Indian Creek boys basketball coach Derek Perry had encouraged junior Brett DeHart the past couple of games to shoot more.
DeHart took the coach’s advice Friday night.
He scored a game-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting to help lead the Braves to a 65-52 victory against visiting Brown County, one day after beating South Decatur at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Braves take an 8-2 record into the Johnson County Tournament, which starts Tuesday.
Perry said DeHart is one of Indian Creek’s most accurate shooters.
“The last couple of games, he’s been more timid to shoot the ball first,” Perry said. “He’s always looking to pass. Which, he’s our point guard, and that’s his job. I told him tonight, that’s what we need right there. He’ll take a nice quality shot.”
In the second quarter, DeHart scored 11 points, making 4 of 5 shots, including a trio of 3-pointers to help the Braves to a 31-27 halftime lead. His only miss was a tough 3-pointer right before the buzzer.
Despite DeHart’s shooting, Indian Creek’s plan wasn’t to shoot so many 3-pointers. But Brown County mixed up some zone defense to bait the Braves into taking outside shots.
“We wanted to make them beat us from the outside, and give DeHart credit,” Brown County coach Roger Fleetwood said. “If he doesn’t make that many shots … They have five guys who can score, and that makes it a little more difficult.
“We have two guys right now that can score. That was the difference in the game.”
Brown County’s strategy worked in the first half as Indian Creek attempted 14 of its 16 3-pointers. The Braves attempted just eight 2-point field goals.
“We’ve talked about all week, we’ve talked about from day one, don’t settle for outside shots,” Perry said.
But after missing all five of its first-quarter 3-pointers, Indian Creek made 5 of 9 in the second quarter.
“The coaches were actually kind of disappointed with us because, coming into the game, we said we weren’t going to settle for threes,” DeHart said. “And we started settling for threes. It just turned out the way it did.
“Some guys started hitting.”
Indian Creek got back to its offense in the second half, attacking the basket, making 10 of 14 free throws and using its transition offense to help shoot 12 of 16 (75 percent) from the field.
“We really feel like we are at our best when we are in transition,” DeHart said. “We want to get out and run, which, getting out and running is fun.”
Indian Creek used a 6-0 run, keyed by four of junior Austin Smith’s 13 points, to take a 37-27 lead early in the third quarter.
The Eagles lingered around, but they couldn’t get closer than seven points the rest of the game. They made just 10 of 31 shots in the second half.
The Braves shot 23 of 38 (60.5 percent) from the field. Freshman Cameron Smith scored 12 points. Seniors Matt Wray and Kyler Schroughman each had eight.
Seniors Tony Goral and Steven Norman paced Brown County with 17 points apiece.
Brown County (1-8) lost its fourth straight game.
The third-seeded Braves play at Edinburgh at 7 p.m. in Tuesday’s opening round of the county tournament.
“Playing down there, it’s never easy,” Perry said. “We’ll have our hands full. They are playing well.”