Danville cruises to 2nd straight district final

Feb. 27—SUNBURY — Danville coach Gary Grozier preaches the importance of details to his players.

And when Lewisburg's Gideon Vonderheid got loose on back-to-back possessions for 3-pointers in the second quarter Tuesday, well, Danville junior Ethan Morrison knew he might hear about it on the sideline.

"It was more paying more attention to him," Morrison said. "I think coach was expecting us to switch (on the screen)."

Grozier added, "Our motto all year has been details. They did their job. We know we have to play defense as team."

That stretch in the second quarter was Danville's only defensive hiccup — limiting Lewisburg to just 10 field goals — in the Ironmen's 58-31 victory in the District 4 Class 4A semifinals at Lockcuff Gymnasium at Shikellamy High School.

"We just couldn't get any easy shots against their defense," Lewisburg coach Leon Tucker said.

The Ironmen (19-7) will face Shamokin (19-6) in the District 4 championship game at 8 p.m. on Friday back at Shikellamy. The team split two meetings this season. The Indians won 50-40 on Dec. 22, while Danville won the rematch in the Heartland Athletic Conference semifinals, 54-53, on Feb. 15.

Lewisburg (7-17) will face Central Columbia at 5 p.m. in the consolation game. The Blue Jays swept the Green Dragons this season, winning by four and by two during the league season.

"We know we are lucky to still be playing basketball. There are a lot of teams whose season is done," Tucker said. "It would mean a lot for this team to get a state playoff berth with all of the ups and downs we've had this season."

Danville's defense has been outstanding over the last six quarters of the district playoffs. The Ironmen have allowed just 45 points in that span.

"We have good defenders all over the court," Danville's Daniel Walker said. "When I had to guard in the post, when Hayden (Winn) had to guard in the post, or even when Carter (Heath) had to guard in the post, we all held our position."

The Green Dragons got a combined 35 points inside during their upset of No. 2 seed Montoursville, and Vonderheid knocked down five 3-pointers to go along with 21 points in that victory. When Vonderheid shook loose for those two 3-pointers Tuesday, it had Lewisburg within 15-10 in the second quarter.

The Ironmen answered with four straight baskets — by four players — and extend the lead to 23-10 on Luke Huron's drive. Lewisburg cut the lead to eight with 1:04 left in the second quarter, but Walker scored to push the lead to 10 to end the half. That was the last time Lewisburg would get the margin into single digits.

"We're all making shots. We're all taking advantage of our opportunities," said Walker, who finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. "It's hard to focus on one person on our team, because we have five players on the court that can always make shots."

After teams exchanged baskets to open the third quarter, Danville ended any hopes of a comeback with a 12-3 spurt. Morrison started the run with a 3-pointer, and Walker ended it with a hoop inside to extend the Danville lead to 39-20.

In addition to Walker, Morrison finished with 13 points, while Winn added 10, and Luke Huron eight.

Vonderheid finished with 11 points, the only Lewisburg player in double figures.




at Lockcuff Memorial Gymnasium, Shikellamy H.S.


Lewisburg (7-17) 31

Gideon Vonderheid 4 1-2 11; Noah Pawling 2 0-0 5; Tai Britto 0 2-2 2; Nazir Meredith 1 0-2 2; Jack Blough 3 0-0 6; Neyshawn Mabry 0 2-2 2; Quin Michaels 0 2-6 2; Rebira Jemama 0 1-2 1. Totals 10 8-16 31.

3-point goals: Vonderheid 2, Pawling.

Did not score: Alex Gilmore, Cohen Hoover, Mateo Cardello.

Danville (19-7) 58

Ethan Morrison 5 0-0 13; Carter Heath 3 0-2 6; Luke Huron 3 1-2 8; Hayden Winn 2 5-6 10; Daniel Walker 6 2-4 14; Nick Hand 2 0-0 4. Mason Woll 1 0-0 3. Totals 22 8-14 58.

3-point goals: Morrison 3, Huron, Winn, Woll.

Did not score: Collin Geise, Casey Mills.

Score by quarters

Lewisburg;4;11;8;8 — 31

Danville;14;11;24;9 — 58