Braves pull away late to win Bulldog Classic


It makes perfect sense the principal color of what will soon be the newest addition to Indian Creek’s sports trophy case is green.

Monrovia colors, but it was the Braves’ tournament.

Led by senior guard Spencer Wood’s game-high 15 points, Indian Creek downed Greenwood Christian

Academy 44-36 in the title game of the inaugural Bulldog Holiday Classic on Tuesday night.

That, coupled with a 70-41 hammering of Bethesda Christian earlier in the day, improved the Braves to 6-2 on the season.

“It was a long day for the kids, obviously, but a good tournament. I knew playing (Greenwood Christian) was going to be a dogfight,” Indian Creek coach Derek Perry said.

“I thought we were solid on defense, and that’s what keeps you in games when your offense isn’t going.”

The Braves never once trailed in the finale, but that’s not to say they weren’t pushed.

Greenwood Christian Academy trailed Indian Creek by a single point on seven different occasions through the first three quarters alone. It wasn’t until the final eight minutes Perry’s team finally began pulling away.

Leading 30-28 after three, the Braves’ Tim Abel drained a 3-pointer only to see Cougars’ guard Mark Gibson answer with a trey of his own from the top of the key 36 seconds later.

Gynson Robley’s baseline drive for a layup and Wood’s two free throws on a called intentional foul pushed Indian Creek out to a 37-31 lead with 4:30 remaining.

A 15-footer by Wood at 2:45 made it an eight-point ballgame, but another Gibson triple cut it to 39-34. Greenwood Christian remained within five points as late as the 1:10 mark, but 3-of-4 accuracy at the stripe down the stretch accounted for the final tally.

Cougars’ coach Jamie Satre was pleased with his squad’s day, first downing host Monrovia in the morning and giving a gutty performance at night.

“We played the pace we wanted against (Indian Creek), and that’s all we can ask for. The last game they got to the basket to us a lot, and that really broke our back,” said Satre, referring to his team’s 81-63 loss to the Braves on Dec. 12.

“This time we kind of stopped them. Kept them in front. But they still hit some big shots. Indian Creek is a good team, and they have good players for sure.”

Wood, who made good on nine of his 10 free throw attempts, was Indian Creek’s lone player in double-figures. Senior guard Dylan Phair chipped in seven with freshman guard Jared DeHart adding six.

For Greenwood Christian Academy (2-7), Gibson and senior forward Noah Shingleton scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Shingleton by banking in a 3-pointer from the right wing with 6.7 seconds remaining in the second cut the Braves’ lead to 20-18 at the half.

Indian Creek led by as many as five points on three different occasions during the first two periods, though the Cougars always managed to respond.

Greenwood Christian’s chilly shooting at the outset (2 of 8) and four first-quarter turnovers enabled Perry’s club to grab a 12-7 advantage. The Cougars played better in the second, twice pulling to within a single point.

Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at