3A sectionals: Game is easy when Hornets' D makes opponents' life hard

3A sectionals: Game is easy when Hornets' D makes opponents' life hard


3A sectionals: Game is easy when Hornets' D makes opponents' life hard




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The message didn’t click for Beech Grove right away this season. But as the Hornets dropped three of their first five games, coach Matt English kept on preaching: defensive stops, defensive stops, defensive stops.

The Hornets veterans say it finally sank in when the competition got tougher during holidays, when they handed now-Class 3A No. 9 Tri-West its first loss of the season during the Beech Grove holiday tournament. Since then, everything has revolved around one of the most basic but fundamental concepts in basketball.

“That’s when it was really like, ‘We can do something with this thing,’” Hornets senior guard Dylan Allen said.

And it’s worked, as Beech Grove (17-6) demonstrated in full in a 74-58 victory over Indian Creek (15-9) on Wednesday night in 3A sectional play at Danville. Allen scored a team-high 23 points, much derived from good looks on turnovers or defensive rebounds.

“It sounds simple,” English said, laughing, “but when you can’t stop the other team, it makes the game awfully hard. We were able to get some stops and string the game out a little bit.”

The Hornets and Braves dueled near evenly through the first half, trading buckets on almost every possession and never grabbing a lead greater than six points. Indian Creek looked often to senior guard Tim Abel, who led all scorers with 26 points and hit shots from all over the floor.

Then the Braves offense took a hit when junior guard Jared DeHart fouled out of the game in the third quarter, limiting the options of an already limited seven-man rotation.

Right about the time DeHart went out, the Hornets clamped down on the disadvantage and began to pull away after a contested first 2½ quarters.

“I’d say one of the most athletic teams we’ve played this year and, maybe, one of the best teams we’ve played,” Indian Creek coach Derek Perry said. “I think they’re a team that could probably walk away with this thing the next couple of nights.”

By the final two minutes, the Hornets had manufactured a double-digit lead off the defensive stops that have become their identity this season.

In one such instance, senior guard Chase Andries knocked a ball away from Abel that rolled down the court and started running for a layup. He drew a foul, made the shot then sunk the free throw for a three-point swing.

“You see how we run out and get layups,” said Andries, who finished with 22 points on 8-for-10 from the foul line. “That’s a big part of what we are. Trying to slow us down, that’s about all (teams) can do because we have so many good athletes.”

Beech Grove advances to Friday’s sectional semifinal against Cardinal Ritter (15-8), who posted a 83-43 victory over Washington (1-19) in the second game Wednesday night.

Follow IndyStar reporter Jordan J. Wilson on Twitter: @Wilsonable07. Email him at  jordan.wilson@indystar.com .


BEECH GROVE       12   16   18   28  — 74

INDIAN CREEK        11   16   16   15  — 58

Indian Creek (15-9) — Isaiah Lacey 3-4 0-0 6, Tim Abel 9-12 4-4 26, Jared DeHart 0-5 3-4 3, Bryce Hogue 5-6 4-4 15, Zach Pugh 2-7 0-0 6, Trevor Ankney 1-4 0-0 2, Andrew Pierce 0-1 0-0 0.

Beech Grove (17-6) — Kenny Washington 4-6 2-3 10, Montrez Hearon 3-6 1-2 7, Dylan Allen 9-15 4-5 23, Chase Andries 6-10 8-10 22, Jomar Seals 0-2 0-0 0, Jalyn Curry 3-5 2-2 9, Gavin Hess 0-1 0-0 0, Jamin Storey 1-1 0-0 3.


WASHINGTON                  8    19   8     8  — 43

CARDINAL RITTER          20  16   21  26  — 83

Washington (1-19) — Jalen Evans 4-10 5-8 17, Johnny Hickey 2-6 0-0 4, Kaylin Curtis 0-1 0-0 0, Derrick Hatfield 6-8 0-0 14, TeVonte Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Marcus Barner 0-5 0-0 0, Jeremy Wehr 3-5 1-2 8.

Cardinal Ritter (15-8) — Miles Tracy 4-6 5-7 13, Shelby Turner 2-4 3-4 8, Anthony Dumes 3-5 0-0 7, Tharran Cook 0-6 1-2 1, Nate Soltis 8-9 1-4 17, Daion Daniels 2-3 0-0 6, Ange Gnamkey 2-4 10-13 14, Brice Buels 1-1 0-0 3, Brad Bacon 2-3 3-6 9, Joey Gruber 1-1 2-2 4, Drew Sandifer 0-0 1-2 1. 


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