Candace Danz remembers certain specifics of her first varsity start, including the opponent and even how many points she scored.
The final score is a different story.
A 5-foot-10 senior capable of playing virtually any position, Danz begins her fourth season as a starter for Indian Creek’s girls basketball team and third as its go-to player tonight when the Braves travel to Brown County.
Already Danz has scored 1,207 career points, her journey into four-digit territory complete last Jan. 3 when she buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key in a 66-51 loss at Franklin.
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Where it all began for Danz, a 4.3 grade-point average student who is committed to play at Marian University, is that 21-point effort against Covenant Christian in a 63-17 victory to open the 2012-13 season.
That’s a lot of rebound baskets and long bus rides ago.
“Candace started her first game her freshman season. It was her size and how fluid she was with the basketball,” said Braves coach Dan Burkman, who in six seasons has guided the program to a 97-40 record and two sectional titles.
“At that time she really filled a void on our team,” Burkman said. “As a freshman she was mainly a ‘3,’ but over the course of her career she’s played about every position.”
Indian Creek is 45-26 (.634) since arrival the arrival of Danz. She was a freshman starter for a squad that made it all the way to the championship game of the Danville Regional before dropping a 54-49 decision to eventual Class 3A state champion Mount Vernon (Fortville).
The Braves dropped to nine wins the following season. Last winter Danz averaged team-highs in points (19.3), rebounds (7.5) and assists (2.7) in leading the Braves to a 16-5 record.
Her height and skill set is similar to that of former Indian Creek standout Ally Lehman, a member of the 2013 Indiana All-Stars team about to begin her junior season at Northern Illinois University.
Even though Danz began playing basketball when she was 5, she points to that season — and Lehman specifically — for helping her evolve into the player she is today.
“My freshman year is when I really fell in love with basketball. A lot of it had to do with Allie, probably. Just seeing how good she was and wanting to be like that. She was just amazing. I liked playing against her,” Danz said.
“And confidence, too. I wasn’t very confident as a freshman, but I think I gained confidence from Allie encouraging me all of the time and also just seeing what I’ve been able to do in games.”
Danz isn’t as much the vocal leader as Lehman or some of the other Braves senior players of the recent past. However, her coach sees her progressing in this area.
“Whether Candace realizes it or not she is the leader of this team,” Burkman said. “I would like to see her be a little more vocal, and I see her growing more comfortable with that role.”
On course to graduate with eight varsity letters (she has also runs cross-country and played tennis), Danz would like to finish with at least 1,500 career points before calling it a career.
With Kylee Hamilton (1,944 points), Lehman (1,928) and Adrienne Squire (1,811) well out of reach, Danz is comfortable simply being mentioned as one of the best players the program has produced.
“I think 1,500 points would be good,” Danz said with a smile. “It’s just a good mark to pass.”
THE DANZ FILE
Name: Candace Danz
Family: Parents, Tom and Margi; sisters, Stacey, 29, Maggi, 20, and Raven, 19; brother, Jacob, 22
Favorite TV show: “Property Brothers”
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese
Favorite movie: “Burlesque”
Favorite athlete: Kevin Durant
Favorite team: Indiana Pacers