TRAFALGER, Ind. -- Shutouts are for baseball pitchers, not basketball teams, but in two quarters Tuesday night the visiting Greenwood girls came close to holding Indian Creek scoreless for an 8-minute period.
Yet for all of that, the scrappy Braves had a chance to win in the final minutes before tumbling 53-44 against one of their favorite rivals.
Strangely, what seemed to be a momentum setter for Indian Creek actually turned the game around for Greenwood. With just over 5 minutes to go and the score 40-40, Greenwood was called for an intentional foul. Braves shooter Alexis McGregor missed both tries and Lady Woodmen forward Deauna Evans (13 points) almost immediately popped in a 3-pointer and followed that with a layup. Greenwood pulled away from there.
"We've been there before," said Greenwood point guard Chloe Orrvar of tight games in the fourth quarter. "We weren't playing like we should, but we're the type of team where we never put our heads down."
Class 4A Greenwood (15-4) and 3A Indian Creek (15-5) usually produce close, hard-fought games and Orrvar, a senior who scored 14 points, said the same Indian Creek girls regularly got the better of the Lady Woodmen in junior high.
Not on this night. Greenwood got off to an 11-2 lead, relying on long-range shots. Indian Creek did not score until 2:42 remained in the first quarter when Ally Lehman (12 points) made a layup. Greenwood coach Debbie Guckenberger was not happy with her team's shot selection and careless turnovers, both of which helped Indian Creek stay in the game.
"I talked to them about not settling for 3s," Guckenberger said.
The Braves came to life with Brooke Mathena (18 points) hitting 3s, and they took their first lead at 31-29 in a productive third quarter that ended with them on top 40-36. That was after winning the quarter 18-11.
"We had to have more of a sense of urgency," said Guckenberger of going into the fourth. "I told them, 'It is now or never.' "
Those were apparently magic words. Greenwood played better defense and the Braves went back into a hopeless shooting funk in the fourth, not scoring until Lehman pumped in a jumper with 1:01 to go and after missing four free throws.
"We're always planning for it to be a close game with them," said Greenwood guard Jordan Unversaw. "We always have a little rivalry with them."