Ally Lehman and her Indian Creek teammates had revenge on their minds in Tuesday's Class 3A girls basketball sectional opener at Beech Grove.
In last year's sectional title game, the Braves lost an overtime heartbreaker to a more experienced Tri-West team. It took them awhile to get going in Tuesday's first-round rematch, but the Braves took hold midway through the second quarter and didn't look back en route to a 74-50 romp. Indian Creek led 70-35 early in the fourth before coach Dan Burkman unloaded his bench.
Indian Creek (17-5) will play Northwest (9-11) in Friday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal game.
Danville (11-10) topped Manual (0-22) 57-12 in Tuesday's early sectional game. Danville freshman Maleha Motter led all scorers with 12. The Warriors will face Beech Grove (2-17) in Friday's 6 p.m. semifinal.
Lehman was the facilitator offensively and defensively for the Braves. The versatile Northern Illinois recruit notched a triple-double, finishing with a game-high 21 points to go with 12 rebounds, 10 assists and eight steals.
"We were heartbroken last year," Lehman said of the 75-70 overtime loss to the Bruins. "It took us a couple of weeks to get over the fact we lost the championship in overtime. We've been talking about this for weeks. We were ready three weeks ago to jump into the sectional. Once we got that draw (and saw Tri-West as the opponent). . . . I love revenge. It was the only thing on my mind."
Tri-West came out playing much like it ended last year's game. The Bruins jumped to an early 5-1 lead and led 21-18 in the second quarter.
That's when the Braves went on a 10-0 run. Lehman hit a jumper. Brooke Mathena fed a pass to Kaylie Haste for a layup. Alexis McGregor swiped away a Tri-West defensive rebound and converted the layup. Lehman drove and scored, stole the ball and found McGregor for a layup. The Braves never looked back. They won the second and third periods 47-15 combined.
"She'll be an Indiana All-Star for sure," Tri-West coach Brad Acton said of Lehman. "She makes them go."
Sophomore Karen Jones led Tri-West with 16 points. Senior Lauren DeSutter added 14.
"We just didn't handle their halfcourt (pressure) well," Acton said. "For about the last five minutes of the second quarter, it just snowballed on us."
Mathena finished with 17 points for Indian Creek. McGregor added 15 and Candace Danz scored 13. The Braves shared the ball well, shooting 57 percent from the floor and compiling 22 assists.