DANVILLE — The Danville High School girls basketball team was one play away from taking down the Big 12 Conference leader on Thursday, losing a close 46-43 game.
The Vikings had the ball down one with 18 seconds on the clock. They threw it inbounds and was running their offense, when a pass was picked off by Zsayla Brummett (15 points, five rebounds, five steals, five assists). She stole the pass and then was fouled with 2.8 seconds left and went down and hit both free throws of a 1-1 to get the victory.
As the buzzer sounded, the last attempted shot from half court by Danville was way off the mark and Centennial escaped an upset bid by the young Vikings.
“We played hard all game and didn’t give up and this loss hurts because we had a chance to beat a really good team tonight,” Danville coach Brian Anderson said.
Danville had two leads in the game — a 3-0 lead when Megan Burton (14 points, five rebounds, two steals) buried a 3-pointer on the first possession of the the game and then again with 1:01 left in the game on a driving layup by Michaela Jones (15 points, five rebounds, three steals). Unfortunately for the Vikings the lead didn’t hold up.
“We played tough and now we must be able to finish to get to the next level in conference,” Jones said
The Vikings harassed the bigger and taller Centennial team with a strong desire and some good junk defenses. Danville hung tough and stayed even with Centennial in the rebounding department 37-37.
Centennial could not pull away as the defense and rebounding of the smaller Viking team kept the game close and gave Danville a chance to win it at the end.
“I try to lead and we tell each other that defense is the most important thing we can do, and offense will take care of itself,” Jones said.
The one edge the Centennial had was at the free throw line as they outscored Danville 15-6.
“I am proud of the way we scrapped and we had our chances and this loss hurt the team also, they came in thinking we could win,” Anderson said.
Danville falls to 9-13 overall (6-7) in conference and Champaign Centennial improves to 19-6 overall (13-1) in conference.
Champaign Centennial beat Danville in the JV game 41-35.
The Vikings will host Bloomington on Saturday.