stronger team.
The Lady Admirals also have Mason to thank for keeping their leading scorer on the floor. Tasha Milby, who has scored 128 points in their first four games, was planning to skip her senior season before Mason convinced her to return only a couple of weeks before the opener.
Danville has three wins in four games, offset only by a loss to a Casey County team that is one of the area’s best, so there’s every reason to believe that the Lady Admirals will also enjoy a revival this winter.
Both Danville teams face their first 45th District games of the season tonight at Garrard.
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Entering tonight’s games, which will end the third week of the 13-week regular season, only two of the 16 area teams remain undefeated, and both are girls teams.
Casey County improved to 6-0 with a win Friday at Whitley County to add to its victories over Southwestern, South Laurel, Pulaski County, Danville and Somerset. Lincoln County defeated Corbin on Friday to go to 5-0, including wins over Pulaski, Rockcastle County, East Jessamine and Garrard County.
Here are some other success stories from the first three weeks:
- On the girls side, Burgin has bounced back to win four straight games after losing its first two, Mercer County’s 2-1 record is blemished only by a loss to regional power Wayne County and Boyle County is 2-2 as brand-new coach David Christopher tries to stabilize the program after a coaching change just days before the season began.
- Among boys teams, Casey County lost its first three games under new coach Todd Carman but bounced back to win its next four, including district games against Pulaski and Somerset. Boyle is 3-1 with its only loss to Franklin County, Lincoln is 2-1 with its only loss to Bryan Station, and Burgin and Kentucky School for the Deaf are off to their best starts in years at 4-2 and 5-2, respectively.