Huron, Danville win shoot out with Naugle, Seals

Feb. 12—DANVILLE — If there were any doubt that Danville's Luke Huron and Selinsgrove's Ries Naugle were friends off the court, the way went at each other on Monday night at the Whitey McCloskey Center in the regular-season finale was plenty of evidence.

There were smiles, some playful banter between quarters, and a short conversation after the game on this week's Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament — more on that in a bit.

However on the court, Huron took over the defensive effort on the Seals' leading scorer, forcing four-straight misses — and matched Naugle 3-pointer for 3-pointers — each knocked down six in the game — as the Ironmen picked up a 74-63 victory over the Seals.

With the victory, Danville will now face Shamokin at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Lockcuff Gymnasium at Shikellamy High School in the first Heartland Athletic Conference semifinals. The Seals will face Loyalsock at 7:30 p.m. in other HAC semifinal. The winners will meet back at Shikellamy at 7 p.m. on Friday night for the championship game.

Naugle missed a 3-pointer on the Seals' opening possession of the game, before making eight consecutive shots, including two deep 3-pointers in third quarter as the Seals led 49-44 on Gavin Bastian's elbow jumper with 3:25 left in the third quarter.

That's when Huron switched to Naugle on the defensive end of the floor.

"I've been playing with Ries my who life, so we kind of have fun out there," Huron said. "I kind of know his bag (of tricks) a little bit, but he's definitely improved a lot (since the last time I had to guard him). I just tried to play my best defense."

Naugle finished 12-of-17 from the floor, including 6-of-9 from 3, but those three misses came when Huron and the Ironmen caught fire. After Bastian's basket, Danville made five straight baskets to end the third quarter — four from deep, and three by Huron. Huron's step back, drifting 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer came in the midst of a 19-2 Danville run that bridged the third and fourth quarters. Huron's 3-pointer with 5:39 left gave Danville a 63-51 lead.

Danville (16-6) shot 19-of-25 from the floor combined in the second and third quarters, scoring 58 points. For the game, the Ironmen shot 29-of-40 (72.5 percent) and 11-of-16 from behind the arc. Taking away a first quarter in which they scored just 10 points, the Ironmen missed just eight shots over the final three quarters.

It's a marked improvement, especially from the outside for Danville, and for Huron. Danville had a stretch to end January and start March, where they made just four 3s in three games, before making four 3-pointers in a loss to Williamsport last Thursday. Huron had 11 3-pointers in the first four games of the season, but despite averaging 11.7 points per game, he's hit a shooting slump. Before knocking down three 3-pointers against the Millionaires, Huron had just four 3-pointers since mid-January. On Monday, he finished 6-of-9 from deep.

"I've started to feel it over the past week, and against Williamsport, my shot felt really good," Huron said. "It's over, though. It's over. I'm back!"

Selinsgrove got the lead under double digits just once after Danville's run, on a Naugle 3-pointer, but Danville broke the press, and Huron answered with a 3 of his own to end any hope of a rally.

Naugle finished with 37 points, tying his career high set against Jersey Shore on Jan. 22. It's the senior fourth 30-point game of the season, all of which have come in the last three weeks. Bastian finished with 10 points for the Seals (15-6).

Huron led four Ironmen in double figures with 23 points, one off his season high of 24 in the second game of the season against Bloomsburg. Daniel Walker added 15 points, Hayden Winn chipped in 14 and Ethan Morrison finished with 11 points.

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DANVILLE 74, SELINSGROVE 63

Selinsgrove (15-6) 63

Xaivier Jackson 2 0-0 5; Luke Piecuch 3 0-0 6; Ries Naugle 12 7-8 37; Jace Diehl 1 0-0 3; Gavin Bastian 4 1-3 10; Noah Walter 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 8-11 63.

3-point goals: Naugle 6, Jackson, Diehl, Bastian.

Did not score: Mason Richter, Griffin Parker, Camden Smith.

Danville (16-6) 74

Ethan Morrison 5 0-0 11; Carter Heath 3 0-0 8; Luke Huron 7 3-3 23; Hayden Winn 6 1-1 14; Daniel Walker 7 1-4 15; Mason Noll 1 0-0 3. Totals 29 5-8 74.

3-point goals: Huron 6, Heath 2, Morrison, Winn, Noll.

Did not score: Nick Hand.

Score by quarters

Selinsgrove;17;16;18;12 — 63

Danville;10;26;22;16 — 74