GREENCASTLE — A loss is hard, no matter how it happens.
When you’re leading at halftime, trading blows with the top-ranked team in Class 3A in the regional, and lose — it’s really tough.
Danville went down swinging to the No. 1-ranked Mount Vernon Marauders 56-41 in the opening game of the Greencastle regional Saturday. It was an emotionally charged, momentum-swinging contest that saw the game much closer than the final score read.
“Mount Vernon is a solid team,” Danville coach Brian Barber said. “They don’t have any weaknesses. They did a good job and it just wasn’t meant to be for us today.”
The Warriors led 21-20 at intermission before losing ground in the second half and being eliminated from the postseason.
“It just doesn’t feel real yet. It hasn’t hit me,” Danville senior Ian Asher said. “By the time I try and walk to practice Monday is when it’s probably going to hit me. As of now, I feel like it was a tough one but I still feel like we’re going to bounce back and go play another game. The reality of it is, we are not.”
Barber expected Saturday morning’s contest to be a battle between two contrasting styles of play and it was. Danville looked to speed up the game and Mount Vernon tried to keep a slower pace. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they lost out on that battle.
“The tempo was played at their pace,” Barber said. “We wanted to be more up tempo and they did a good job of not letting us get out and run like we wanted to do.”
The times in the game when Danville did run, were when they had success.
In the second quarter, a Scott Amor 3-pointer started a quick 10-0 Warrior run. Asher was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all of his free throws. Avery Motes tipped in a layup and Asher added two of his team-high 16 points on a jumper from the elbow. The Warriors then led 19-15 with 1:22 remaining in the half.