Winning three straight sectionals is never an easy task, but the Indian Creek girls sure made it seem easy Saturday night.
In their second meeting against Western Indiana Conference foe Northview, the Class 3A No. 5 Braves overcame a slow start to pull away and win 61-39 to take the title at Owen Valley.
It was Indian Creek’s seventh straight win and improves their record to a glittery 25-1.
“This never gets old,” Indian Creek coach Brian Ferris said. “It’s always a new group, challenges and competition. It’s brand new every time.”
After a tight first quarter in which Northview deliberately slowed down the play to try and neutralize the Braves, Indian Creek used the slowdown to its advantage and methodically ran its plays, gradually building its lead — one that was augmented by an 11-0 run in the second, thanks to the Braves equally adept defense.
In that first half, the Braves forced 12 turnovers while only giving the ball away four times themselves.
While not the most comfortable of cushions, the 13-point lead going into the second half allowed the Braves to play more like they were used to, which was bad news to the Knights.
“We talked about patience,” Ferris said. “People try to slow us down and we get a little rattled. We worked it around and knew that if we pushed the tempo some, we could wear (Northview) down.”
Indian Creek used that tempo, getting another surge of points and increasing the lead to 18; then, the Braves changed their plan, pretty much employing the same type of tactics the Knights used on them in the first half and slowing the game down with a big lead.
Although the game was close at times, Northview (16-9) could never string together enough of a run to worry Indian Creek. Even when the Knights hit two 3-pointers early in the third quarter to cut the lead to eight, the Braves remained calm and scored buckets of their own to thwart any comeback attempt.
Junior center Faith Wiseman led all scorers with 20 points, and she added six rebounds. Fellow junior Lauren Foster added 14 points, while senior Abby Fleetwood hauled in nine rebounds.
Northview was led by Brynlee Clarke’s 11 points.
“It was exciting,” Wiseman said. “Our team came to play. We had energy and hit our shots and came out ready to win. We will prepare for (regional) all week and come out and play our game, and hope we can make some history.
“I just love my team.”
Indian Creek will play for its first-ever regional crown Saturday afternoon against Purdue Poly at Greencastle. If the Braves win that contest, they will play in their first semistate a week later.
“We came out with the goal we had in mind,” Ferris said. “Overall, (we) played great and we’re moving on again.”