Strong starts haven’t been a problem for the Indian Creek girls basketball team this season. Maintaining that same level of play across 32 minutes has been. That was the case again on Tuesday evening.

Fortunately for the Braves, two and a half quarters of dominance were enough to seal a 64-52 victory against host Edinburgh in the opening round of the Johnson County tournament.

Indian Creek (2-2) will face Center Grove in the second semifinal game at Edinburgh on Thursday evening. Franklin will face Whiteland in the 6 p.m. opener.

“For about two and a half quarters, we looked pretty good,” Braves coach Dan Burkman said. “But for that last quarter and a half, Edinburgh outhustled us; they just wanted it more. We got content and thought the game was over with, and forgot that we’ve got to keep playing.”

The Braves were in control from the jump, scoring the first eight points of the game over the opening 3:10 and stretching that advantage to 21-8 by the end of the first quarter. Then, Madelyn Gary scored six consecutive points to help Indian Creek stretch it to 29-10 with 3:38 to go before halftime.

The Lancers (2-2) made a late push, taking a 23-point third-quarter deficit and whittling it down to 10 by the final minute of the game, but the early hole was too large to overcome.

“We probably need to look at changing some things for the next game so we come out a little more intense,” Edinburgh coach Amy Schilling stated. “We played a good second half … I’m proud of my girls. They played hard to the very end, and that’s all I can ask.”

Edinburgh didn’t help itself by squandering some early opportunities at the foul line in the first half. The Lancers hit just 4 of 11 free throws before the break, while Indian Creek made 10 of 13 in the first half and 18 of 25 overall.

Gary led all scorers with 14 points for the Braves, while Addie Rund and Caitlin Snyder each finished with 13 and Katie Burkman added 10. Sidney Beier and Destiney Ramey paced the Lancers with 11 points apiece, and Brianna Howard and Allie Schooler each contributed nine.

Indian Creek knows it won’t be able to get away with limping to the finish line on most nights, but the players are confident that they’ll get it figured out before too long.

“We’re in a decent place,” Rund said. “We’re all just kind of still getting used to everyone and getting that chemistry.”

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Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at roleary@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.