Flat effort dooms Braves


Disappointing is the word Indian Creek High School boys basketball coach Derek Perry kept using.

“There are 10 guys in there that are disappointed, as well,” Perry said. “They know they laid an egg. They let Martinsville have their way in every part of that game.”

Keegan Northern and Logan Ratts each scored 19 to lead the visiting Artesians to a 93-59 romp against Indian Creek on Friday night.

Martinsville improved to 6-0, while the Braves fell to 5-1.

“We didn’t win or gain advantage in any part of that game,” Perry said. “We were down from the start. Transition defense was bad. The rebounding was bad. Our offense was stagnant. There are going to be nights when our offense is stagnant.

“That’s what I told them. They’ve got to hold it on the defensive end. Obviously, we didn’t do that.”

Martinsville grabbed a 21-13 lead after the first quarter. The Artesians expanded it to 42-25 by halftime. The Braves suffered a blow when junior forward Bryce Hogue picked up his third foul midway through the second quarter.

Indian Creek showed brief signs of life by scoring the first five points of the third quarter to cut the lead to 12, but the Artesians shook it off and took control again.

“You can’t dig that hole against a great 4A team like that and expect to get out of it,” Perry said.

Northern, a 6-8 senior forward, scored 12 points in the quarter as the Artesians held a 28-19 edge.

“Indian Creek came out at us to start the third quarter like we thought they would,” Artesians coach Kip Staggs said. “We responded well with poise. We ran the floor well. We defended a little better. We got contributions from everybody.

“We had 20 assists in the game. It was a solid team win with four guys in double figures.

Seniors Zach Anderson added 15 points and Dylan Bales 11 for Martinsville.

“In our locker room right now, guys are happy for each other,” Staggs said. “We had a lot of successes on the floor. This is a group that is unselfish, and they work together. If they continue to do that, they’ll get better and better.”

Perry knows he has an unselfish group as well. Perry said his Braves have worked hard in practice since Nov. 9.

“Very few practices have been bad,” Perry said. “We played well in the first five games. Then to come out and not play well in any phase. Martinsville is a very good team but nothing like the score indicated.”

Perry said how his team reacts in practice and in the next game in the Monrovia Tournament on Dec. 29 to 30.

“I hate sitting for 10 days with a loss like that,” Perry said. “But my group of guys will bounce back. We’ll learn from this. It was just a bad lesson to learn.’

Junior guard Tim Abel was high for the Braves with 20 points. Sophomore guard Jared DeHart added 13 and Hogue 10 for Indian Creek.

The Braves were 19 of 47 from the field and 13 of 19 from the free throw line.

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Mark Ambrogi is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.