An established standout and an emerging standout powered the Indian Creek girls basketball team to a 73-44 win Friday night at Knightstown.
With the win, the Braves improve to 2-0 on the young season.
Knightstown (1-1) challenged the Braves early by pounding the ball to build an 11-6 lead three minutes into the game.
Following a timeout, Braves senior Ally Lehman did what she has done so often in her career: take over the game. This time, though, it was as much Lehman’s defense as offense that was the difference.
Playing the top of a 1-3-1 trapping defense, Lehman had four steals and deflected two other passes as the Braves closed the quarter on a 15-0 run. Lehman twice stole the ball at mid-court and converted the steals into layups.
Indian Creek forced 11 Panthers turnovers in a five minute stretch of play.
Braves coach Dan Burkman said Lehman’s physical skills and intelligence make her ideal for the top of the zone.
“She has such great instincts, and her basketball IQ is just off the charts,” Burkman said.
Knightstown broke its scoring slump on their first possession of the second quarter to cut the lead to 21-13. But a Jessica Knight jumper kicked off a 26-5 Indian Creek run to close the period that put the game out of reach.
Lehman sat the final 5:17 after scoring 34 points on 13 of 18 shooting from the field. She also had 12 rebounds and five steals. Freshman teammate Candace Danz had 16 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
Burkman offered a lofty comparison when assessing Danz’s rebounding instincts.
“She’s kind of a junior Ally Lehman in some ways,” he said. “I got on her quite a bit tonight, and she’s not used to that. She’s doing a good job, but I want her to be better because she can be better.”
Jill Gross led the Panthers with 14 points. Knightstown hit only 15 of 47 shots (32 percent) and had 23 turnovers.
The Braves continue their busy first week of the season tonight at Tech at 7:30. Burkman said the purpose for scheduling so many games early is to prepare for the Johnson County Tournament, which begins Nov. 13.
“Hopefully, we get all our pre-game jitters out of the way by then,” Burkman said. “Tech is a very athletic, fast paced team which is going to be good for us.”