BEECH GROVE — With a 58-48 win over Indian Creek Saturday night, Tri-West won its fourth-ever boys' basketball sectional title.
In their three games, the Bruins outplayed, outhustled and outsmarted their opposition.
“It’s hard for me to put into words the confidence and poise that this team showed,” said Tri-West coach Adam Bontreger, who notched his second sectional crown in five years. “We had the toughest route to get out of here, and I can’t say enough about the love that they’ve displayed for one another and the work that they’ve put in.”
Tri-West (15-7) will face Class 3A No. 2 Guerin Catholic (20-3) in Saturday’s 10 a.m. semifinal of the Greencastle regional, a trip Bontreger hopes will set off many others in the future.
“This is something we want Tri-West basketball to do every single year,” Bontreger said. “For these guys to get it going, it’s exciting to see where our program has gotten to.”
In Saturday’s sectional final, Bruin Trevor Waite hit 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter to keep Indian Creek (11-11) at bay.
“Everyone was really hungry for this,” said Waite, who had 15 of his 17 points in the final period. “The four juniors with me, we’ve been coming up together since elementary school. It was a great effort from everyone.”
Brant Gadberry had a game-high 18 points, and was a force on both ends throughout the week.
“We just worked real hard and played together,” Gadberry said. “We’ll do whatever it takes to get the win.”
With six points from Gadberry and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Connor Miller, Tri-West led Indian Creek 13-11 after the first quarter.
Gadberry finished the first half with 14 points, as Tri-West took a 27-21 lead to halftime.
The Bruins had big-time hustle plays in the first half from Waite and Bailee Vercynckt, both of whom took hard charges, and from Nick Sprecher, who clawed on the floor through two Indian Creek players for a possession-saving rebound.