By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
It’s no secret the Danville Lady Admirals are a team that loves to run.
Last night at Somerset’s Briar Patch, Judie Mason’s club ran the homestanding Lady Jumpers out of their own building.
Danville used three runs to take complete control in last night’s contest with Somerset, and as a result, it was the Lady Ads winning the All A 12th Regional championship and advancing to next week’s Touchstone Energy All A Classic, with a 66-48 win over the Lady Jumpers.
“The All A is very special and the girls gave me a present tonight (with the win), because Somerset upset us last year,” stated a very happy Judie Mason, after her club’s victory.
“It’s kind of nice to come back into this gym after help building this Somerset program and win the All A region,” added Mason. “I have one year to retire and this is sweet.”
The first run by the Lady Ads came in the opening stanza, and thanks to a 9-0 spurt, Mason’s club grabbed an early, 21-11 lead after one period of play.
Kasey Young — who led the Lady Ads with a game-high 21 points — drained back to back treys in the second quarter giving Danville its biggest lead of the night at the midway way point of the period at 31-14.
Somerset would then respond by closing out the half on a 13-3 spurt of its own, but Danville still led the Lady Jumpers at the break 34-27.
The Lady Jumpers Erica Ford began the second half with her only bucket of the contest — a three pointer from deep out of the corner — that cut the deficit to 34-30 with 7:30 remaining in the third quarter.
At that point, Danville went on its third run of the night — a 10-0 spurt — taking a commanding 44-30 lead over Somerset, and the Lady Ads would basically never look back.
And, those runs were in large part due to a stifling Danville defense that forced Somerset into 17 turnovers for the game.
“We new our full court defensive pressure would be the key to the game,” Mason stated.
“We had to stay out of foul trouble and keep them out of their game,” continued the Danville coach. “We had more depth, and we knew at the end of the game that would make the difference.”
As for Mason’s counterpart, Somerset head coach Erin Walker — who saw her club fall to 8-12 on the year with the setback — pointed out that she knew last night’s All A regional title game would be a game of runs — unfortunately, her club fell one run too short.
“I thought tonight was going to be a game of runs, and we had to stay relaxed when Danville started hitting shots and we were not,” Walker stated.
“Danville started getting tired near the end of the second quarter, so we started pressing them, got some turnovers and some easy shots,” continued the Lady Jumper coach. “We had some momentum going into the half and we cut it to four points in the third quarter. We had a couple of chances to tie the game, but we couldn’t get the shot to fall, and then after that the air sort of went out of the ball for us.”
Danville got a game-high 21 points from Kasey Young, while Cameron McPherson added 12 points and Laken Grey chipped in with 11 points.
Somerset meanwhile was led by Bethany Edwards and Virginia Scott, each of whom scored 14 points for the Lady Jumpers.
Danville, thanks to last night’s win over Somerset, will begin play in the Girl’s All A State Tournament from Frankfort’s Convention Center on Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
The Lady Ads will take on the champion of the 8th Region in the opening round of the tourney.
D — 21 13 14 18 — 66
SHS — 11 16 7 14 — 48
DANVILLE — Young 21, McPherson 12, L. Grey 11, E. Grey 8, Walker 5, Leavell 4, Chenault 3 Mays 2.
SOMERSET — Edwards 14, Scott 14, Brooks 7, Mills 7, Ford 3, Brown 2, Johnson 1.