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Anderson’s late shot lifts Creek

WINTERSVILLE — Kylie Anderson was the hero of the day.

Anderson, who is a sophomore, scored the game-winning basket in the waning seconds to lift the Indian Creek girls basketball team to a 55-54 victory against Jefferson County and Buckeye 8 North Division foe Edison Monday night at home.

“Exciting, wasn’t it?,” Indian Creek (1-0) head coach Steve Eft asked.

Anderson’s basket came after the Wildcats had taken a one-point lead.

“It was a tough loss,” Edison (1-2) head coach Mark Smyth said. “My girls played super hard. I could not ask for more out of them. They gave me everything they had. They did everything I asked them to do. I am so proud of them.”

After Edison took the lead, Eft decided against calling a timeout and let his girls make a play to win the game.

“Shilea Smith pushed the ball down the side,” Eft said. “She did a great job beating their double team, and she found Kylie on the backside block for a layup.”

Smyth said he was not surprised Eft decided against calling a timeout.

“He decided to let them push the ball up the court,” he said. “Had he called a timeout, we would have been able to set up our pressure. They wouldn’t have walked the ball up the court, but we would have slowed the down and forced them to make a really tough shot. They pushed the ball, and they were able to score. It was a great job by his girls.”

Anderson got the look Eft was hoping for on his team’s final possession.

“That is what we do normally,” he said. “I did not want to call timeout so they wouldn’t have a chance to set up their defense. Shilea made the right read. It was a great pass, and Kylie was in the right spot. She looked to the post, and Kylie was where she was supposed to be. I didn’t call a timeout. A decided to let them try and make a play, and they did.”

The Wildcats had a final chance to win the game, but their last shot did not drop allowing the Redskins to escape with win.

“We had a chance to win it,” Smyth said. “In the game, we were able to get the ball into the paint, and we were able to get to the line. We just didn’t finish at the end.”

Edison got a good lock, but the ball just didn’t drop.

“They got a pretty-decent look,” Eft said. “It just didn’t go in. We were fortunate to come away with a win.”

The Redskins led 40-36 after three quarters, but the Wildcats battled back to take the lead only to experience heartbreak at the end.

“This loss is on me,” Smyth said. “I got a technical foul in the second quarter, and then I called off our box press. My girls did everything I asked.

“You have to give Indian Creek a lot of credit. They have got a lot of young girls. They battled. They are a good team. They have a lot of good, young talent. Their freshman point guard is phenomenal. She is super quick. She knew what to do. Indian Creek is a good team. They were ready to play tonight. They did a great job.”

Anderson delivered a team-high 17 points to lead the way for the Redskins. Also, Tori Robertson tallied eight points, and McKenna Scott and Smith each scored seven.

“Coming into the season, we were concerned about our depth,” Eft said. “We found that depth tonight. Samm Ratkovec played a super game. She came in and made some huge defensive plays. She got some key defensive rebounds for us. Our bench battled all night. They did a great job.”

Anderson is one of five new starters for the Redskins this season, and the last-second victory will give the team confidence going into the rest of the season.

“We have five new starters,” Eft said. “The only girl on our team with significant varsity experience is Abby Starkey. Everyone else is new to the varsity level. They have to learn the varsity speed. They have to get acclimated to the varsity level. Their girls did a good job. We made enough plays to come away with the win.”

Four players produced at least eight points for the Wildcats, however, Gracie Fox was the only one to finish in double figures. Fox collected a game-high 18 points to the lead way, while Savanna Ankrom and Alayna Meadows each tallied nine points and Alysea Fiedorczyk contributed eight.

“They played good basketball,” Eft said. “Mark Smyth has done a great job. He has a lot of experience on that team. He has quickly turned that team around, and that is a testament to his coaching.”

Indian Creek’s pressure defense stymied Edison’s offensive attack early on, however, the Wildcats got going late in the second quarter.

Edison erased a double-digit deficit in the second as the Wildcats fought all the way back to tie the score in the third.

Indian Creek built an 11-4 lead with 4:02 left in the first quarter, however, that was the last points of the quarter as the Redskins took a seven-point lead into the second stanza.

The hosts broke the scoreless drought with a 3-pointer from the top of the key 24 seconds into the second making the score 14-4.

“My girls played super, super hard,” Smyth said. “We got sped up there. We had some turnovers in the first quarter. Then, we started executing our gameplan. I am so proud of my girls.”

The visitors closed to within 20-14, but an 8-0 run by the Creek allowed them to double up Edison at 28-14. The Wildcats, however, refused to go away quietly as Edison answered with an 8-0 spurt of its own to pull within 28-22 at halftime.

Indian Creek regained a 10-point lead in the third at 34-24, but the Wildcats countered once again as Edison tied the score at 35 on a three-point play by Meadows with 2:59 remaining to be played in the quarter.

“We made some stupid plays,” Eft said. “We committed some fouls, and we had some turnovers. That brought our momentum to a halt. Maddie Ballato picked up an early foul, and then McKenna Scott picked up her fourth foul. We were in foul trouble. Maddie and McKenna are big players for us. Our bench was huge tonight. They really battled.”

The Redskins hit five foul shots in the final 2:59 of the third to take a four-point lead into the fourth.

“We are excited about going to our next game,” Smyth said. “They did everything I asked them to do. I love them. They did a great job.”

The Wildcats won the jayvee game, 39-22.

Edison is scheduled to play Wednesday at Jefferson County foe Buckeye Local. The jayvee game is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

Indian Creek is slated to play Buckeye 8 North Division opponent East Liverpool Thursday at Patterson Fieldhouse. The jayvee game will start at 5:30 p.m.

Indian Creek 55, Edison 54

Edison 4 18 14 18 – 54

Indian Creek 11 17 12 15 – 55

EDISON (1-2): Brown 0 0-0 0, Johnson 2 2-2 6, Fiedorczyk 4 0-0 8, Ankrom 2 5-13 9, Jackson 0 0-0 0, A. Meadows 2 5-7 9, P. Meadows 0 0-0 0, Fox 7 4-7 18, Huff 1 2-2 4, Browning 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 18-31 54.

INDIAN CREEK (1-0): Crites 0 0-0 0, Scott 3 0-0 7, Ratkovec 0 1-2 1, Starkey 1 3-4 6, Ballato 2 0-0 4, Smith 2 2-4 7, Ketron 1 1-2 4, Anderson 5 7-12 17, Robertson 1 7-12 8. TOTALS: 15 21-36 55.

3-POINTERS: Edison none; Indian Creek 4 (Scott, Starkey, Smith, Ketron).

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