Wildcats start out season 0-2 after 62-52 loss to Danville High School

DANVILLE — Collin Jones scored a game-high 23 points, and three Wildcats posted double figures, but Central Mountain fell just short to the Danville Ironmen on the road, 62-52.

The loss dropped CM to 0-2 on the year. They boast four new starters, but are closing in on finding their identity for the 2018-19 season.

“I thought that Danville showed their experience whenever we went on a run or turned it over,” Central Mountain coach Tyler Bardo said. “Danville just stepped it up and made really good defensive plays.”

Collin Jones eclipsed 20 points for the second straight time this season with 23. Tanner Lavelle added 11 and Jake Skrtich contributed another 10.

“Colin had 23, but a really rough night at finishing at the rim,” Bardo said of Jones. “But he was still able to produce 23, which speaks to his high energy that he plays with on the floor.

“And Conner Soo finally settled in and just played basketball on the floor.”

Central Mountain’s aggressive shooting on the court allowed six Wildcats to record figures.

“What I loved the most was that we were in attack mode and it allowed for everybody to get involved,” Bardo said. “Aidan Major and Logan Fisher came out for huge minutes, hit some huge shots and had huge defensive stops.”

Central Mountain began the skiddish. Danville quickly produced an 8-0 run as Central Mountain soon fell behind 10-5. Tanner Lavelle generated CM’s first five points, which prevented Danville from running away with the game early.

“Tanner kept us in it at the beginning while we were waiting and trying to find our footing there early on,” Bardo said. “Which we’re going to have to do a better job of early on.”

Collin Jones added a three pointer in the first, but missed a pair of free throws in the period’s closing seconds as Danvile took a commanding 19-8 lead into the second.

Jones’ missed free throws highlighted CM’s biggest weakness of the night. The team shot 8-20 from the charity stripe and failed to convert the easy points.

“We shot 13-of-16 [from the free throw line] on Friday night,” Bardo explained. “So was tonight just one of those bad nights, or is this something of concern? But if you’re just looking at that aspect, then [converting] the free throws could’ve won the game.”

Daville began to pull away in the third. The Ironmen stampeded for a 12-0 run in the period and built its lead to 48-27. Danville’s Majin James scored a lay up at the buzzer to stretch Danville’s lead, 52-33, entering the fourth.

Central Mountain crawled back into the game in the final period. Conner Soo recorded an early bucket before Aidan Major entered the game and drained a three. Collin Jones then hit a pair a free throws before recorded back-to-back field goals for an 11-0 run, cutting CM’s deficit, 54-45.

Danville responded with a 6-0 run, but CM closed the game strong. Jones swiped a Danville ball handler and raced down for the dunk for the WIldcats’ final score of the day as the team fell to the Danville Ironmen,62-52.

CM’s slow start and inability to convert free throws hampered the team. However, they improved in the second half, and outscored the Ironmen, 19-10, in the fourth.

“I thought we played really inspiring basketball at the end of the game,” Bardo said. “We showed a little urgency, which is what we were looking for the first 25-30 minutes of the basketball game. So if we can build off that, it’ll be huge.”

Central Mountain returns Friday on the road against Shamokin. It’s CM’s third straight away game to begin the season.

“We really wanna go to Shamokin and get some momentum there, and bring that momentum there back home to the ‘Blue Crew,'” Bardo said.

Team Scoring

DV 19 10 23 10-62

CM 8 13 12 19-52

Individual Scoring

Central Mountain: Collin Jones 9-21 23 , Tanner Lavelle 4-6 11, Conner Soo 3-6 10, Jake Skrtich 1-5 3, Aiden Major 1-1 3, Logan Fisher 1-1 2.

Danville: Dyson Harward 6-14 20, Shane Kozick 6-10 14, Peyton Riley 4-8 12, Mavin James 4-10 9, KJ Rley 2-5 4, Patrick Yost 1-2 2, Colin Holcombe 0-2 1.

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