COAL TOWNSHIP — Shamokin boys basketball had some early success in its HAC-I matchup with Danville on Friday, but the Ironmen erupted in the second, which led to a 56-45 win.
After trailing 15-11 in the opening period, Joe Masser took over the second quarter by dropping 11 points to propel the Indians to an 18-8 run.
The Indians challenged Danville’s defense with a 9-0 run in the second frame as Masser, Collin Bowers and Mason Filarski each drained 3-pointers on back-to-back-to-back possessions, handing Shamokin a 26-19 lead with 2:40 left in the half.
The Indians struggled to generate much offense after that run and Danville swarmed around Shamokin the rest of the way and even used a 2-3 zone to add extra pressure.
In the third quarter, the Ironmen zipped to a 9-2 run in the first five minutes and controlled the period overall by outscoring Shamokin 15-6, as junior forward Mavin James dropped in eight points.
Shamokin only scored 16 points in the second half as Bowers scored eight of them. The Indians shot 27 percent in the half.
Indians head coach Chris Zimmerman thought his team could compete with Danville, but needed to work on fixing mental mistakes.
“They went to a zone. I don’t know if it’s what they did or what we didn’t do,” he said. “You don’t want to take anything away from Danville, but to me, physically, we’re just as good as them. Mentally we have to get better.
“I don’t know if we’re overthinking or not thinking things through like we need to — not executing — but the mental part of the game was very frustrating,” he continued. “Even in the first half when we had a lead, I thought it should have been bigger than what it was. We left a lot of points out there.”
The Ironmen started winding the clock down early in the fourth period, but would find a way to the bucket with ease throughout the remainder of the contest.
Four players logged at least five points in the final half. James and Shane Kozick had 12 and eight, respectively.
Kozick helped put the game out of reach with a layup from the left side of the glass with 4:15 left in the fourth.
Danville’s lead ballooned to as much as 11 with 2:27 remaining in the game, after 6-5 center Dyson Harward made a layup.