PLANO – The Indian Creek boys basketball team's start to the season certainly hasn't been ideal after the Timberwolves entered the season with high expectations.
Coach Joe Piekarz has seen his team show spurts of being a quality team during a frustrating start to the year. However, on Monday the T'wolves showed they have what it takes to be dominant in a 61-37 win over Hinckley-Big Rock in the 19th place game of the Plano Christmas Classic, even with one of their key players on the bench with foul trouble.
“I thought we had good effort tonight,” Piekarz said. “It was good team effort. Everyone did their part, whether it was scoring, defense or coming in off the bench, I thought we did a really nice job of having a good team win tonight.”
The Royals actually took an early, 5-0, lead after Tyler Runge scored a layup and Eric Phillips drained a stepback three.
But the T'wolves went on a 13-0 run that stretched four minutes over the first and second quarters, including four points by Garrett Post, putting Indian Creek up 20-8.
The T'wolves (5-7) led, 29-13 at the half, and even though 6-foot-9 center Garrison Govig was forced to play only 12 minutes because of foul trouble, H-BR (4-9) was never able to cut the lead to less than nine.
“We just started to mesh better,” Indian Creek senior Noah Holm said. “The first half, when we first started, we weren't all there, but we were just getting the motions going. … We still have a long way to go, but we're going to get there.”
Seven players made multiple shots for the T'wolves, including Holm, who led the team with 14, and Nick Baldwin, who also chipped in with 10. Stephen Muetze wasn't one of those players, but Piekarz credited him with raising the team's defensive intensity in the second quarter.
Phillips scored a game-high 15 points, and Dutch Schneeman added eight points for the Royals, who finished 1-3 at the tournament after falling twice by large margins and losing to Sandwich in overtime.
“Today was a little frustrating, because I thought we came out in the first quarter and played really well, and we kind of shot ourselves in the foot in the second quarter,” H-BR coach Bill Sambrookes said. “We had two really good games against Lisle and Sandwich, and in two games, Newark and Indian Creek just kind of took it to us.”
While H-BR returns only a few contributors from last year's team, the T'wolves are loaded with talented seniors and returners. Finally, they're starting to show that they may be able to reach their high ceiling.
“To be 2-2 in this tournament, it's such a great tournament, we'll take that, but we definitely want more,” Piekarz said. “We see spurts of having a really good team, but we're still trying to put things together. What we're going to take from this is to try to be a little more consistent in what we do every single game.”