DANVILLE — Recent sectional girls’ basketball history between the Tri-West and Indian Creek basketball teams has been a back-and-forth affair.
Tri-West won an overtime decision for a sectional title in 2012, while Indian Creek knocked Tri-West from the tourney in ‘13.
On the back of its defensive tenacity, Tri-West nearly led Indian Creek wire-to-wire in Saturday’s Sectional 27 championship — with one tie at 2-2 — in a 58-47 win.
“We never, ever had a game where I felt we were not ready to play, and these last couple of weeks, our energy and defensive effort have been non-stop, and I think that’s why we’ve won,” Tri-West coach Brad Acton said. “We have great team chemistry and that shows on the court.”
Tri-West’s Katrina Headlee, who scored a game-high 24 points, went 4 for 4 in the first quarter, scoring eight of the Bruins’ 11 points. Marisa Meyer scored two off a turnover and Madison Sprecher hit a free throw with 30 seconds remaining to give the Bruins an 11-8 lead headed to the second.
“We needed for (Headlee) to get started like that and she needed that,” Acton said. “I thought we’ve improved on making the extra pass to get the open look.”
Meyer’s play caught Acton’s eye as he said the lone senior on the team “was a scrappy player that does not necessarily show up in the box score much, and has been such an asset to our team.” Meyer scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds in the win.
“It was amazing and I wanted to go out with a bang,” Meyer said. “I wanted this all season long and I’m glad we pulled through.”
Two free throws from Sprecher with 7.5 seconds left in the first half gave Tri-West a 30-20 lead at the break. The Bruins’ pace did not slow in the second half as Headlee knocked down a basket and Indian Creek’s Candace Danz connected from behind the arc in the first minute. Karen Jones added two baskets and began to dominate the inside.