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Shaffer’s clutch layups lift the Redskins over Brooke, 53-49

LOOKING UP — Indian Creek’s Logan Shaffer looks to shoot past Brooke’s Alex Isinghood on Friday. Also shown is Brooke’s Cole Sperlazza. -Joe Catullo

WINTERSVILLE — The Indian Creek boys basketball team executed down the stretch, while Brooke did not, and the Redskins’ ability to execute made the difference between winning and losing.

Logan Shaffer made two layups 26 seconds apart to lift Indian Creek to a 53-49 come-from-behind victory Friday night at home in the Redskins’ regular-season finale.

The score was knotted at 49 when Shaffer scored a layup with 37.4 seconds left, giving the Redskins a 51-49 lead. After a missed 3-pointer from the top of the key, the Bruins did not foul, enabling Shaffer to score his second straight layup with 11.3 seconds showing on the clock to secure the victory for the home team.

“It was a nice play by our kids,” Indian Creek (3-19) head coach Joe Dunlevy said about Shaffer’s first basket. “Our kids did a great job. This is Game 22, and they did a great job executing against all of the different defenses we saw. They did a great job of executing.

“I think we were 6 for 6 in the first quarter. They did a nice job of listening at practice, and they were ready to execute against all of their different defenses. That is great for our team. It shows they have gotten better as the year has gone on. It shows how hard they have worked to get better as the season has gone on.”

Brooke called a timeout with 29 seconds left to draw up a play, but it did not get the look head coach Mel Coleman wanted.

“That was not the shot I wanted us to take,” he said. “I don’t believe in shooting a 3 when you are down by two. I believe in two plus-one. I’m old school. I wanted us to take it to the hole and to make something happen. Instead, we shot a 3. A 3 is a 50-50 shot. We are not good enough to rely on 50-50 shots. That’s the way it goes.”

Dunlevy said the 3 from the top of key was not the shot he wanted his team to allow.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “We wanted to try and stay in front of our guy. We wanted to try and make them take a contested jump shot. It was a good look, but it did not go down.

“We were 11 for 14 on our free throws. That is big in a one-possession game. That shows how much we have grown up as a basketball team.”

Indian Creek outscored Brooke, 17-15, to turn a one-point deficit at halftime into a one-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

The game went back-and-forth in the fourth quarter. With the score knotted at 45, Isaiah Vandine netted a pair of free throws to put the victors up by two, and then a basket by Mike Kuczykowski extended the lead to 49-45. Brooke tied the score following two free throws by Cole Sperlazza and a basket by Alex Lilly.

“It was a different result tonight,” Coleman said. “We had too many fouls. We did not do the fundamentals. We got boxed out. We did not box out. They got a lot of second shots, and they got too many free throws. You can’t win that way. I told them it was going to be a dogfight. Obviously, they did not believe me.”

Four players produced double digits in points to lead the way for Indian Creek. Vandine delivered a team-high 14 points, while Kuczykowski, Jacob Wright and Shaffer all finished with 11.

Lilly led all scorers with a game-high 16 points for Brooke, while Alex Isinghood added 14.

The victory allowed Indian Creek to earn a series split with Brooke. The Bruins defeated the Redskins, 50-41, on Jan. 31 inside the Brooke Wellness Center.

Indian Creek got off to a fast start, as it raced out to a 16-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. Brooke had the better of the play in the second and outscored the Redskins, 13-4, to take a 21-20 lead at halftime.

Indian Creek led 37-36 entering the fourth.

Dunlevy said it was nice for his team to win their final home game of the season.

“For the coaches and the people who have watched us all year and who have supported us can see the difference,” he said. “We have gotten better throughout the year. Sometimes, people only see it when you are winning, but we have improved a lot individually and as a team. I’m looking forward to seeing all the same faces next year if they all come back. They will all be a year older.

“We have gotten better with time. If people ask me about this season, I will tell them it has been a great year. I love coaching these young men. I am impressed with how they represent their school and their community. We have not won a lot of games, but the people who have watched us know we never quit. We continue to fight. They play together. They play as a team. They do a great job of representing themselves, their families and the school district.”

GAME NOTE

Brooke won the JV game, 30-20. Nate Taylor and Eddie Marks each tallied eight points to lead the Bruins, while Bryson Bodo delivered five points to lead the Redskins.

UP NEXT

Brooke: Scheduled to hots Weir High on Monday in a makeup game.

Indian Creek: Slated to play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at top-seeded Meadowbrook in a Division II Eastern District sectional semifinal.

Indian Creek 53, Brooke 49

Brooke 8-13-15-13 — 49

Creek 16-4-17-16 — 53

BROOKE (3-18): Anderson 0 0-0 0; Brown 3 0-0 6; Buckmelter 1 0-0 3; Isinghood 7 0-1 14; Sperlazza 2 4-4 8; Lilly 7 2-3 16; Silver 0 0-0 0; Coursin 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 21, 6-8: 49.

INDIAN CREEK (3-19): M. Kuczykowski 1 0-0 2; L. Kuczykowski 4 2-2 11; Irizarry 2 0-0 4; Wright 3 5-6 11; Vandine 5 3-4 14; Shaffer 5 1-2 11; Rothacker 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20, 11-14: 53.

3-POINTERS: Brooke 1 (Buckmelter); Indian Creek 2 (L. Kuczykowski, Vandine). REBOUNDS: Brooke 15 (Isinghood 7); Indian Creek 28 (Wright 7, Vandine 7). TURNOVERS: Brooke 10; Indian Creek 15.

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