For the Daily Journal
Indian Creek used an overwhelming edge at the free throw line to hold off Greenwood Christian 59-55 in the semifinals of the Monrovia Holiday Classic on Friday.
The Braves were 25 for 35 from the foul line to just 6 of 10 for Greenwood Christian, with 17 of those points coming in the fourth quarter. Despite that large differential, it wasn’t until the closing seconds that Indian Creek finally put the game away.
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“We knew exactly what kind of game it was going to be,” Indian Creek coach Drew Glentzer said. “It was two teams that play really hard and the game was called physically. Both teams made runs and it was just about getting stops. I was proud of my team.”
Other than a frantic third quarter in which the teams traded the lead five times, Indian Creek (6-3) led virtually the entire way. The Braves took a 35-32 lead into the fourth, then went 17 for 23 from the line in the last quarter to stay out front.
Greenwood Christian (4-5) stayed right on Creek’s tail the entire way. A Champ McCorkle 3-pointer for the Cougars tied the game at 49-49 with 2:27 left to play, but free throws and turnovers killed Greenwood Christian down the stretch.
The Cougars were again within one possession after a McCorkle basket with six seconds to play, but a Trevor Ankney free throw with 4.4 seconds left iced the game for the Braves.
Greenwood Christian coach Jonny Marlin wasn’t happy with the way his team responded, especially in the fourth.
“It’s tough when you foul people 47 feet further down the floor then what you should,” Marlin said. “It’s unfortunate. I’d say it’s just stupid plays that we’ve got to get better on.”
Jared DeHart followed up a 24-point effort against North Putnam in the morning game by scoring 27 points to lead Indian Creek against Greenwood Christian. Isaiah Lacey added 11 points for the Braves.
Payton Modlin scored 19 points, Kegan Owen had 18 and McCorkle scored 16 for Greenwood Christian, but both Modlin and Owen ended up fouling out.
Indian Creek will face host Monrovia in the championship at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Greenwood Christian will take on Brown County in the third-place game at 6 p.m.
In the opening round, Greenwood Christian recovered from a slow start to beat Southwestern (Shelbyville) 60-42.
The Cougars trailed 11-7 after the first but rallied to take a 26-17 lead at the half and pulled away in the second half for the win. McCorkle hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 16 points to lead Greenwood Christian, while Owen chipped in 13.
DeHart scored 24 points to lead Indian Creek to a 59-46 win against North Putnam.
The Braves jumped out to an 18-12 lead after the first quarter and led the rest of the way, but it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that they were able to get some breathing room.
Xavier Ferris added 12 points for Indian Creek.