“One of the good things about them – I'm not going to tell you the bad – the second half of the season, sometimes they just will themselves to get through tough spots.”
While the lead never was in jeopardy, the Bears made the River Hawks sweat a bit early in the third quarter. A three-point play by Mason Speer (13 points) and a 3-point basket by Kolton Jackson (10) trimmed a 23-15 halftime lead to 25-21 in the opening minutes of the third quarter. After a dunk in transition by Wilhelm (14 points), Danville got within four once more at 27-23 on a rebound follow shot by Jackson.
But, just as he had done in the first few minutes of the game, Lee made a huge contribution. His third 3-point basket of the game – this one from the left corner with 5:10 remaining – pushed the lead to 30-23 and kicked off the decisive 19-2 run.
“Jarod Lee stepped up and hit some good shots,” said Zaruba, who led Easton Valley with 15 points. “That was big; I was glad to see him step up tonight.”
Beck said: “That was one of the things we were talking about yesterday in practice when we were going over stuff. I told Jarod, he's got to shoot more – he's a great shooter – he's got to shoot more, look for his shot more. And he certainly did tonight.”
Danville (21-4) got within 32-25 with 3:46 left, then didn't score again until the 4:39 mark of the fourth quarter. By then, Easton Valley had built a 46-25 edge. Lee (14 points) hit a pair of 3-pointers in the run, Wilhelm (14) also had six points and Bormann added four.
“I think we decided, 'Hey, we've got to work a little harder. We can't let them get the lead. Let's stay ahead and keep working,' ” Wilhelm said.