News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 1, 2013

Honey Creek, Otter Creek win middle school girls basketball titles

David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Otter Creek Middle School’s girls seventh-grade basketball team used a balanced offensive attack — led by Kaitlyn Hankins’ eight points — to outlast Honey Creek 35-24.

Before that, Honey Creek’s sixth-grade girls got 12 points from Kayla Hughes in knocking off the Otters 29-23 as part of a Vigo County championship doubleheader played Thursday night inside Terre Haute South High School’s gym.

In the seventh-grade matchup, Honey Creek’s Faith Craft bombed in a 3-pointer for the first points by either team midway through the first quarter. Then the Otters rattled off 14 unanswered points — the final six coming on consecutive 3s by Hailey Miller — to seize an 11-point advantage.

After going 6 minutes and 12 seconds without point, Honey Creek got a trey from Rachel Craft — Faith’s twin sister — to cut its deficit to 14-6.

But Otter Creek used an 8-0 run — consisting of baskets by Emily Berrisford, Hankins, Hankins again and Keely Thompson — to lead 22-6 by halftime.

Otter Creek padded its cushion to 28-11 by the end of the third period.

Honey Creek reserve Emily Wright fired in three 3-point goals in the final frame — giving her a team-high nine points for the game — but they weren’t enough to prevent the Otters’ victory.

These teams split a pair of contests during the regular season, although Otter Creek finished with a much better overall record at 10-3 (compared to 6-6 for Honey Creek).

“We shot a lot better [Thursday],” Otter Creek seventh-grade coach Mathew Payne said during the postgame celebration. “Our defense was sound. We shut down what are normally their best shooters [the Craft sisters]. We made sure we tried to contain Rachel Craft. She scored 14 [points] on us earlier in the year.”

Rachel Craft ended up with eight points Thursday.

“We wanted to keep constant ball pressure on their point guard [Taylor Pepperworth],” Payne continued. “We just had pure, true intensity on defense.”

In the sixth-grade clash, Hughes went scoreless in the first quarter before busting loose for seven in the second period as Honey Creek took a 13-12 advantage at halftime.

The Bees outscored Otter Creek 10-5 in final six minutes to secure the triumph.

The Otters’ only double-figure scorer was Aundrea Kearschner with 13 points.

Interestingly, Otter Creek had swept two games from the Bees during the regular season, so revenge may have been somewhat of a factor Thursday.

“We cut down on our turnovers,” Honey Creek sixth-grade coach Rick Menestrina assessed. “That was a key for us. In our previous games [against Otter Creek] … we had a lot of unforced turnovers and they forced turnovers. We tried to limit that this time. We tried to get it into a possession game. I felt that our big people [Hughes and Lauren England] could control the boards.

“Our gameplan worked tonight.”



Seventh-grade girls

HONEY CREEK (24) — F.Craft 1 0-0 3, R.Craft 3 0-0 8, C.Stuck 0 0-2 0, Friedrich 0 0-0 0, Pepperworth 1 2-6 4, Findley 0 0-0 0, Dillion 0 0-0 0, Wright 3 0-0 9, Deady 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 FG, 2-8 FT, 24 TP.

OTTER CREEK (35) — Hankins 4 0-2 8, Stewart 3 1-2 7, Thompson 2 0-0 4, Miller 2 0-1 6, Berrisford 1 2-4 4, Scott 1 3-6 5, Moore 0 0-0 0, James 0 0-0 0, Donna 0 0-0 0, M.Stuck 0 1-2 1, Edwards 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 FG, 7-17 FT, 35 TP.

Honey Creek    3    3    5    13    —    24

Otter Creek    6    16    8    5    —    35

3-point goals — Wright 3, R.Craft 2, F.Craft, Miller 2. Total fouls — HC 13, OC 12. Fouled out — Pepperworth, Berrisford.

Season-ending records — Otter Creek 10-3, Honey Creek 6-6.



Sixth-grade girls

HONEY CREEK (29) — Hughes 5 2-6 12, England 1 2-4 4, Saylor 1 0-0 2, Roshel 3 2-5 8, Thomas 1 0-1 3, McCammon 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 FG, 6-16 FT, 29 TP.

OTTER CREEK (23) — Mason 2 0-2 4, Mier 1 0-0 2, Humphrey 1 2-2 4, Kearschner 6 0-5 13, Massey 0 0-0 0, Baker 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 FG, 2-9 FT, 23 TP.

Honey Creek    3    10    6    10    —    29    

Otter Creek    4    8    6    5    —    23

3-point goals — Thomas, Kearschner. Total fouls — HC 10, OC 16. Fouled out — none.

Season-ending records — Honey Creek 9-2, Otter Creek 12-1.