Saturday’s Lady Cub Classic left the coaches of the Franklin and Indian Creek girls basketball teams with mixed feelings about their respective teams’ performances.
While neither the tournament host Grizzly Cubs nor the Braves lifted the championship trophy Saturday night, Franklin’s Walt Raines and Indian Creek’s Dan Burkman are confident their teams can go from being good to very good heading into the second half of the season.
Rushville won the championship 53-49 against Franklin in a tense final game.
Indian Creek — which lost to Franklin 66-51 in the semifinals — won the third-place game 56-51 against Batesville.
Raines saw a lot of positives throughout the day, although he admitted to being a little frustrated with how the Cubs surrendered a five-point lead in the fourth quarter to Rushville.
“We need to do the little things,” he said. “I said before this weekend the team that does the little things will win the tournament.”
The biggest “little thing” Raines singled out was boxing out. Rushville’s comeback was fueled by a flurry of offensive rebound baskets from standout player Sarah Cook. When the Cubs scrambled back into contention, they twice failed to rebound missed free throws that fell to the floor, passing up a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds in the process.
But Raines’ disappointment was due in part because he knows how close the 7-6 team is to being very good.
“We played our hearts out,” he said. “This team fights really hard, but we need to do little things like block out and not waste time on the dribble when we’re trying to kick it up court on the break.”
The guard play from Franklin stood out against Rushville with Makenna Bertsch and Maci Eads providing some slick passing and outside shooting, respectively. Eads scored a team-high 18 points.
Franklin center Liz Berrones got in early foul trouble, but had some monster blocked shots and junior Whitney Shapp was a force inside with 13 rebounds. Freshman Sarah Sullivan contributed to what was largely a solid team defensive effort.
Delanie Hill and Cami Cochrane led the team in scoring in the morning game against Indian Creek with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Indian Creek’s Burkman credited Franklin’s pressure defense with causing the Braves serious problems in the semifinal loss, but he was pleased with how his 9-3 team bounced back in the evening against Batesville.
“The morning was not one of our better games. Franklin’s pressure had a lot to do with that,” Burkman said. “I was pleased with our rebounding (in the consolation) and the energy we came out with in the first half.”
Burkman pointed to turnovers as a problem the Braves need to improve on, noting that the team has given the ball away too many times in other games this season as well.
Senior Alexis McGregor had a big night against Batesville in the consolation with a team-high 21 points, including two key 3-point field goals down the stretch. Candace Danz added 19.
“Alexis has struggled with her shooting the past few games but those were some big shots she hit for us,” Burkman said. “She was starting to get down in the dumps a little so I hope that this will get her confidence up going forward.”
Danz had a team-high 29 points against Franklin.
Indian Creek’s next game is Wednesday against visiting county and Mid-Hoosier Conference rival Edinburgh. The Braves are undefeated in the league. Franklin hosts Bloomington South on Tuesday.