MORRISTOWN - A pair of girls' high school basketball teams with depleted rosters for one reason or another met Monday night inside the Hangar in a game with huge Wheeling Hospital OVAC Playoff implications on the line.
The Redskins pulled away at the end for a 41-38 decision over the homestanding Jets (12-6) and earned the No. 3 spot in Class 5A for the OVAC?Tournament next week.
"This is definitely a big win considering the lineup that we did it with," Indian Creek head coach Erin DeSantis said. "That just goes to show you that playing the younger kids a lot early on has paid off. A month ago we probably wouldn't have won that game."
BLOCKED — Indian Creek’s Kiarra Kamarec blocks a shot by Union Local’s Kylie Russell that could have tied Monday’s 41-38 Redskins’ victory.
-- Paul Krajnyak
Union Local was leap-frogged by Oak Glen in Class 4A for the OVAC event. The Golden Bears defeated Steubenville Catholic Central.
The Jets were one of the highest scoring teams in the conference, but not against Creek, which befuddled first-year head coach Kelly Hanlon.
"We haven't scored that low all season," Hanlon said of her team's 38-point effort. "It's not that we didn't have the opportunities, our shots just did not fall tonight.
"There were some times when we had poor shot selection, but not that many."
The injury-riddled Jets roared to a pair of eight-point leads in the first quarter only to see Indian Creek cut it to 12-11 after one period.
Union Local went the final 2:57 of the first frame without denting its side of the scoreboard, and then went ice-cold from the floor for the first 3:36 of the second quarter, but only trailed 15-14.
After a pair of Bethany Davis free throws put the Redskins ahead 17-14, the hosts went on an 8-2 spurt to end the half on top, 22-19.
Junior center Mikayla Patton sparked the rally with five points, while classmate Alli Delaney knocked down a three-pointer.
Neither team made much noise in the third quarter when they teamed for 12 points, with Union Local - which led by five twice in the period - leading 27-26. In fact, the Jets held a 27-22 advantage before going scoreless the final 4:53.
That drought carried over until the 5:17 mark of the final stanza when freshman Saige Butler dialed long distance to tie things at 30.
However, that's when the Kiarra Kamarec Show began. The Redskins' silky smooth 6-foot-3 senior took over at both ends of the floor. She scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter on a variety of left-handed moves. She also snagged four of her game-best 11 rebounds.
"That's the whole point of having a team," DeSantis said of Kamarec's effort. "It's not about one player, and at that point in the game we could've done two things. We could've panicked, but we didn't.
"I thought we responded pretty well."
While Kamarec was scoring at an alarming rate, Union Local couldn't and finished the game 14-of-50 from the field, including 5-of-18 from behind the arc.
"I don't know how to explain it," Hanlon said. "We just couldn't make a shot.
"Not to take anything away from Indian Creek, but we had no fastbreak without Amanda (Swallie, who is out after tearing a medial meniscus last week). We had no transition game. It really hurts not having her in there."
Delaney led UL with 11 points, two more than senior Cori Medley. Patton finished with seven and a team-high nine rebounds.
Davis backed Kamarec's output with nine points.
Indian Creek, which has been without point guard Brooke Mains most of the season after she tore her ACL and subsequently had surgery, also played without the services of 6-5 senior Bre Berryman, junior Jenna Callahan and senior Kristen Shimko.
Indian Creek 41, Union Local 38
Indian Creek 11 8 7 15 - 41
Union Local 12 10 5 11 - 38
INDIAN CREEK: Kamarec 9 2-3 22; Davis 3 3-4 9; Durbin 2 0-0 4; Smith 0 0-0 0; Celestin 2 0-0 4; Schmitt 0 0-0 0; Slappy 0 0-0 0; Taylor 0 0-0 0; Whitaker 1 0-0 2; Totals: 17-41 5-7 41. 3-pointers: Kamarec 2.
UNION LOCAL: Medley 4 1-2 9; Russell 2 0-0 5; Delaney 3 2-2 11; Patton 3 1-4 7; Butler 1 0-0 3; Clark-Patterson 0 1-4 1; Collins 1 0-2 2; Totals: 14-50 5-14 38. 3-pointers: Delaney 3, Russell, Butler