Whiteland boys outlast Indian Creek

Whiteland boys basketball coach Nate Cangany wasn’t sure of the exact reason his team’s offense wasn’t clicking for much of Monday night’s game against Indian Creek.

“I don’t know if it was our nine-day layoff or that we have a huge (Mid-State) conference game coming up Friday (at Decatur Central),” Cangany said. “You never want those factors to affect the team, but kids are kids. (The Braves) were scrapping and playing hard. They must have had one of their best 3-point shooting nights. Once we focused up in the fourth quarter, we played our game.”

The host Warriors outscored the Braves 26-9 in the fourth quarter en route to a 65-48 victory. The game had been been postponed from last Thursday night because of inclement weather. Whiteland improved to 13-6 while Indian Creek fell to 3-14.

The game was tied at the end of each of the first three quarters — 8-all after the first quarter, 22-22 at halftime and 39-all after three quarters.

Indian Creek was leading 39-36 in the third quarter when Drew Higdon, who finished with 15 points, was fouled at the buzzer and hit all three free throws.

The Warriors’ key sophomore reserve, Wiatt McLaughlin, scored five of his seven points in the fourth quarter. Junior Brayden Roy also scored seven points off the bench, including a big fourth-quarter bucket that pushed the lead to 44-41.

“We had some guys come off the bench and give us some good minutes,” Cangany said. “Wiatt struggled the first few quarters but we talked to him at the end of the third quarter and he came up huge for us in the fourth. We have a lot of different weapons.”

Senior Max Sullivan led the Warriors with 16 points, including four 3-pointers.

Senior Javan Crouch was high for the Braves with 17 points, hitting two 3s. Freshman Adam Crouch scored 14 points, including four makes from long range. The Braves had eight 3-pointers overall.

Indian Creek coach Drew Glentzer said that his team’s early shooting struggles hurt.

“We were 3 of 13 in the first quarter and not much better in the second quarter,” he said. “In the third quarter, we made shots and they made shots.”

The Braves used a 7-0 run to take a 34-28 lead during the third, but saw it evaporate by the end of the quarter.

“Offensive rebounds was probably the biggest difference,” Glentzer said. “We get them to miss and they somehow came up with it. We didn’t block out well enough. The kids did a good job moving the ball and getting it to who was open. We didn’t turn the ball over too much, which was good for us. We had good focus on what we needed to do to win the game.”

The Braves tried to press late in the game and Whiteland was able to break loose for a couple of fast-break baskets.

“We wore out a little bit,” Glentzer said. “We played a lot of young kids. We had good mix of young and old out there. We had good leadership out there and we played hard.”