MORRISTOWN - Basketball teams with limited depth and no seniors aren't supposed to win championships.
Someone forgot to let the Indian Creek girls team know that as the Redskins young squad toppled No. 2 seed Minerva 59-47 to claim the Ohio Division II sectional title Tuesday at Union Local.
"It's a great feeling," said Indian Creek head coach Erin DeSantis. "I'm just happy for the girls because all nine of them have stuck together from November until now. We stepped on the court not having a set in mind, not even knowing who was going to be where.
CUTTING DOWN THE NETS — Indian Creek’s Bre Berryman cuts down the net following the Redskins’ 59-47 Ohio Division II sectional final win over Minerva Tuesday at Union Local.
-- Fred Younce
"To come together like they did, and to me, to play a season like this and be 18-6 says a lot about the kids. They have a lot of heart and determination, and they believed in themselves, bottom line."
The Redskins built a 49-33 lead with 4:23 left in the game when things began to swing the Lions way. Minerva went on a 7-0 run capped by a Josie Chaddock three-point play at the 3:29 mark the cut the lead to single-digits at 49-40.
That's when DeSantis called a timeout and settled her young squad down.
"We were trying to rush," she said. "We needed to spread the floor and only take layups. We wanted to make sure we went and met the ball and took care of the ball rather than force stuff in.
"I know the lob was there sometime, but we didn't need to score. What we needed to run some time off. I wanted them to understand clock management."
Indian Creek calmed down and closed things out from the foul line. After the timeout Brooke Mains went five of six from the foul line and Bethany Davis went three of four. Bre Berryman added a basket down the stretch as well.
"I told them they were going to foul us because the only way they were going to get the ball back was if they fouled us," said DeSantis. "We needed to capitalize on the free throws. If we miss those free throws it would be a different game.
"They go down and make a couple of threes, and they're right back in it. Those free throws were key for us."
At intermission, the Redskins held a 22-17 lead, and began to take control of the game in the third quarter. Berryman, who scored nine points in the first half, began to impose her will on the game with 11 points in the stanza. The Redskins led 43-31 after three quarters.
Berryman led all scorers with 26 points on the night. Davis added 12 points, Mains nine points, and Kristen Shimko seven.
"The big thing is our guards are a threat as well," said DeSantis. "If they do key on the bigs our guards can make plays as well to offset the double teaming of the bigs."
The Redskins look to keep things going Feb. 28 when they face No. 3-state ranked West Holmes at Zanesville High School.
Indian Creek 59, Minerva 47
Minerva 8 9 14 16 - 47
Indian Creek 11 11 21 16 - 59
MINERVA: Hardgrove 1 1-2 3, Clark 5 2-4 12, Jones 2 2-2 6, Blocher 1 0-0 3, Russell 0 2-5 2, Preston 0 0-0 0, Chaddock 3 6-8 12, Miller 1 2-2 4, Haynam 1 0-0 3, Shea 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 15 15-23 47. 3-pointers: Blocher, Haynam.
INDIAN CREEK: Taylor 0 0-0 0, Mains 2 5-7 9, Davis 4 4-8 12, Shimko 2 3-4 7, Durbin 0 0-0 0, Ruckman 1 0-0 2, Kamarec 1 1-2 3, Berryman 10 6-8 26. TOTALS: 20 19-29 59. 3-pointers: none.