Indian Creek defended well enough to win its boys basketball showdown with Martinsville on Tuesday night, and it certainly played hard enough.

But the Braves couldn’t get enough shots to fall at the right times, and they never climbed all the way out of an early hole in a 57-50 home loss.

“It was a frustrating night for us, because it didn’t seem like we could hit any shots,” Indian Creek junior Isaiah Lacey said. “Other nights, we’re usually pretty good from the field, but tonight it wasn’t falling for us.

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“Our defense kept us in the game, but we couldn’t really break through that window to get the lead.”

The Braves (4-2) had trouble feeling out the Artesians’ 2-3 zone defense early on, and it cost them. Paced by a hot start from Reid Staggs, Martinsville was able to dart out to a 13-2 lead, and Indian Creek was fighting an uphill battle for the rest of the night.

“The start of the game was indicative, pretty much, of the whole game,” Braves coach Drew Glentzer said. “We just struggled offensively all night long.”

An extended 14-4 run that lasted well into the second period, capped by a Trevor Ankney 3-pointer, got the Braves as close as 19-18 with 3:32 left in the half. Martinsville (5-2) stretched the margin back to nine before a Jace Russell putback just before the horn got the home team within six at 28-22.

The Artesians scored eight straight points to go up by a dozen midway through the third, but the Braves fought back again with a 10-0 flurry that included 3-pointers from Zach Pugh and Ankney and a Xavier Ferris three-point play off a putback.

Again, though, close was all Indian Creek could muster. Martinsville rebuilt the lead to 48-37 with 6:07 remaining in the fourth, and though the Braves had one more surge left in them, trimming the deficit to 54-50 on a Jared DeHart 3 with 20.2 seconds to go, they never completed the comeback bid.

“We played well in spurts, and we played bad in spurts,” Glentzer said.

DeHart, kept under wraps for most of the night by Martinsville’s defense, finished with 14 points for the Braves. Lacey had a strong all-around game, chipping in with 13 points and three steals, while Ankney added 10 points off the bench.

Indian Creek is back in action Friday at Greenfield-Central.

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Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at roleary@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.