Indian Creek coach Drew Glentzer wasn’t about to hold his emotions in check after Adam Crouch’s final pass on Saturday night. Not after the sophomore guard had handed him something the Braves had waited 23 years to grasp.
Crouch led the Braves with 17 points and Trent Volz chipped in 11, helping Indian Creek stay one step ahead of South Vermillion throughout the second half. When the Wildcats’ final shot fell woefully short, the Braves finally had their first sectional championship since 2000, claiming a 52-46 win in the Class 3A Northview Sectional final and getting their hands on the trophy.
“I’m pretty emotional about it; we’ve never won a 3A sectional championship,” Glentzer said. “Twenty-three years ago, we were 2A, so it’s really special for me as a 1990 grad from Indian Creek. It’s really special for the team to win in 3A and put another sectional banner on the wall.”
The Braves (14-8) will play Beech Grove in a regional game at Lebanon this coming Saturday.
Glentzer’s long-awaited sectional championship didn’t come easy. Despite its subpar record, South Vermillion (10-16) matched Creek shot for shot for the first 19 minutes of the game — until Volz delivered a dagger that knocked the Wildcats off their game.
With the score tied at 32 and 4:45 remaining in the third quarter, Volz found some space behind the arc and let fly, hitting his only triple of the game. It proved the start of a 9-0 run, allowing the Braves to play the rest of the game on their terms.
“When I got the first pass down the court, I felt it,” Volz said. “I thought that was kind of a game-turning point for the whole team; that was awesome.”
It proved a game-turning point for both teams, as South Vermillion didn’t score a point for the rest of the quarter. While the Braves turned a halftime tie into a nine-point lead, the Wildcats didn’t sink a basket in the third quarter, as Indian Creek fed off Volz to meet the moment.
“He was just a monster out there,” Glentzer said. “He willed us to win, and his energy propelled everybody else. I’m just super proud of him.”
The run proved vital down the stretch, when the Braves’ inexperience almost cost them at the worst possible time. Creek appeared safe after a Bobby Pemberton layup gave the Braves an eight-point edge with 1:22 left, but South Vermillion’s Lucas Bush responded with seven points in the next 31 seconds, cutting the margin to a point.
But the Wildcats never got in front, because the Braves wouldn’t allow it. On the next play, Indian Creek built its lead back to three and held on from there, taking charge of the game and earning a trip to next week’s 3A regional matchup in Lebanon. As the Wildcats’ last shot fell out of bounds, the Braves ran off the court to shouts of joy, finally ending their sectional drought.
“The kids helped each other,” Glentzer said. “They were saying all the things that a coach wants their kids to say, and I was just saying, ‘Yes, yes.’ We got a couple free throws, made a couple stops, and time to cut the nets down.”