PLAINFIELD — Down by nine points early in the fourth quarter, the Danville boys’ basketball team rallied for a 63-61 victory over Plainfield Saturday night for the Warriors’ 10th straight win in the series.
Danville (6-1), which consistently has up to 10 players in its rotation, switched its strategy late in the contest.
“They were killing us on the boards, so we went small and tried to speed the game up and got a couple turnovers that we were able to convert at the other end,” Danville coach Brian Barber said. “That got some momentum going, and we were able to pull it out.”
After the ball was inbounded with 40 seconds left, Danville’s Jake Elliot weaved back and forth until whipping a pass to Luke Callahan, who scored the game-winner from inside the paint with seven seconds remaining.
“That’s why you want a point guard, and Jake’s done a great job for us,” Barber said. “He kept his composure and made a great pass. It was great execution on all the guys’ part there.”
Plainfield (1-4) led 47-38 after a basket to open the fourth quarter, but Danville chipped away, and five straight points by Callahan and a steal and lay-up by Elliot put Danville up 55-54 with two minutes left. The Quakers tied it at 61-61, but gave up Callahan’s runner and failed to get a potential tying or winning shot off before the final buzzer.
“We just couldn’t get stops when we needed them,” Plainfield coach Andy Weaver said. “We gave up 25 points in the fourth quarter, after holding them to 38 through three. We had some key turnovers at the wrong time, and give Danville credit for stepping up and making plays while we didn’t.”
Weaver said Danville’s quickness and aggressiveness defensively led to many of the Quakers’ untimely errors.
“They’re a trapping team, and we dribbled ourselves into some traps,” he said. “We put ourselves in some bad positions and ended up giving the ball away.”
Callahan led Danville with 17 points, followed by Ryan Cloncs with 13. Callahan’s steadiness was apparent on the Warriors’ final possession.
“That’s what we want from Luke,” Barber said. “He was a complimentary guy in the past, but he’s grown four or five inches in the last year or so and has really come into his own. He’s capable of making big shots for us, and that’s what he did tonight.”
Nathan Mills led Plainfield with 18 points, while Max Kurkowski had 16. Mills carried the Quakers down the stretch as they struggled to find an offensive groove.
“He’s a solid freshman for us who works awfully hard,” Weaver said. “He has a great attitude, and his experience this year will help us as we go forward.”
- Follow Flyer sports writer Brent Glasgow on Twitter @BGlasgow37.