The sizable crowd that turned out for Bruce Hensley’s final home game didn’t get the curtain call it had hoped for.
Hensley led the Greenwood boys basketball team onto its home court for the final time in his 28-year head coaching career, but Indian Creek’s Tim Abel and Jared DeHart stole the show, helping the visiting Braves pull away for a 53-36 victory.
Indian Creek (14-8) avenged a 61-56 Johnson County tournament loss to the Woodmen back on Jan. 14.
“When we’re hitting, we’re hard to beat,” said Abel, who scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the second half and added four steals. “When we’re playing defense and hitting, we’re really hard to beat. It was a good team win.”
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Jeffrey Reynolds got a big rise out of the home crowd early in the second quarter when he went over Indian Creek’s Trevor Ankney and stuffed home a lob from Braydon Kincaid as part of a three-point play, capping a 7-0 run that put the Woodmen in front, 14-8. The Braves fought back with seven straight points of their own, briefly reclaiming the lead on an Abel 3 before Greenwood got consecutive buckets and took a 20-17 edge into halftime.
After plotting its takeover in the locker room, Indian Creek came out hot to start the third period, getting 3-pointers from DeHart, Zach Pugh and Abel as part of an extended 11-2 surge over the first 3 1/2 minutes. Greenwood got as close as three, at 33-30, before the Braves ended the quarter with another flurry, building a 43-32 cushion after Abel and DeHart put in consecutive 3s in the final minute.
The Woodmen were unable to get anything going offensively in the final period, and Indian Creek was content to let the last few minutes tick harmlessly away.
“I thought we defended well tonight,” Hensley said. “That’s a good offensive team; I thought we defended well. We were just a bad offensive team tonight.”
DeHart finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Indian Creek. Greenwood (11-11) was paced offensively by Kincaid and Eric Moenkhaus, who each scored 11 points. Reynolds finished with 11 rebounds and six blocked shots but didn’t have another field goal after his monster dunk in the first half.
Hensley, quickly downplaying the importance of this being his last game in the Greenwood gym, is hoping his team can let this loss go before a Friday trip to New Palestine and next week’s sectional at Franklin Central.
“Now it’s a mental game,” he said. “You have to be mentally tough enough to push this aside. … You have to let go of all the bad thoughts you have, and you just have to say, ‘Okay let’s focus on what we can correct and what we can control, and let’s get that done.’ ”
Indian Creek travels to Greenwood Christian for its regular-season finale Thursday.