Indian Creek girls basketball coach Dan Burkman has been down this road before.
The one where a four-year starter who serves as the Warriors’ go-to option offensively for basically the final three seasons of her high school career graduates.
Four years ago, it was Indiana All-Star Ally Lehman.
Story continues below gallery
In the spring it was Candace Danz, a 5-foot-10 guard/forward, who tallied 1,650 career points and was part of a Class 3A regional qualifier both as a freshman and senior.
Good thing the cupboard isn’t anywhere close to empty.
Approximately two-thirds of Indian Creek’s point production from the 2015-16 season returns, led by 5-4 junior guard Addie Rund, 5-11 sophomore wing Katie Burkman and 5-7 sophomore Caitlyn Snyder.
Celina McElroy, the Braves’ 5-10 junior forward who averaged eight points and five rebounds, sustained a knee injury over the summer that promises to sideline her for most of the regular season.
Coach Burkman hopes to have McElroy back in time for the start of the postseason.
“From a scoring perspective, it’s going to be Addie Rund and Katie who are probably going to carry the brunt of it,” said coach Burkman, who in seven seasons has amassed a record of 118-45.
“But I feel like I have other kids who are capable. Snyder is sort of an ‘X’ factor for us. She fills a role that we don’t have. A real physical player. I expect Stevye Gonzales to contribute, and Makenzi Sizemore is just one of those kids you notice when she’s not on the floor. The game changes.”
Rund is the team’s top returning scorer after averaging 9.4 points last season. Her 58 assists and 54 steals were second only to Danz.
Indian Creek’s best perimeter shooter is Katie Burkman, who was 58 of 145 from behind the 3-point arc for a sizzling 40-percent marksmanship. Burkman averaged 9.2 points and Snyder added 6.6 points and 3.2 rebounds.
Madelyn Gary, a 6-foot post player and the roster’s lone senior, is coming off a season in which she averaged 3.5 points and 2.9 rebounds.
“I expect Madelyn to be a starter. She’s very athletic, but we don’t have much height outside of her,” coach Burkman said. “She played a lot of JV last year and is a very quiet kid, so she’s not going to be a vocal leader, that’s for sure.
“But she’s one of those kids who plays hard all the time in practices and games. She sets a good example.”
A pair of 5-5 guards in junior Sizemore (2.8 ppg) and sophomore Gonzales (2 ppg) are vying to become starters. Expect 5-7 freshman Heather Maddox to contribute early and often, whether as a starter or valued backup guard/forward.
Coach: Dan Burkman
Last year: 21-5; lost to Lebanon in Danville Regional final.
Who’s back: Katie Burkman, Madelyn Gary, Stevye Gonzales, Celina McElroy, Addie Rund, Makenzi Sizemore, Caitlyn Snyder.
Who’s gone: Candace Danz, Cassie Smith, Baylee Wilson.
New kids on the block: Hanna Grider, Ally Harris, Heather Maddox, Lauren Pendleton, Kailyn Todor.
Outlook: Playing without Danz as a starter for the first time since the 2011-12 season forces the Braves to produce an altogether different identity — particularly on offense. Rund and Katie Burkman each averaged slightly more than nine points and are now expected to produce more scoring. Burkman delivered a team-best 58 3-pointers as a freshman, but she isn’t expected to get as many open looks with Danz gone.
Burkman says: “This year, the big difference is I feel like I probably have my most skilled team top to bottom. I do think we’ll struggle a little bit in crucial moments where we used to look to get Candace (Danz) the ball. We’re going to have to do it together, and people are going to have to step up at various times. We have a lot of different kids who can do a lot of different things.”
Nov. 5;at Martinsville;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 8;Cascade;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 12;Monrovia;12:30 p.m.
Nov. 15-19;Johnson County tournament at Edinburgh;TBA
Nov. 22;at Beech Grove;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 2;at Owen Valley;6 p.m.
Dec. 3;Covenant Christian;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 6;Hauser;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 9;at Cloverdale;6 p.m.
Dec. 13;at Whiteland;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 16;at Edgewood;6 p.m.
Dec. 20;Greenwood, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 30;at Franklin Community tournament;TBA
Jan. 4;Edinburgh;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 7;Brown County;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20;Western Indiana Conference playoffs;TBA