Danville, Boyle girls play main event
Amid the ’round-the-clock Guy Morriss watch and will-he-or-won’t-he speculation, two pretty interesting basketball games have been pushed to the back burner.
The first Danville-Boyle County doubleheader of the season is tonight at Danville, and that means it’s time for Danville girls coach Judie Mason’s first game against her former team.
Mason has done this before, playing Somerset on a regular basis after she left that school for Boyle in 2003, but this is a much different set of circumstances. For one thing, Mason is coaching against the school that fired her after last season. And it also just happens to be the archrival of the school where she’s working now.
Think that’s motivation enough? You betcha. And it’s enough to get students and fans on both sides of the rivalry interested in what would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill game.
But this game isn’t all about pink slips and bad blood. Any ill will Mason might harbor toward Boyle doesn’t carry over to its current basketball team. She’s still friends with Boyle coach David Christopher, who was on her staff there, and she is still close to several of her former players as well. “I still love the kids at Boyle County,” she said.
However, Mason understands that there’s a buzz in the community about this game, which will appropriately be the second game of tonight’s twinbill. And she says that’s a good thing. “Girls basketball is being talked about, and hopefully the place will be filled up Friday night,” she said.
One of these teams will end a long losing streak tonight. Danville has lost five straight games after a 6-1 start, and Boyle has lost seven straight since its last win. The Lady Rebels have won eight straight games against Danville over the last three seasons since being swept in three games in 2003-04.
The boys game is usually the main event in a Boyle-Danville doubleheader, but that won’t be the case tonight. Still, it will be worth watching to see if Matthew Yates’ Danville team can fare better against Boyle than last year’s Admirals.
Ronnie Bottoms and the Rebels dominated last season’s three meetings, winning by 29, 22 and 29 points. Boyle has won the last five meetings since Danville’s win in the 2005 45th District Tournament final, and 20 of 27 games over the last 10 seasons.
The current Boyle and Danville teams have each lost four of their last five games, and both are looking for their first win of the season in a 45th District game. Danville is 0-3 in district games; Boyle is 0-1.
The rematch for both the boys and girls teams will also be in a doubleheader — this time with the girls playing first and the boys second — on Feb. 9 at Boyle.