RICHMOND - Fans of offensive patience and defensive pressure had to love Friday's Buckeye 8 clash between Indian Creek and Edison.
The Jefferson County rivals went back and forth all evening (there were eight lead changes early and nearly every shot was contested) before the visiting Redskins pulled away down the stretch and earned a hard-fought 48-42 victory.
"That had to be a great high school game to watch, said Creek coach Joe Dunlevy. "Both teams played very hard, they played well and played great defense. It was a six-point game but it really was a one possession game. Teams that have come in here and beaten them this year, it's been a one possession game.
GOING FOR THE BALL — Edison’s Dylan Jones (front) and Indian Creek’s Johnny Haught (left) fight for the ball along with the Wildcats’ Austin Hyndman and the Redskins’ Cody Durbin during the first quarter of Friday’s win by Indian Creek in Richmond. Looking on is the Redskins’ Jonathan Woodbury.
"They're very tough at home and also young. I want to congratulate them for their effort."
Edison's Nate Moses echoed Dunlevy's thoughts.
"Both teams played hard," he stated. "It was a typical Edison-Creek basketball game. Both teams really got after it on the defensive end."
Indian Creek 48, Edison 42
Indian Creek 10 10 10 18 - 48
Edison 7 14 6 15 - 42
INDIAN CREEK (7-9): Foldi 3 1-4 7; Roar 1 2-5 4; Haught 4 7-10 16; Wade 0 0-0 0; Huynh 0 2-4 2; Greco 0 0-0 0; Anderson 3 1-2 7; Durbin 1 2-2 4; Woodbury 3 2-2 8. TOTALS: 15 17-29 48. 3-pointers: Haught; Rebounds: 23 (Foldi 5, Roar 5); Turnovers: 12.
EDISON (5-11): Jones 3 0-0 8; Lee 5 3-4 13; Hyndman 2 5-6 9; Piatt 1 0-0 2; Woika 0 0-0 0; Wilken 0 3-4 3; Horan 3 0-0 7. TOTALS: 15 9-12 42. 3-pointers: Jones 2, Horan; Rebounds: 22 (Wilken 9, Lee 8); Turnovers: 17.
Creek, now 7-9, took the lead for good late in the third when Andrew Anderson scored off a Johnny Haught assist to make it 29-27. Anderson then went one for two from the line as Creek led 30-27 going into the fourth.
The Redskins registered 10 third quarter points and Haught had a hand in nine of them. He bounced in a three to tie things at 23 then knocked down a jumper to put his team ahead by two. He also assisted on an Aaron Foldi bucket before feeding Anderson.
Dunlevy's crew extended its advantage to seven (34-27) early in the fourth on free throws by Haught and Cody Durbin. Edison's Erik Lee then scored four straight, driving hard to the hoop for a deuce and later scoring off an Austin Horan pass.
Austin Hyndman's bucket (Skyler Wilken assisted) made it 34-33 Creek. The Redskins were up 41-37 thanks to another Anderson bucket, this time he turned a Blake Roar pass into points. Edison's Dylan Jones turned a steal into points with just under a minute to play making it 41-39.
Two Haught free tosses and a deuce by Anderson put the visitors up six. Wildcat Austin Horan drained a trifecta with 16 tickets left and scoreboard read 45-42. Haught sealed the deal with three makes from the line.
During the fourth quarter, Creek attempted 18 free throws and made 12. For the game, the Redskins were 17 of 29.
"I think we have a real good free throw shooting team," Dunlevy commented. "As long as we can hang around into the fourth quarter and go to the free throw line, I know we have a chance to win."
Haught paced the Redskins in scoring 16 (he was seven for eight from the stripe during the decisive final frame). Jonathan Woodbury contributed eight while Foldi and Anderson had seven apiece.
Lee recorded 13 to lead the Wildcats, now 5-11. Hyndman added nine and Jones eight. The hosts led 21-20 at the break when Hyndman got one to fall at the buzzer.
Creek's defensive pressure forced Edison into 17 turnovers.
"I want to congratulate my team for how they played defensively, for the most part," Dunlevy noted. "They did get some guys loose and were able to knock down shots. I thought for the most part, however, we played pretty good defense."
When it comes to Creek's patented defensive pressure, Dunlevy is quick to point out Roar, the senior point guard, "spearheads it."
"It's not easy handling the ball on offense and guarding the best player on the other team," the Creek mentor said. "He is definitely our leader.
"When a guy steps out on the floor and knows Blake is guarding him, he knows it is going to be a long night. Whatever points he gets, he's going to earn them. Blake plays great defense and has the heart of a lion. I thought we all played good defense tonight."
Creek returns to action Tuesday with a visit to Martins Ferry. Edison is scheduled to host Weir today.
"Coach Dunlevy does a good job of finishing games," Moses added. "We didn't finish tonight."
Edison shot 12 free throws compared to 29 for Creek, both teams had 15 field goals. The Wildcats did connect on nine of their attempts from the stripe.