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Wildcats lose to Indian Creek in OT, 58-49

Feb. 28—"From the highest of the highs to the lowest of the lows."

That was coach Vince Marietta describing the emotions in his South Vermillion locker room after Wednesday night's 58-49 overtime loss to Indian Creek, a game that put he, his team and their fans through the wringer more than once — and one that's going to hurt for awhile.

The Wildcats entered the Class 3A Owen Valley Sectional on a six-game winning streak while the Braves had been a top-10 team in Class 3A before losing their best player to injury and suffering a 2-7 stretch. And South Vermillion looked ready to stay hot, bolting to a quick 7-2 lead.

After four ties and five lead changes it was 24-24 at halftime, and South Vermillion got off to a great start again in the second half to take a 33-28 lead just past the midpoint of the third quarter. Then came the suffering for the folks from Vermillion County.

A scoring drought of approximately seven minutes let Indian Creek score 13 points in a row for a 41-33 lead.

Dom Garzolini restored hope with a 3-pointer with 4:01 left in the game that cut the lead to five points, and Aden Wallace nailed another 3 to make it a two-point game with 2:17 left. An Indian Creek basket was matched by another Garzolini triple and it was 43-42 with 1:46 to go. "Our guys don't quit," Marietta said.

Then neither team wanted to win for awhile. A 2-for-4 free throw performance by Indian Creek kept the Wildcats within 45-42 with 47 seconds left, and a turnover gave the ball back to South Vermillion. Brayson Shoults hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 18 seconds left and Marietta called a timeout to set up his team's defense.

Luke Bush, South Vermillion's steals leader all season, got his fifth of the game in the final seconds, deflecting the ball to Wallace. Bush took a return pass and was fouled at the basket with less than a second to play — but missed both, sending the game to overtime.

"Those free throws did not cost us that game," Marietta emphasized. "Our game plan was to limit [Indian Creek's] offensive rebounding and transition game, and 32 minutes of lack of execution in those areas cost us that game ... Luke put us in a position to win the game; he would've been the guy I picked [to take those free throws] if I had the chance."

The anticlimactic overtime bore out Marietta's statement. Indian Creek scored its first seven points, more than once rebounding its own missed free throws, and a four-point play by Garzolini that briefly cut the lead to 52-49 was the only bright spot.

Adam Crouch scored 10 of his game-high 23 points in overtime for the Braves and Bobby Emberton added 14 with nine rebounds. But the Braves who epitomized what Marietta called the "controlled chaos" of the Indian Creek system were center Carter Modlin and forward Trent Volz. Both are listed at 5-foot-11 but they combined for 26 rebounds plus 15 points. "They're so strong, and they love to play physical at the rim," Marietta said.

Garzolini came off the bench to lead the Wildcats with 16 points. Wallace had 13 with five assists and three steals and Bush had nine, plus a team-leading six rebounds and the five steals.

"We had an up and down year, but we peaked at the perfect time," Marietta concluded. "This was the second-most wins in school history and we're in a position to get better [in the future].

"It was a fun basketball game, but it hurts to be on the bad end of it."

SOUTH VERMILLION (49) — Bush 4-8 0-2 9, Shoults 2-14 0-0 5, Conder 0-4 0-0 0, Wallace 5-14 0-0 13, Coleman 3-4 0-0 6, Garzolini 4-10 4-4 16, Anderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-56 FG, 4-6 FT, 49 TP.

INDIAN CREEK (58) — Crouch 8-18 7-11 23, Lawhorn 0-3 0-0 0, Modlin 4-7 2-6 11, L.Martin 3-7 0-0 6 Volz 2-3 0-0 4, Emberton 7-11 0-0 14, Connell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-50 FG, 9-17 FT 58 TP.

South Vermillion 9 15 9 12 4 — 49

Indian Creek 8 16 11 10 13 — 58

3-point shooting — SV 9-30 (Garzolini 4-8, Wallace 3-8, Bush 1-3, Shoults 1-8, Conder 0-3), IC 1-10 (Modlin 1-2, Lawhorn 0-1, L.Martin 0-1, Volz 0-1, Connell 0-1, Crouch 0-4). Total fouls — SV 15, IC 5. Fouled out — Wallace, Conder. Turnovers — SV 11, IC 18. Rebounds — SV 26 (Bush 6, Shoults 5, Wallace 3, Coleman 3, Garzolini 3, Conder, Team 5), IC 48 (Modlin 14, Volz 12). Assists — SV 12 (Wallace 5, Shoults 4, Bush 2, Conder), IC 11 (Volz 5). Steals — SV 12 (Bush 5, Shoults 3, Wallace 3, Coleman), IC 8 (Volz 3). Blocks — SV 1 (Bush), IC 1 (Crouch).

Next — Indian Creek (15-8) plays Edgewood in the second semifinal game Friday at Owen Valley. South Vermillion finished 14-9.