February 18, 2018
Sports
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  • (L-R) Davon Beckford (9 points), Devin Garrett (16 points) and Dominic Day (11 points) helped Indian Creek to a 53-45 over Beth Tfiloh in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championship game at UMBC on February 15. The victory gave the Eagles a third consecutive championship in the program’s fourth straight appearance in the conference final. Indian Creek returns its full starting lineup and 13 of its 16 players next season.
    Photos by Colin A.J. Murphy
    (L-R) Davon Beckford (9 points), Devin Garrett (16 points) and Dominic Day (11 points) helped Indian Creek to a 53-45 over Beth Tfiloh in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championship game at UMBC on February 15. The victory gave the Eagles a third consecutive championship in the program’s fourth straight appearance in the conference final. Indian Creek returns its full starting lineup and 13 of its 16 players next season.
  • Lookin’ Good: The Indian Creek boys basketball team won its third consecutive MIAA C Conference championship on February 15, defeating Beth Tfiloh 53-45 at UMBC.
    Photo by Colin A.J. Murphy
    Lookin’ Good: The Indian Creek boys basketball team won its third consecutive MIAA C Conference championship on February 15, defeating Beth Tfiloh 53-45 at UMBC.

Three-Peat It Is: Indian Creek Boys Defeat Beth Tfiloh For Third Straight MIAA C Title

Colin Murphy
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February 16, 2015

A year ago, when the Indian Creek boys basketball team claimed its second straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championship, Eagles coach Will Bartz thought he’d have some time to relax and savor the victory.

“These kids, after the back-to-back last year, I had kids the same week saying, ‘Let’s start spring workouts.’ They didn’t even take a day off,” said Bartz. “They’re all committed to the program and playing together.”

That commitment paid off in full on February 15, as the Eagles rode an outstanding defensive effort and got scoring and playmaking from every spot on the floor to defeat Beth Tfiloh 53-45 in the MIAA C final at UMBC and claim the program’s third consecutive championship.

Junior Devin Garrett overcame a foot injury to lead all scorers with 16 points, junior Dominic Day hit three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points, sophomores Davon Beckford and Donovan Moore chipped in with 9 and 8 points, respectively, and the Eagles held off every Beth Tfiloh rally to retain the crown in the program’s fourth consecutive appearance in the final.

Eagles point guard David Campbell was sidelined by early foul trouble but scored four points, and his freshman backup, Malik McKinney, looked more like a steeled senior in playing over half the game, scoring three points and keeping Indian Creek’s offensive motor running smoothly.

Most importantly, the Eagles’ relied on their defensive identity to stifle the Warriors at every turn. Indian Creek forced 15 Beth Tfiloh turnovers with a hounding half-court defense.

“Defense is what we live by,” said Garrett. “Defense gets us our offense and defense wins us games, and we proved it tonight by winning the championship again.”

View a full photo gallery of the Indian Creek boys basketball team's win over Beth Tfiloh in the MIAA C Conference championship game.

Early in the first period, Beckford slashed to the hoop and got a feed from Zion Chase to open the scoring, and after a basket by Beth Tfiloh, an offensive rebound and putback by Beckford put Indian Creek out to a 4-2 lead the Eagles would never relinquish. Chase hit a 3-pointer with a minute remaining in the first, and McKinney drove down the middle of the lane for a layup to beat the first-quarter buzzer and give Indian Creek a 12-7 lead.

The Eagles’ relentless defensive pressure caused two Beth Tfiloh shot-clock violations in the second period. Day bolstered the Eagles’ lead with two three-pointers in the period and Moore added another to help Indian Creek build a 26-18 edge at half.

The Warriors, equipped with a roster of 14 seniors and one junior, were never going to go quietly into the night. Baskets by Dani Katz, Jordan King and Eitan Hariri allowed the Warriors to close the gap at 29-26 in the third.

But Garrett responded with a pair of layups, a blocked shot and a quick outlet to Day for a layup, and Indian Creek held a 35-28 lead after three.

Bartz said the Eagles collectively embraced the challenge of bottling up Katz and King, the Warriors’ leading scorers.

“The goal today was to hold Katz and King both below 15 points and not have a third scorer emerge and get into double figures,” said Bartz. “That was the game plan against them. Even the looks they got were not uncontested.” King finished with 14 points and Katz had 12, and Hariri was third on the team with 7.

A 3-pointer by King made it 40-35 Indian Creek with just over four minutes to play, but Day responded on the ensuing possession with a 3-pointer of his own to push the Eagles’ lead back to eight.

“My coaches before the game told me, ‘Don’t think. Just shoot,’” said Day. “You have to have the confidence to come out and shoot. I just came out and shot and made my threes.”

Day added that the Eagles’ depth and scoring ability are something the program focuses on.

“Coach Bartz, his philosophy is just all-around scoring,” said Day. “It’s never just one person scoring 20. It’s always double-digits throughout, five players. So we just share the ball and trust that everybody has the ability on the court.”

Six fourth-quarter points by Garrett and four by Beckford did enough for the Eagles to seal the win and complete the always difficult feat of a three-peat.

“[Winning three in a row] is cool,” said Bartz. “So much emotionally goes into a season, so many ups and downs, things like that…I’m just so proud of them. They believe in each other, and they trust. They’re willing to make that extra pass, it’s never a selfish thing, and it’s all about the kids buying into that.”

Senior captain Travis Belt credited the many people who have contributed to the program’s steady rise to contention and championship-level success.

“First of all, the guys on the first few teams that [won championships], big shout out to them,” said Belt. “They paved the way for us. They made it cool for a lot of guys to say that they’re going to Indian Creek, because at first, it wasn’t like that, and Indian Creek wasn’t a winning program, so first off, big shout out to them. Secondly, the coaches. It’s crazy for them to be able to do this with different teams, three times in a row. They work hard, and they’re great coaches.”

Belt said the team has worked incredibly hard and sacrificed to build a consistently successful program.

“We work hard, and it pays off,” said Belt. “We play together. We’re not perfect, but we’re a unit in the end.”

The MIAA C Conference champion Indian Creek Eagles are Devin Garrett, Dominic Day, Davon Beckford, Donovan Moore, David Campbell, Malik McKinney, Zion Chase, Travis Belt, Andrew Hamill, Troy Williams, Roderick Cook, Cole Washington, Jack Mullin, Jairus Carroll, Mike Whitley and Ezra Beasley.

View a full photo gallery of the Indian Creek boys basketball team's win over Beth Tfiloh in the MIAA C Conference championship game.


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