The quality of the first half wasn’t what Indian Creek girls basketball coach Dan Burkman had in mind.
Not with sectional play just a couple weeks away.
After an unimpressive first half, the Braves played much better in the second. They scored 37 points on 17-of-24 shooting in the final two quarters for a 68-35 victory Thursday night against visiting South Decatur.
“I felt really good where we were right now, and I still do, as a team,” Burkman said. “You don’t want to have a game like that right now. I guess now is better than two weeks from now.”
Helped in large part by senior Ally Lehman’s all-around game (32 points, 16 rebounds, eight steals, four assists and three blocked shots), Indian Creek (15-4) won its seventh straight game and claimed sole possession of the Mid-Hoosier Conference title. The Braves finished 8-0 in league play.
But even with Lehman’s performance, the Braves still clung to just a 15-10 lead after a sluggish first quarter. And despite holding South Decatur to just one point in the second quarter, Burkman still wasn’t pleased.
“I just wasn’t very happy with our defense in the first half,” Burkman said. “(Or) really the whole game, in anything we ran.”
In particular, he didn’t like how the Braves played their zone and man-to-man defenses.
But their struggles weren’t just on the defensive end.
By halftime, the Braves had a 31-11 lead but had only made 12 of 35 shots from the field. Burkman spent part of halftime offering suggestions on how to improve the offense.
“It was both ends of the floor in the first half,” he said of the Braves’ early struggles. “We were just very slow motion, not much effort. We were just trying to coast through things.
“There was just very little effort in the first half, I thought.”
The Cougars (5-13) played with just six varsity players, led by sophomore Megan Niese’s 14 points.
Freshman Candace Danz scored 11 points for the Braves, and sophomore Alexis McGregor added 10.
In the first half, Lehman scored 12 points off seven offensive rebounds. She had 22 points, 13 rebounds and five steals in the first two quarters.
Indian Creek hosts Greenwood on Tuesday and concludes regular-season play next Thursday against visiting Brown County.