CARMEL — The affects of the recent winter blast that wreaked havoc on the region are still being felt by the Anderson Lady Tribe. But, the team has persevered through the altered schedule, which forced it into playing five games in six days.
The final obstacle in the gauntlet was the Carmel Greyhounds, and the Indians show little sign of fatigue in a 73-62 victory.
Anderson improved to 11-3 overall and a perfect 6-0 since the calendar changed to 2014.
“Even though we had so many games, we always come out hungry,” Anderson junior Ania Daniels said. “We don't ever give up, don’t let up, that is what we say.”
Anderson used a pair of 13-0 runs, one in the first quarter and one in the third, to give the Lady Tribe its first lead early and its final lead late.
The game-deciding run came less than a minute after the teams came out after halftime, and Carmel had just taken the lead 38-37. Senior Samia Carter found Indiana University-East commit Da’Sha Boyd under the bucket for an easy layup.
Boyd converted a field goal plus a free throw to cap the run as the lead was stretched to 12.
“Coming out in the third quarter, you want to make a good statement coming out of halftime, and we were able to do that in the third quarter,” Anderson coach Chad Cook said. “A lot of that was mental after this many games, and we were able to be mentally tough.”
During that nearly three-minute time span, Anderson converted on 7-of-10 shooting, 3-of-3 from the free-throw line, and generated four steals.
Anderson’s largest lead was 19 at 73-54 with just less than two minutes to play.
Daniels and Boyd led the Indians in scoring with a game-high 22 and 20 points, respectively. It was Boyd’s third 20-plus scoring performance and Daniels first.
With several of the Indians’ points coming in transition off turnovers, Daniels had an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time — under the bucket — to convert layups.
“I know how to read the defense,” she said with both knees wrapped in ice. “When (the defense) is not looking at me, I am always behind them and I know my teammates are going to see me.”
They did, and that helped the Tribe convert 33 Carmel turnovers into 30 points.
“Our defense is going to create a lot of offense for us,” Cook said. “As a defense, you want to dictate what the offense will do. You don’t want the offense to run what they want. We do a good job making things happen.”
With the Indians' offense virtually in cruise control, the defense clamped down on the Greyhounds and held them scoreless for 3½ minutes in the third quarter.
“We were so quick to rotate and get back into our half-court defense (after pressing),” Cook said. “It is really paying off for us. Seems like things are open and our rotation in the half court makes things tough.”
Despite their struggles shooting in the second half, which also included not scoring their first field goal in the fourth quarter until 3:41, the Greyhounds stayed within arm's length thanks to their ability to score from beyond the arc.
Amanda Shaw led Carmel with 19 points, eight of which were generated from the free-throw line. Emily Kmec added 16, thanks in part to her game-high four 3-pointers.
“It was five games in six days — I have never put that together before,” Cook said. “To win all those and then go on the road to play Carmel and play like we did today, you have to say that is heart and mental. (The team) did a good job to dig and find it."