Indian Creek girls down Hauser, 70-36

The Indian Creek girls basketball team solidified its hold on another potential Mid-Hoosier Conference championship as the Braves defeated visiting Hauser 70-36 on Tuesday night.

The Braves not only took command of the conference at 4-0 but extended their winning streak to five games. The Jets fell to 1-1 and 5-2.

Indian Creek also avenged a 17-point loss to the Jets in Hauser a year ago.

Indian Creek coach Dan Burkman, while happy at being on top of the standings again, said there’s still a lot of basketball yet to be played.

“I was expecting this to be a little closer, but they were missing a starter and we had plenty of time to prep for this game,” he said. “This was a good game to have, and I feel very good about where we are now in the conference.”

Indian Creek raced out to an 8-0 lead, which ultimately swelled to a 22-8 first-quarter lead that could have been more as the Braves missed several easy layups and some free throws.

It didn’t matter as Indian Creek’s defense was especially tenacious, forcing Hauser into an uncharacteristic 20 first-half turnovers. The Braves turned several of these into more points, racing to a 23-point halftime lead.

Taking care of the ball was the major problem for Hauser, which was without starter Paige Miller because of an injury.

“I felt we were prepared, but I couldn’t have anticipated this,” Jets coach Brad Hamilton said.

“We turned the ball over so many times, but to (Indian Creek’s) credit, they had a solid game plan and executed well and were consistent.”

That consistency was absent for the Braves at times in the third quarter as their turnovers mounted due to some sloppy passing.

It’s a pattern that Burkman has seen before and hopes to abate as the season goes on.

“We get big leads on teams of 15 to 20 points, but then we start to relax,” Burkman said. “We should have put this game away in the first half, but we seemed to be running around in circles at times in the third quarter.”

Junior Candace Danz led the Braves with 15 points. Teammate Alexis McGregor added 13, including three straight 3-pointers in the first half.

Hauser was led by Frances Shoaf’s nine points.

Indian Creek looks to extend its winning streak on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Martinsville for a non-conference tilt — something Burkman is looking forward to.

“We won’t have to worry about the conference for a few games,” Burkman said. “(Martinsville) is going to be a tough game.”

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Ken Severson is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.