The Noblesville Millers defeated Hamilton County rival Carmel 68 – 62 to win the 2021 IHSAA Sectional #8 Championship on Saturday night at Zionsville Community High School.
Both teams traded punches throughout the game. When the Greyhounds took the lead with 10 seconds left in the 1st quarter, Ashlynn Shade answered with a 3-pointer to end the quarter. The Millers were able to build a 10 point lead in the 2nd quarter, but the Greyhounds were able to calmly chip away at that lead and eventually took a lead of their own in the 3rd quarter and the teams would trade leads through the quarter.
The defense took over in the 4th quarter and the Millers only allowed 4 points, all from the free throw line. The final blows to the Greyhounds came courtesy of Kaitlyn Shoemaker who scored the go-ahead bucket with 1:26 left in the game and a minute later forced a Carmel turnover that would all but seal the victory; Ashlynn Shade and Reagan Wilson put the final points on the board from the free throw line.
The Millers were led by Ashlynn Shade’s 36 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Reagan Wilson contributed 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Jayla Jones chipped in 7 points.
In order to win the sectional championship, the Millers had to navigate the gauntlet that was likely Indiana’s toughest sectional of 2021. Every team in the sectional was ranked in the Top 20 in both the IBCA Poll and the Sagarin Ratings. The Millers earned their title by beating IBCA #19 Hamilton Southeastern, #13 Zionsville, and #15 Carmel.
The championship is the Millers’ 11th sectional title in the program’s history and the first since 2014-15. It is head coach Donna Buckley’s second sectional crown at Noblesville.
The Millers (21-4, 5-2 HCC) will play the Homestead Spartans (19-5, 7-2 SAC) in the Noon Regional Semi-Final game on Saturday at Marion High School. Homestead defeated Noblesville in The Mill 55 – 47 in November.