DANVILLE — For the Utica boys basketball team, Friday had a strange feeling of deja vu.
On Tuesday, the Redskins weren’t able to score in the first quarter in a loss to Fredericktown. Friday, things started out the same way.
The Redskins went nearly the first seven minutes of the game without scoring, but, this time, were able to right the ship and pull out a thrilling 44-38 victory over host Danville in Mid-Buckeye Conference action.
“We definitely got off to a slow start, much to Danville’s credit. They really got after us and took us out of what we wanted to do,” said Utica coach Brian Radabaugh. “But, give credit to our kids. They beared down and made the adjustments needed.”
Danville (2-1 overall, 2-1 MBC) had opened the game on fire, scoring the first 10 points of the game. Utica finally made its first field goal at the 1:17 mark of the first period.
Then, a change in defenses helped the Redskins (1-3, 1-2) start slowly chipping away at the lead in the second quarter. They closed the gap to five midway through the period when the tables turned heavily in their favor. Senior Luke Holmes, manning the top of the 1-3-1 zone, stole a Danville pass and then brought the house down with a thunderous dunk.
“That dunk was a big momentum changer,” said Danville coach Doug Selvey.
“Luke sets the tone out top with his length. He makes it tough to pass,” said Radabaugh. “There’s not many people in high school that can dunk, so that was a real big momentum builder for us, getting things going in our favor.”
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