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Braves use run for win: Defense difference in fieldhouse game


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Indian Creeks Cameron Smith dives for a loose ball as he defends South Decatur's Chris Johannigman during Indian Creeks 64-54 victory in the Fieldhouse Challenge Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Indian Creeks Cameron Smith dives for a loose ball as he defends South Decatur's Chris Johannigman during Indian Creeks 64-54 victory in the Fieldhouse Challenge Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal


INDIANAPOLIS

Last week against the No. 1 team in Class 3A, the Indian Creek boys basketball team was on the wrong end of an 11-0 run to start the game.

Thursday afternoon, the Braves put together a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to break open a tie game and hand Mid-Hoosier Conference rival South Decatur its first loss of the season.

Class 3A Indian Creek stayed perfect in conference play with a 64-55 win against the Class A No. 16 Cougars at Bankers Life Field­­house.

South Decatur senior Byron Balser collected a long offensive rebound and drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing to tie the game at 49-all with 3:12 to play. But the Cougars (8-1, 0-1 Mid-Hoosier) would not score again until less than a minute remained.

Indian Creek senior Matthew Wray started the decisive run with a driving layup that put the Braves back up by two.

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Thirty seconds later, freshman Cameron Smith and junior Austin Smith both scored on transition baskets to push the Braves’ lead to 55-49, which was the biggest advantage of the game for either team at that point.

Senior Kyler Schrougham then converted a three-point play, junior Brett DeHart added two free throws, and Wray hit a short jumper with a minute to play to put the game out of reach.

Indian Creek coach Derek Perry credited the Braves’ defense for opening up their offense during the key run.

“For three-and-a-half quarters I don’t think we played much

defense,” Perry said. “But we picked up our intensity a little bit and forced (South Decatur) to take some tough shots.”

Wray agreed that the difference was on the defensive end of the court.

“We were letting them get the ball into the post way too easy,” Wray said. “We weren’t staying in our gaps defensively, and we were letting them penetrate to the bucket all they wanted.

“During that run we stopped them from getting inside. We blocked out, and we got all the loose balls.”

The Braves limited the Cougars to just 4-of-15 shooting in the fourth quarter (26.7 percent) and forced five turnovers while committing just one of their own.

The game could not have been closer for the first 29 minutes. The teams were tied 20-all at the end of the first quarter; 34-all at halftime; and at 43 at the end of the third period.

Neither team led by more than four points until Indian Creek’s game-winning stretch.

Wray had a game-high 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Cameron Smith and Austin Smith each had 11 points. DeHart added 10 points. Indian Creek shot 48 percent (25 of 52) from the field.

Balser scored 15 points and collected 14 rebounds to lead the Cougars.

Indian Creek (7-2, 4-0) hosts Brown County at 7:30 tonight.

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