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Danz leads balanced Indian Creek attack

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Indian Creek girls basketball coach Dan Burkman didn’t have to wait long to see the kind of defensive intensity he had been seeking.

Leading 16-7 after one quarter, the Braves went on to cruise to a 76-44 victory against visiting Edinburgh in Tuesday night’s opening round of the annual Johnson County Tournament.

A key to the second quarter was the Braves’ use of their 1-3-1 defense.

“Once we picked up the intensity and started moving properly and rotating properly, we shut down passing lanes and had good ball pressure,” Burkman said. “We made it difficult for the ball handler to see things. Those were all things that were lacking in the first quarter.”

Despite 11 first-quarter turnovers, Edinburgh (0-3) trailed by just nine with 5:20 left in the first half. That’s when the Braves (3-1) took over, forcing six turnovers and going on a 22-2 run to take a 45-16 lead into halftime.

Edinburgh coach Bob White said the Lancers stopped rebounding and started reaching during that run.

“(The Braves) would get the ball, get the possession and take off, and we stood and watched for a second or two,” he said. “And then we’d take off. We were hesitant.”

Indian Creek freshman Candace Danz scored nine points during the run, including seven on three consecutive possessions. Danz led all scorers with 22 points. She also added a team-high seven rebounds, while senior Ally Lehman grabbed six boards.

Sophomore Alexis McGregor had 14 points. Seniors Brooke Mathena and Lehman each scored 12.

The Lancers got 16 points and 12 rebounds from senior Jennifer Stinson. Freshman Kayli Littiken added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Next up for Indian Creek is Thursday’s 6 p.m. semifinal against host Greenwood.

“Greenwood is very good this year, so we’ll have our work cut out for us,” Burkman said. “I won’t have to work so hard to get their intensity up, I don’t think.”

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