It’s always an interesting test for a private school to go up against one of the local public high schools, and the Indian Creek girls basketball team had a chance to see how it measured up against a 4A rival when it visited Broadneck on December 17.
The Eagles were up to the task.
Indian Creek turned what was a tight contest at halftime into a runaway victory, defeating the Bruins 48-32. Maddy Evans’ game-high 22 points led the effort for Indian Creek, which improved to 7-1 overall on the season.
Playing its fourth game in eight days, Indian Creek used a smothering zone defense to ignite fast-break offense and come away with its third consecutive victory.
“I feel like we’re really clicking right now,” said Indian Creek first-year head coach Ciaran Lesikar, who took over the program this season following the departure of longtime Indian Creek athletic director Jamie Cook, who took the same position at Bladensburg High School. “We have a lot of experience. It took us a little while to get the new system in, but the thing is, they love to play defense. You can see it—they love it. Every game the defensive rotations get better, and they’re able to focus. We had to focus on a few specific players, and this is probably the best we’ve done in picking up and trying to find those shooters in the action. Then, trying to push the ball up.”
Creek led 17-16 after the first quarter behind four points by senior center Delaney Dignam, four points by sophomore Meghan Bunker and nine by Evans. In the second quarter Janeiyah Cajudoy drived and kicked to Evans for a 3-pointer, and sophomore Kaya Lesikar had an offensive rebound and put-back to stretch the Indian Creek lead to 27-22 by halftime.
The Eagles took off to start the third quarter. They smothered Broadneck with a fast-rotating zone defense, and Evans and Bunker leaked out for easy fast-break points off turnovers and rebounds. Senior Paige Wells swished two corner 3’s in the period, and senior guard Kara Matthews found Evans slashing to the hoop for another layup. A late 3-pointer by Broadneck senior Claire Flynn provided some pushback, but Indian Creek led 37-28 after three.
Buckets by Lesikar, Cajudoy and Evans in the fourth complemented more strong Indian Creek defense as the Eagles held Broadneck to just four points in the period—just 10 total in the second half—to close out the 48-32 win.
“We were really coming out here wanting a win,” said Evans. “It’s always cool to beat a public school, because we’re a smaller school, especially after last year.” Evans’ Eagles lost to Broadneck in last year’s matchup after beating the Bruins in the 2016-2017 season as a sophomore.
Broadneck senior Tylia Washington led the Bruins with 12 points, while Flynn and Nicole Hagopian scored 6 each.
For Indian Creek, the win was the latest in a strong start to the season. The Eagles play in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference but have two wins over IAAM B Conference teams, having defeated both Severn and Annapolis Area Christian School; the win over AACS came in the championship game of AACS’ home tournament. The Eagles lost to B Conference contender Mount de Sales, but they also defeated C Conference rival Catholic, and their confidence is high that they contend for the conference championship this year.
Evans helped Indian Creek win an IAAM C Conference championship as a sophomore, and she eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career in the Eagles’ 50-24 win over Catholic on December 14.
“We’ve really been working on communicating and meshing as a team, especially with our defense,” Evans said. “Then, we just really work on our passing.”
The Eagles only go 10 deep on the roster, so durability and conditioning will play a role by season’s end. Still, with quality wins in the bank and tough opponents still on the schedule, coach Lesikar is happy with the Eagles’ progress.
“I know there are a lot of good teams,” he said. “I’m happy with where we are right now. We have a couple players in Maddy and Meghan who are both just slashers, and they love to get out and run, they’re long and fast, and the other girls are getting it out quick. We have had four games in eight days, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then Monday again, and for them to come out and play with that kind of energy, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”