ELGIN – Indian Creek’s junior class will have plenty of time to learn from the team’s senior leaders over the course of the season.
But with a smaller roster missing a few key contributors in the first two days of the Westminster Christian Thanksgiving Basketball Classic, a couple of varsity newcomers were thrust into larger roles for the Timberwolves sooner than expected.
Junior point guard Noah Holm and junior forward Garrett Post both started for Indian Creek, combining for 15 points and 12 rebounds as Indian Creek (2-0) cruised to a 61-30 win over Alden-Hebron.
“I thought Noah did a really good job for us today,” Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz said. “With us being short-handed, he had to play all 32 minutes and it was physical out there.”
Indian Creek controlled play from the start and jumped out to a 16-6 lead after the first quarter thanks to eight points from senior Jaron Todd.
Junior center Garrison Govig, one of Indian Creek’s four returning starters from last season, made all four of his shot attempts in the second quarter and Indian Creek extended the lead to 16 points at halftime.
The Timberwolves went on a 15-4 run to start the third quarter and pushed the lead to 25 points when Holm found Todd for an open 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“[Holm] did a great job of controlling the game and getting guys open and controlling their press,” Piekarz said. “I was really proud of how he did tonight.”
Most of starters sat for the fourth quarter. Govig led Indian Creek with 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks while Todd finished with 14 points. Tyler Reynolds added 10 points in the win.
Coming off a Little Ten championship at the sophomore level in 2011-12, a lot was expected from the Timberwolves’ strong junior class.
Piekarz said Post, at 6-foot-6, is long and possesses the ability to score when needed. Govig started for the varsity team last year and gives Indian Creek a presence inside that not many teams have in Class A.
Yet despite the healthy amount of early playing time, Holm said it will take some time to adjust to the better competition.
“It’s a lot harder playing [at the varsity level],” Holm said. “Speed and strength is the biggest part, but I just try to play.”
Piekarz said senior point guard Kyle Lieving will return for Friday’s game against Immaculate Conception. Holm could slide over and play shooting guard alongside Lieving, but will remain one of Indian Creek’s main ball-handlers.