Indian Creek girls basketball coach Dan Burkman witnessed two different games Thursday night.
One was a slow, lethargic performance in the first half. In the second half, it was a faster, more aggressive pace.
He liked the latter better, and with good reason. The Braves took the lead and gradually pulled away to a 61-55 win against visiting Edgewood in their regular-season finale.
The victory improved the Braves’ record to 8-11 and was their sixth win in the past seven games.
Even more importantly, it gave Indian Creek more momentum heading into next week’s Class 3A sectional, where it will play the winner of Tuesday’s Danville-Greencastle game Feb. 14.
Burkman explained why he thought he was watching things differently than Indian Creek fans.
“We started slow in the first half. At least I thought so,” Burkman said. “I said to the girls to pick it up more.”
Burkman’s observation notwithstanding, it didn’t look like sophomore Candace Danz or junior Alexis McGregor were slow afoot.
Danz scored 16 of her game-high 31 points in the first half, while McGregor had 10 of her 15 points then as well.
It might have been Edgewood’s game, which was slower and more deliberate, passing the ball several times before trying to shoot.
Edgewood did hold a one-point lead, 31-30, at halftime.
It was time for Indian Creek to quicken its pace a bit — at Burkman’s behest.
“We got more aggressive and our defense, which I thought was pretty good in the first half, continued to play well,” Burkman said.
Despite the aggression, Indian Creek was outscored by the Mustangs 13-10 and trailed 44-40 entering the fourth quarter. But things were about to change.
A 3-point basket by Danz gave the Braves the lead for good, 45-44, and 4½ minutes to play, the Braves outscored Edgewood 16-5 the rest of the way to take the win.
Senior Vanessa Brown led the Mustangs with 22 points, while teammate Deja Callahan added 12.
Indian Creek’s aggressive offensive play didn’t hurt its shooting, either, as the Braves hit 25 of 45 field-goal attempts.
“This was a good win for us,” Burkman said. “I feel like since the holiday tournament, we’ve turned the corner and have been playing some of our best basketball.”