BELLAIRE - The defense never rests at Indian Creek.
The tenacious Redskins remained unbeaten on the young season, besting homestanding Bellaire, 53-29, Tuesday night in the House of Champions.
The win was the fourth straight for Coach Joe Dunlevy's well-schooled cagers. It also marked the third successive game Indian Creek has held its opponent under 30 points.
"This is a fun bunch to coach. The seniors are great group of leaders. They have been playing since sophomores," Dunlevy said. "They are good players, good students and good young men.
"Our kids pride themselves on their defense, and they did another nice job tonight at that end," he added. "Bellaire is just going through a tough stretch, but they are getting better."
The Big Reds are now 0-6 on the season. But even in defeat, Coach J.R. Battista's charges handled themselves well at times. They were sabotaged early by some faulty ballhandling while misfiring on many good shots.
"Our kids played hard. They have all year," Battista said. "Indian Creek is a very good and experienced team. That is the same bunch of athletes that helped them make the state football playoffs.
"Their skill level is better than ours right now. Hopefully, one day our skill level will get to that point," added the former Big Reds' hoop star. "But we are making some positive strides. We are improving."
Creek placed two players in double figures. Athletic senior Alex Young led the way with 14 points while sweet-shooting classmate Matt Furda delivered 11 counters.
Rugged post Shane Winland battled for nine markers.
Kenny Hess was the lone Big Red in double digits as he netted 14 points. Nick Patrone was his top support with seven counters.
Bellaire set the tone at the outset by committing turnovers on its first three possessions of the game. Creek parlayed the Big Reds' miscues, six all told in the first period, into a 7-3 lead after the opening quarter.
The pace quickened in the second quarter, as the Redskins waxed red-hot from the floor. They dropped nine-of-12 floor shots to build a 28-15 halftime upper hand.
The Big Reds displayed some grit, hanging within striking distance at 30-22 midway through the third frame. The bottom fell out on the hosts the balance of the quarter as Creek closed with a 17-3 run to build an insurmountable 47-25 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Creek sank 22-of-42 on the night for a shade better than 50 percent. The Big Reds, meanwhile, attempted just 25 shots in the contest, sinking 10 for a 40 percent night.
Bellaire finished the night with 17 turnovers compared to just 10 for the Redskins.
"The last three years of coaching these kids have been a blast," said Dunlevy.
Indian Creek 53, Bellaire 29
Indian Creek 7 21 19 6 - 53
Bellaire 3 12 10 4 - 29
INDIAN CREEK: Kamarec 2, 0-1 4; Furda 5, 1-4 11; Roar 3, 0-0 7; Young 6, 2-2 14; Winland 4, 1-2 9; Sullivan 2, 2-4 6; Haught 0, 0-0 0; Durbin 0, 1-2 1; Woodburn 0, 1-2 1. Totals 22, 8-15.
BELLAIRE: Steele 1, 1-3 4; Callarik 2, 0-3 4; Patrone 2, 2-4 7; Hess 4, 4-6 12; Ellison 0, 0-0 0; Back 0, 0-0 0; Westlake 0, 0-0 0; Kimbro 0, 0-0 0; Kovalyk 0, 0-0 0; Pickens 1, 0-0 2; Ramsey 0, 0-2 0. Totals 10, 7-18.
Three-point goals: Indian Creek: Roar (1); Bellaire: Steele (1), Patrone (1).