By Jake Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
Hendricks County Flyer
---- — DANVILLE — After dropping a tough game down the stretch to Richmond on Saturday, Danville girls’ basketball coach Kaley May told her team afterward she “felt sorry for who we played next because we would take out our frustrations,” and that she was “proud of the heart they left on the court.”
Danville (4-3) didn’t disappoint its coach as the Warriors jumped out to a fast start and led wire-to-wire for a 53-40 victory over Greencastle Tuesday night.
“It’s huge, not only for morale, but for momentum,” May said of the win following a loss. “I’m proud of them tonight and it could’ve been a better effort, but any win is a good win.”
Maleha Motter and Hannah Newby led the Warriors, each scoring in double figures. Motter finished with 20 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks while Newby tallied 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
“(Motter’s) a great player, but when we finally started stopping her, Newby started coming down the lane and it was a one-two punch,” Greencastle coach Bradley Key said.
Danville grabbed an 11-0 lead before Greencastle scored its first basket with 2:51 remaining in the first.
“I always stress a fast start and have noticed we play better if we get a fast start in the first two minutes,” May said. “We definitely did that.”
Up 11-2 headed to the second, Greencastle regrouped and went on a 6-0 run before Danville responded. The Tiger Cubs outscored Danville 11-7 in the second and trailed 18-13 at the half.
Motter and Newby combined for 16 of Danville’s 18 points in the first half, with Allie Lake scoring the other two.
Callan Taylor scored all six of her first half points in the second quarter to lead Greencastle and finished with a team-high 15.
Danville came out of the half with a mission to get Motter the ball in the post. The sophomore forward recorded 13 of her game-high 20 points in the second half.
“I really stress getting it to the hot hand and we knew she was on it tonight and we wanted to feed her inside the post,” May said. “We also know if you get it inside, the defense shifts and we can get better outside shots.”
Lake, who scored nine points, tallied seven in the second half, with most coming on dribble drives to the basket as the Tiger Cubs’ defense focused on Motter.
While the Warriors didn’t play perfectly, May stressed the team is building toward the latter part of the season when tournaments and postseason play take priority.
Postseason aspirations were also on Key’s mind, as he wants Greencastle to be ready for a possible sectional rematch with a solid Danville squad.
“They’re a good team … (our) effort was not awful,” he said. “The better news is it’s December and we have sectional here in February and I don’t want to leave this gym feeling this way again.”
— Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson.