Indian Creek primed to put past heartbreak behind them
For much of the first part of the season, Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz preached consistency to his team.
The flashes and potential to be a very good Class 1A basketball team were there for the Timberwolves, however they weren’t showcased game to game. The trend continued through to the Little Ten Tournament, where the No.1 seed Timberwolves were bounced in the semifinals by Somonauk.
“That kind of turned it around for us. We said ‘It’s time to get things started’ and we all started jelling together,” Indian Creek guard Noah Holm said. “We’ve all just been playing a lot better basketball. The chemistry has gone up a lot more throughout the season.”
Since the loss, Indian Creek (19-8) finished the season with six consecutive wins, four of which came against teams with a winning record. The Timberwolves will face Annawan at 6 p.m. today in the Class 1A Amboy Regional semifinals.
For much of the season, Indian Creek has spent adjusting to new roles and how teams defend their offense, which revolves around the inside duo of Garrison Govig and Garrett Post.
Although Piekarz said opponents have played a mix of zone and man defenses, the team has needed to adjust as defenses key inside. Players like Holm, Nick Baldwin, Stephen Muetze and Taylor Johnson have started to become threats on the offensive end.
“We’ll get open shots. We’ve just got to hit them,” Holm said. “Teams are really focused on Garrett and Garrison. They are two of the top post players in the area.”
For much of Indian Creek’s past two years, it’s been a tale of close, but not quite there. Last season, Indian Creek battled Hinckley-Big Rock to the final minute of the Little Ten Tournament champinoship game, coming up just short. They then lost to Erie in double overtime of their regional semifinal. This year, Indian Creek fell to Newark in a de facto Little Ten regular season title game, the Timberwolves’ only conference loss of the year while Newark went undefeated.
But even though this year’s team has experienced much of the recent heartbreak, it’s not a focus heading into the postseason as the Timberwolves shoot for their first regional title since 2011.
“I don’t think we talk about it much. We understand we’re playing good basketball right now,” Piekarz said. “If we can be good again [today] against Annawan that should give us a chance to hopefully be good again Friday. I think that’s how we’re breaking ti down this year instead of trying to put too much pressure.”