DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
There was no talk of moral
victories after Indian Creek
nearly came away with a big boys basketball victory at Martinsville on Friday night.
Only a real triumph, the kind on the scoreboard, was going to do.
“(The Indian Creek players) aren’t satisfied, and I’m not satisfied,” Braves’ coach Derek Perry said. “But this is going to make us better.”
After struggling throughout the
opening quarter, the Class 3A Braves regrouped and took command in the second half before the Artesians woke up again, dominated the fourth period and prevailed 71-63.
The loss was Indian Creek’s first in five outings and improved Class 4A Martinsville to 4-2.
In that first quarter, the Braves appeared to have little chance at all, hitting just two of 11 shots and committing six turnovers while the hosts built a 10-point advantage.
But the second period was a different story as the Braves found their offensive rhythm, threw the suddenly less aggressive Artesians out of theirs, and slowly whittled the host’s lead until tying the game at 28-all on a 3-point basket by Spencer Wood with 1:38 before halftime.
The game remained knotted at 30-all at the break.
The third quarter and first couple of minutes of the fourth period were better yet for Indian Creek, which hit 9 of 13 field-goal tries in the third and surprised Martinsville by taking a 56-50 lead with 5:39 remaining.
That’s when the Artesians erupted and outscored the Braves 21-7 the rest of the way.
Martinsville got two huge 3-pointers from guard Zach Anderson and nine points, including seven free throws, from guard Gannon Myers to propel its surge.
“In our wins this season, each time we’ve dug a hole, but I knew we were going to get out of it,” Perry said. “This team is hard-nosed, and I knew they wouldn’t just lay down. We got it tied and I thought we had a good third quarter, but with five minutes to go (the Artesians) had a 21-7 run.
“We got stagnant, we quit attacking, and we quit shooting the ball. When you’re going against a good 4A ballclub, you just can’t do that.”
The Braves fell despite getting a game-high 25 points from senior guard Dylan Phair, who hit 5 of 6 shots from behind the arc.
Sophomore guard Tim Abel, who was held scoreless in the first quarter, was next-best for Indian Creek with 13 points, and Wood chipped in nine. The Braves hit 10 of 18 treys in all and shot 49 percent from the floor overall.
Martinsville’s balanced scoring attack was led by Myers, who tallied 19 points and grabbed five rebounds. Anderson wth 17 points, and Keegan Northern added 15 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Artesians, who shot 59.1 percent on the night.
Indian Creek’s next game is Dec. 27 at Danville.