BEECH GROVE — Two Hendricks County teams started the postseason at Beech Grove last night and only one is continuing.
The Danville Warriors cruised to a 57-12 victory over Manual in the sectional opener.
The Redskins (0-22) shot a perfect 100 percent in the first quarter, but only attempted one field goal and turned the ball over 17 times. The Warriors (11-10) led 27-3 at the end of the first after trailing 3-2 initially.
“We were in position on defense and we forced some turnovers,” Danville coach Terry Hammons said. “Every team wants to do that and we were able to capitalize on some of those turnovers and make some quick scores. That’s where defense is a big part of your game.”
In the second quarter it was more Danville as they led 41-5 at halftime.
“When you start seeing the ball go through the basket, your confidence and shot picks up,” Hammons said. “That’s one thing a lot of people underestimate… See the ball going in the basket and then it looks like it keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”
Nine different players scored for the Warriors, including seven who scored six points or more.
“It’s always a team game,” Hammons said. “It’s always difficult to give any quality minutes to anybody that isn’t necessarily in your top eight. Sometimes your nine through 11 don’t get the minutes, so this turned out to be a good game for them. They got a few more minutes than what they have during parts of the season.”
Freshman Maleha Motter led the balanced attack for Danville with 10 points. Other top scorers for the Warriors included Allie Lake with nine and Nicki Kiefer with eight. Whitney Taylor, Morgan Bear and Shelby Suding each scored six points.
In a rematch of last year’s sectional championship game where Tri-West beat Indian Creek 75-70 in overtime, the winning team was different this season.
After a good start, the Bruins fell behind quickly with 26 turnovers and lost 74-50.
“I really thought it was going to be a pretty even game to be honest,” Tri-West coach Brad Acton said. “I think it surprised everybody that we ended up like we did.”
Tri-West (16-6) led 17-15 after the first quarter but Indian Creek’s half-court trap rattled the Bruins in the second quarter. Tri-West registered nine turnovers and shot 3 of 15 from the field in the second.
The Braves (17-5) shot 12 of 18 in the second quarter and took a 41-25 lead into halftime. Tri-West’s inability to get the ball past half court clearly hurt them and allowed for easy Indian Creek baskets.
“They were basically outplaying us and we didn’t have an answer,” Acton said. “We didn’t attack like we wanted. Give credit to them and they are a solid team.”
It was more of the same in the third quarter as the Braves scored 16 unanswered points, the Bruins turned the ball over nine times again and the game was effectively put out of reach.
“It was tough to watch it when you’re sitting on the bench and you’re trying to do some things to correct, but it just wasn’t our night,” Acton said.
Sophomore Karen Jones led Tri-West with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Tri-West has won 68 games the past four seasons to go along with two sectional championships so Acton did not want this game to be the lasting image of his senior class.
“This senior group accomplished so much,” Acton said. “I don’t want to dwell on this game, even though it’s the final game but it’s not the way you wanted to end it. These seniors have had a heck of a career.”
Lauren DeSutter, Kari Sellers, Cary Brown, Dani Waldeck and Taylor Baggett make up the Bruins senior class. Acton knows that he will miss the girls moving forward.
“This group may be one of the best groups I’ve coached just with their work ethic and their ability to play hard every night,” Acton said. “It’s going to be hard to replace them.”