Article courtesy Richie Hall and the Hamilton County Reporter.
By Richie Hall
The Noblesville and Guerin Catholic boys basketball teams haven’t played each other often, but when they do get together, it makes for some exciting games.
Tuesday’s game between the two teams at The Mill was another good one. The Golden Eagles got off to a great start, then the Millers came back with an outstanding third quarter. Noblesville then held off a fourth quarter Guerin run to win 44-41, giving the Millers their fourth victory in a row.
“Everybody contributed and it was a huge, huge win for us, because Guerin Catholic’s a very good team,” said Noblesville coach Brian McCauley. “They’ve been in every game. They had a lead with 61 seconds to go against North Central, at North Central.
“It was a tough battle and we knew it would be,” said McCauley.
The first quarter began with some early basket-trading, the Golden Eagles went on a 10-2 run that stretched into the start of the second quarter. Kian Sills hit a 3-pointer to open the run, with Matt Parenteau also contributing three points (a layin and a free throw). Eagan Keever-Hill’s layin was the last score of the first period, but a basket by Bernie McGuinness put GC up 14-6 to begin the second quarter.
Jordan Schmidt hit a 3 for the Millers, and that was answered by Joseph Bobilya’s 3 for the Golden Eagles. Noblesville scored five quick points to cut Guerin Catholic’s lead to 17-14; Alex Hunt made a putback and Xavier Hines nailed a 3. But the Golden Eagles answered again: Matthew Gillis hit a layin and McGuinness drained a 3, putting Guerin Catholic up 22-14 at the break.
Following halftime, the Millers played what McCauley said was the best quarter of basketball his team had played all season. Noblesville outscored the Golden Eagles 17-2 in the third period.
“We were 8-of-8 from the field in the third quarter,” said McCauley.
Zack Johnson made back-to-back layins, then Hunt took a steal in for a dunk. Hines’ jumper tied the game, and Keever-Hill got the Millers on top with a layin. McGuinness made two free throws with 2:48 left for GC’s only points of the third, but Noblesville promptly scored seven more points: Schmidt hit a jumper, Keever-Hill made a 3 and Johnson’s layin put the Millers ahead 31-24.
“I think our guys battled for three of the four quarters,” said GC coach Bobby Allen. “We obviously came out in the third quarter and we couldn’t stop them.”
Noblesville held the lead for the entire fourth quarter, twice going up by 11 points. Schmidt’s two free throws gave the Millers a 39-28 advantage with 4:01 to play. The Golden Eagles started to chip away at that point, with Luke Godfrey hitting a 3-pointer, then McGuinness converted a traditional three-point play with 1:12 left to get GC within 41-38. But two free throws from Johnson with 21.6 seconds left gave Noblesville a 43-38 lead, and the Millers were able to hang on.
Schmidt and Johnson each scored 10 points, while Keever-Hill and Hunt both added nine points. Hines collected four rebounds.
“All in all, tremendous second half,” said McCauley.
McGuinness scored 12 points for Guerin Catholic, with Sills adding 10, including two 3-pointers. McGuinness pulled six rebounds, with Sills grabbing five and also handing out four assists.
“Once they got that big lead on us, I’m proud of our guys for not giving up. We could’ve very easily given up and we battled back, had a chance to win it at the end,” said Allen.
Noblesville is 12-8 and travels to Avon Friday to finish up Hoosier Crossroads Conference play.