DANVILLE — Facing the league’s top team can be tough enough. But, facing them without two of your normal starters things can get ugly in a hurry.
The Danville boys basketball team found that out Friday night when they hosted Mansfield Christian in a Mid-Buckeye Conference tilt. The Blue Devils, who were without the services of Jordan Frank and Ridge Durbin, watched as the Flames jumped on them early and cruised to a 57-43 victory.
“We had to have two sophomores running guard with the injuries we had. This was their first varsity experience handling the ball and our team just didn’t come ready to play tonight. We let their pressure get to us,” said Danville coach Josh Middleton. “I thought they did an excellent job pressuring us and we did not step up and take on the challenge.”
The pressure defense of the Flames (8-4 overall, 6-0 MBC) was the key early in the game as they got several steals and easy layups. Greg Briggs, who scored seven of his team-high 11 points in the first quarter, was one of the few bright spots for Danville.
Already in control, the Flames turned up the heat in the second. They forced seven more Danville turnovers, then connected on 8 of 10 shots in the quarter to push the lead to 14 points at intermission.
Brandon Mount did most of the damage for the Flames in the first half, scoring 14 of his game-high 19 points and assisting on three other baskets.
Some halftime adjustments and a more aggressive attitude helped the Devils (7-6, 2-4) keep the game from becoming a blowout. Danville actually closed the gap to 11 twice, but was never able to get any closer.
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