DANVILLE — Halfway through the first quarter, on one shot, it became quite apparent that Danville's Ian Asher was not going to allow his team to lose.
The 6-foot-1 senior, without hesitation, fired a straight-on 3-pointer that was deep by NBA standards and closer to the midcourt timeline than the 3-point line. The ball swooshed in, barely touching the net before hitting the floor.
It was that kind of night for Asher as he scored a game- and career-high 39 points to will the Warriors to an 80-59 sectional-opening victory over Beech Grove.
"He was all over the place," Danville coach Brian Barber said laughing. "He was on. That's what you expect a senior leader to do in a game like this. He rose to the occasion, did a good job of distributing the ball, hitting shots, and running the floor - doing all things he's capable of doing. He had a very good ball game for us."
Asher shot 12 for 20 from the field, including three 3-pointers and 12-of-13 from the charity stripe. He also added four blocks, three assists, two rebounds, and two assists before leaving the game for the first time with 40 seconds remaining.
"I'm not satisfied until we get a sectional championship, a regional, semistate, and state," Asher said of his motivation. "It's my senior year and I'm not going to let my season end with a loss."
Asher's 39 points were only four shy of a Danville single-game record of 43 points set by Nick Scott.
"He was just outstanding all the way around tonight," Barber said. "We've got to continue that for tomorrow."
Danville will meet Northwest, winners of its last nine games, at 7:30 p.m. in tonight's sectional final.