Danz leads Braves past Lancers, 53-37

Indian Creek coach Dan Burkman figures senior guard Candace Danz has spoiled him.

“I’ve grown to become used to it after four years,” Burkman said. “It will be strange next year without her. She always seems to come up with a key steal, a key basket and a lot of deflections.

“She seems to make a play when we need one.”

Danz made plenty of plays Wednesday night, scoring 22 points in the visiting Braves’ 53-37 victory against Edinburgh in Mid-Hoosier Conference girls high school basketball action.

Danz said her 3-point shooting was off “but mid-range they were able to get me the ball, and I was able to knock down shots.”

Danz’s scoring effort was helped by hitting all eight free throws.

“I think our defense led the way we played,” said Danz, whose team improved to 12-4 and 5-0 in the conference. “We made them make turnovers, and then we converted on the other end.”

The Lancers (6-9, 1-3) committed 17 turnovers, six more than the Braves.

Burkman couldn’t pinpoint anything major he was really unhappy about his team’s play.

“It was a strange game,” Burkman said. “I thought generally our effort was pretty good. We played hard. At time the chemistry on the court broke down a little bit. We didn’t get out of our defense what we’re accustomed to and I think that gets our offense going a lot. Defensively we weren’t in sync.”

One problem was freshman forward Caitlyn Snyder went out with a knee injury early in the game.

“The trainer here thinks her kneecap might have popped out,” Burkman said. “That’s good news thinking it could be ACL or MCL. She was too definitely too sore and in a lot of pain to go back in.”

Smith has been starting the last few games and has been full-time on varsity for about six games, Burkman said.

“She really makes a difference,” Burkman said. “She’s a monster on the boards. She gives us eight to 10 rebounds and eight to 12 points a game. It’s just how hard she plays. We don’t have anybody else on the team that plays like that.”

Danz said Snyder was missed.

“Normally, she is a huge factor for us, so we had to bounce back,” Danz said. “She gets rebounds for us, so we had to step in and get our own rebounds. We definitely would have been better with her.”

Edinburgh coach Amy Macy said the Lancers did better against Indian Creek’s press than they did in a 60-46 loss in the Johnson County Tournament on Nov. 21.

“We broke the press and then we wouldn’t work on attacking in the half-court,” Macy said. “So we just have to be more attacking once we break the press. We have to have some confidence in our drives and shots. We stand a little bit too much on offense.

“I told the girls that game could have been closer at the end, and we would have had a chance if we did just a few things.”

The Braves led 20-14 after the first quarter and 31-18 at halftime.

“Defensively, we gave them too many second chances in the second half,” Macy said. “Candace is a heck of a player. We’ve got to know where she is and we’ve got to stop her drive.”

Katie Burkman added 12 points for the Braves on four 3-pointers.

Vanessa Hoskins was high scorer for the Lancers with nine points. Allie Schooler and Kayli Littiken each had seven points.

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Mark Ambrogi is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.