Article courtesy Richie Hall and the Hamilton County Reporter.
A good start and a good finish gave Noblesville a great win on Friday.
The Millers stunned (IBCA) No. 7 Brownsburg 39-36 at The Mill. Noblesville made an early run, then held the lead for most of the game. The Bulldogs made a late charge, but the Millers used a 7-0 run during the game’s final two minutes to secure the victory.
Minutes after the game, the Noblesville players were back on the court, celebrating with a student section that had been cheering loudly all game long.
“It’s a huge win for our program,” said Millers coach Brian McCauley. “Everyone really contributed. I thought we had a very focused week of practice. All of our guys did a good job with whatever we asked them to do, from running Brownsburg’s offense or defense, and then our guys executing against it. I thought we had a tremendous week of practice. It paid off this evening.”
Noblesville got off to what McCauley called a “perfect start,” leading 9-0 after the game’s first six minutes. Jordan Schmidt scored five of those points, including a three-point play.
Brownsburg got on the board with 1:21 left in the quarter, which ended with the Millers up 9-2. Eagan Keever-Hill drained a 3-pointer to open the second period, thus giving Noblesville a 12-2 lead, then a Xavier Hines basket got the Millers ahead 14-4 with 6:42 remaining.
“Our guys were ready, they were focused, and we knew that the start was going to be important,” said McCauley.
The Bulldogs finished the quarter by making a 10-2 run, and that got them within 16-14 by halftime. Schmidt opened the second half with a driving basket, and Zack Johnson began to take over in the third quarter, scoring seven points. That helped Noblesville stay in the lead for most of the period; the Bulldogs tied it up at 23-23 when Malek Edmonds converted a three-point play, but Johnson’s layin with two minutes left in the quarter kept the Millers up 25-23, which is where the quarter ended.
Edmonds struck again in early in the fourth, making another three-point to play to get Brownsburg ahead for the first time, 28-25 with 6:38 left. Johnson tied it up with a 3-pointer, but Ryan Wiggins hit two free throws to give the Bulldogs a 30-28 lead.
The back and forth continued for most of the quarter. Brownsburg led 34-32 with 1:38 left, but that’s when Johnson hit another 3, putting Noblesville up 35-34. The Millers would hold on to the lead until the buzzer, making free throws and picking up key rebounds.
With 53 seconds left, Keever-Hill was fouled in a one-and-one situation, and hit two foul shots to push Noblesville’s lead up to 37-34. The Millers’ defense stepped up, prevented the Bulldogs from getting any good looks, and was there to rebound each shot. Finally, Johnson was fouled with 17 seconds left. He made both free throws to effectively seal the game.
Johnson led all scorers with 21 points and five rebounds. Keever-Hill and Schmidt both scored seven, with Schmidt handing out three assists.
“Jordan Schmidt was very active on defense,” said McCauley. He had some really nice drives. Zack was really good, hitting two big 3s in the fourth quarter for us on the pick and the pop.”
The Millers are 10-8 for the season.