Indian Creek is right back where it was a year ago, advancing to the Class 3A girls basketball sectional championship game at Beech Grove.
If Indian Creek senior Ally Lehman has anything to say about it, there won’t be a letdown like there was when Tri-West defeated the Braves in overtime to earn a 2012 regional berth.
After marching through Tri-West in Tuesday’s first-round sectional contest by a whopping 24 points, Indian Creek again put up big numbers against semifinal opponent Northwest as the Braves blew by the Space Pioneers 70-50 on Friday night.
In the other semifinal Friday, Danville got by Beech Grove 53-30 which sets the stage for today’s title game at 7 p.m.
In the early going against Northwest, the Space Pioneers made it a game using their physical inside play. The Braves responded in kind and tied the game at 9-all with four minutes to go.
Senior guard Brooke Mathena, who finished with 18 points, knocked down a 3-pointer, and Lehman followed with a trey.
Lehman, who had a game-high 27 points and eight rebounds, finished the quarter with a fall-away jumper to give the Braves a 19-15 advantage.
Continuing to use good ball movement, Indian Creek patiently waited for the open shot.
With Mathena and Lehman scoring with relative ease, the Braves went to the break with a 34-25 halftime lead.
With a couple of defensive changes at the half, Indian Creek denied Northwest of the inside play it had been successful with in the first quarter.
For Braves coach Dan Burkman, winning is always about defense.
“We made a small adjustment in that second half with our 1-3-1 zone defense to make them back up and make a decision before we went back to attacking the basket on offense. That really worked to our advantage,” he said. “I’m really proud of how our kids played Tuesday and again tonight. Northwest came to play, and our girls responded.”
Lehman got the first bucket of the third quarter on a breakaway layup, and from there the Braves put their foot on the pedal and never looked back.
Fueled by a 16-2 scoring run, Indian Creek closed the third quarter up by 25 at 58-33.
It was smooth sailing the rest of the way, and everyone on the Indian Creek bench picked up significant minutes in the final period.
The Braves (18-5) hit 26 of 50 from the field for 52 percent and were 13 of 18 at the free-throw line. Of their field goals, the Braves recorded an impressive 17 assists.
Northwest was 20 of 45 from the floor for 52 percent and 8 for 12 at the charity stripe.
Leading the way for the Space Pioneers (9-12) were Maycee Davis and Adelena Sibande with 14 points apiece.