Indiana hasn’t always played complete games, but one thing the Indians have shown early on this girls’ basketball season is the ability to take over a game over a certain period of time, playing suffocating defense and creating turnovers that pay off in easy baskets at the other end.
Such was the case for the Indians on Thursday night, when they dominated Derry over the second and third quarters and finished with a 58-26 victory in a WPIAL Section 3-AAA game at Fifth Street Gymnasium.
Indiana (6-3, 2-1 section) went on a 19-2 run spanning parts of the second and third quarters, including a 13-0 run to open the second half. The Indians held Derry (2-7, 0-4) without a field goal for the first 11 minutes, 33 seconds of the second half and outscored the Trojans 18-2 in the third quarter.
“We have some really good athletes, and that helps a lot,” Indiana coach Dave Woodall said. “You put five, six, seven, eight good athletes out there, whether they’re super basketball players or not, they’re athletes and they can anticipate. We shared the ball pretty nicely there. When we got steals and turnovers, we made some good passes to teammates. Our athleticism is probably one of our best traits we have.”
Indiana forced 27 turnovers and limited Derry to 10 of 57 (17.5 percent) shooting. Lucy Bujdos, a 5-foot-9 junior forward, led the Indians with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and 16 rebounds for a double-double.
“It’s nice when you have a forward who can come out and hit 3s like that,” Woodall said. “We have quick guards and then we have Lucy, who can hit those 3s. It’s a nightmare to match up, I’m sure.”
Bujdos scored 12 of her points in the middle quarters, when Indiana pulled away.
“I always call her our Lindsay Stamp,” Woodall said, referring to Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s leading scorer. “Lindsay Stamp’s the same way. She’s a forward, basically, but she can shoot like crazy. I don’t know how you match up with it.”
Neither did Derry. Whatever post-holiday break issues Indiana was dealing with in the early going, the trouble was that much worse on the Trojans’ side.
“The first quarter, 12-9, we started out OK, good defense, then we just quit,” Derry coach Rich Zemba said. “Our girls didn’t have school today; they weren’t motivated at all. It took us an hour to get here on a (usually) 25-minute bus trip. It was just a bad day for us all around.
“I had to start a freshman tonight because one girl forgot her uniform. How can you forget your uniform? That just tells you — one of our starters forgot her uniform. … I’m not usually the one that has to go scream at kids after a game. This is one of the first times I’ve ever lost it after a game. I went in there and the girls got a good talking-to. Their heads weren’t on tonight.”
Sophomore Rachel Garris led Derry with eight points.
“I’ve got a whole ton of girls on this team who want to play some basketball,” Zemba said. “A lot of them got in tonight, and they did a fantastic job once they came in.”
Abbey Karcher added 12 points for the Indians, who next play Monday at Yough.
“Both teams were sluggish (early), but we came out and looked pretty motivated in the second half and hit some shots,” Woodall said. “When you hit some shots, that makes it a lot easier to play defense.”
Derry also plays Monday, at Hollidaysburg.
“We lost two games by four points,” Zemba said. “We’ve been in almost every game in the first half. Nobody’s really blown us out until that happened here. It’s discouraging.”