Indian Creek spent three quarters giving seventh-ranked Danville all it could handle Friday night at the Manual girls basketball sectional.
It was the fourth quarter that did the Braves in.
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Led by the 27 points of sophomore Ella Collier, the Warriors played their best basketball late to pull away for a 55-40 victory in the Class 3A semifinal.
Danville (22-4) now prepares for this evening’s championship game against Tri-West, which downed Beech Grove, 60-56, in overtime in Friday’s first game.
Indian Creek finishes its season with a 12-11 mark under first-year coach Brian Ferris.
“I thought our gameplan coming out was solid. The kids worked really hard this week making adjustments,” Ferris said. “Obviously, Danville wasn’t on our schedule, but we’ve seen plenty of film and the girls played them before in the summertime.
“Everything was going our way in the first half. Defensively, they didn’t have an answer for us. Our shots were falling. In the second half, Danville made some adjustments and started hitting some shots, and we had some untimely in-and-outs. It was just the tale of two games.”
The loss marked the end of seven Indian Creek careers as seven seniors, including starters Celina McElroy at center and guards Addie Rund and Sydney Logsdon, played their final high school games.
McElroy led Indian Creek with 12 points with Rund close behind with 11. They were two of the three Braves players finishing with five rebounds, the other being junior swingman Katie Burkman.
Leading at halftime, 29-19, Indian Creek scored only 11 points over the final two quarters as the Warriors caught up and surged ahead.
Miscues also haunted the Braves, who turned the basketball over 19 times. They shot 13 of 40 from the floor.
Ferris praised the outgoing seniors for their contributions to his program.
“I’m super proud of this bunch from top to bottom. All 23 girls that we have, varsity to JV,” he said. “I’m proud of the seniors. They stuck with us, worked hard and were leaders. It’s a group that has accomplished a lot. They’ve kept the winning tradition that we can pass down to the younger kids.”
The Braves tallied the game’s first seven points and bolted to a 15-4 advantage late in the first before Danville seemed to get it footing and essentially play even with Indian the remainder of the half.
Early in the second, the Warriors actually cut the margin to seven, 19-12, but the ensuing 8-0 Braves’ run features two buckets from Burkman and a rebound hoop and two charities from McElroy.
Indian Creek led up until Danville’s baseline triple with 8.7 seconds to go in the third gave the Warriors a 36-35 lead. A 12-0 scoring run by Danville to open the fourth period basically put the game away.