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Danville wins 2nd straight district title

Mar. 1—SUNBURY — The five players on the floor most of Friday evening played on Danville's district championship team last year.

That experience paid off in helping the Ironmen make school history.

Luke Huron had 15 points, and Danville made enough fourth-quarter free throws to outlast Shamokin, 55-45, in the District 4 Class 4A championship game at Lockcuff Memorial Gymnasium at Shikellamy High School.

"We're experienced; we all played in the district chip last year," Huron said. "And we did it."

Ironmen coach Gary Grozier added: "We had five guys that played in that championship game last year, and that's one of the things we talked about, was not let the moment get too big ... and they didn't."

It's the program's first repeat district title in its storied history. The Ironmen (20-7) will host the District 3 fifth-place team, Octarora, on Friday in the state first round.

It certainly didn't come easy. The Ironmen fell behind 14-4 after scoring the first two baskets of the game as Rylan Price dropped eight of his 11 points in the spurt for the Indians.

"We knew were the better team, and we just to stick it out," Huron said. "We didn't get rattled."

Grozier added: "We knew there would be a lot of emotion from them. There was a big crowd, and they were feeding off it early."

Danville switched to a 3-2 zone, and the Indians offense stalled as it did in a Heartland Athletic Conference tournament loss to the Ironmen. Shamokin was just 8-of-31 from the floor over the final three quarters.

"We haven't played that (defense) much all year, but we saved it for a game like this where they have two real good post players in Joe (Hile) and Jenssyn (Shuey)," Grozier said. "I felt that hurt them a little bit. I mean, if they hit a few 3s, I probably get right out of it. But we played the arc real well in that defense."

With the score knotted at 19 to start the second half, Danville outscored Shamokin 18-6 to start the third quarter for a 37-25 lead on Hayden Winn's bucket inside. Danville played through center Daniel Walker, who had four assists, in the spurt.

"They doubled team Danny (in the second half), and pushed the offense out, and he found the cutters," Grozier said.

Shamokin got six points in a row quickly to cut the lead to 37-31 on Case Lichty's 3-pointer. The Indians cut the lead to one at 41-40 on a Hile 3-pointer, but Winn found Walker inside on back-to-back possessions to push the lead back to five with 2:21 left in the game.

That started the parade to the foul line. Danville shot 16 foul shots over the final two minutes, making 10. Shuey had a putback in the final two minutes, but it was Shamokin's only field goal after Hile's 3-pointer, and the Indians made just three of six foul shots in that span.

Winn finished with 12 points and four assists, in addition to his defensive work on Hile, limiting the junior to 11 points. Carter Heath scored all 11 of his points in the second half of the win, while Walker finished with seven points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

Shamokin, which scored at least 60 points in 11 games this season was held to 50, 51 and 45 by Danville this season.

The Indians (19-7) will host District 2 runner-up Valley View on Friday in the first round of states.

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DISTRICT 4 CLASS 4A BOYS BASKETBALL

CHAMPIONSHIP

at Lockcuff Memorial Gymnasium, Shikellamy H.S.

DANVILLE 55, SHAMOKIN 45

Danville (20-7) 55

Ethan Morrison 3 0-0 8; Carter Heath 2 6-9 11; Luke Huron 5 4-7 15; Hayden Winn 5 1-2 12; Daniel Walker 2 3-4 7; Nick Hand 0 2-2 2. Totals 17 16-24 55.

3-point goals: Morrison 2, Heath, Huron, Winn.

Did not score: Mason Woll

Shamokin (19-7) 45

Rylan Price 3 2-4 11; Joe Hile 4 1-2 11; Colin Stinehart 0 0-2 0; Case Lichty 2 3-6 9; Jenssyn Shuey 4 3-3 11; Logan Steele 1 1-2 3. Totals 14 10-19 45.

3-point goals: Price 3, Hile 2, Lichty 2.

Did not score: Cru Schroyer, Andrew Schreffler.

Score by quarters

Danville;4;15;20;16 — 55

Shamokin;14;5;12;16 — 45