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Hamilton County Sports Daily
  • Second-ranked Westfield’s big second quarter Friday night spelled the end of the high school football season for Noblesville.
    The Shamrocks broke open a 7-0 game with three touchdowns in the second quarter on their way to a 35-0 victory in a Class 6A, Sectional 4 semifinal.
    Westfield quarterback Maximus Webster threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third to lift the Class 6A No. 2 Shamrocks (9-1) to a Sectional 4 road win over the Hamilton County rival.
    The loss ends a disappointing 2-8 season for the Millers.
  • A blocked field goal by Daniel Rhoad capped a tense final 36 seconds for Guerin Catholic, which upset third-ranked West Lafayette 20-18 Friday night in the opening round of Class 3A, Sectional 28.
    Brayden Hall’s 9-yard touchdown run and Addison Lushin’s extra point kick gave the Eagles an eight-point lead with 1:20 remaining.
    West Lafayette, which finishes 8-2, needed 44 seconds to pull within two points on Colin Martin’s second TD pass of the night to Corey Adams. When the Red Devils’ two-point conversion pass attempt failed, it seemed Guerin would avenge last season’s sectional semifinal loss.
    However, West Lafayette recovered the on-side kick and a quick pass play set up a potential game-winning 45-yard field goal. Rhoad, whose 57-yard touchdown run earlier in the fourth quarter gave Guerin the lead for good, deflected the kick.
  • For one half Friday night, Noblesville managed to keep Avon’s passing game in check.
    Over the final 30 minutes of this Hoosier Crossroads Conference football game, however, Henry Hesson put on a passing clinic while sparking the Orioles to a 35-14 victory.
    Hesson was 17 of 18 passing for 371 yards and four touchdowns, three coming during a 28-point second half that allowed Avon to pull away.
    Noblesville (2-7, 1-6 HCC) pulled within 21-7 in the third quarter thanks to Connor Meinerding’s 15-yard touchdown run and Grayden Addison’s kick. The Millers’ other touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Holden Montarsi.
  • Noblesville nearly matched Hoosier Crossroads Conference football rival Brownsburg yard for rushing yard Friday night but had little to show for it in a 29-8 loss.
    Noblesville ran 22 more plays than the Bulldogs and rushed for 224 yards but all that only netted Connor Meinerding’s 9-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Holden Montarsi added a two-point run, but that came after Brownsburg scored the first 29 points of the game.
    Owen Jones led the Millers with 68 yards on 11 carries. Montarsi picked up 61 yards on 16 carries, and Trey Speek gained 50 yards on 15 rushes.
    Brandon Burks rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns for Brownsburg.
  • Adult baseball and getting back to our old Sagamore Conference roots
    The Sagamore Athletic Conference is one of Indiana’s oldest and proudest conferences. OK, maybe it hasn’t been around as long as the venerable North Central Conference, which used to be as powerful as the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference is today. But it has a proud past.
    The original members – Noblesville, Carmel, Brownsburg, Crawfordsville, Frankfort and Lebanon – formed the SAC in December of 1966. (By the way, for those curious the name came from the Abnaki Indian word for the chief or ruler who exemplified leadership and dignity.)
    OK, back to our regularly scheduled content.
  • Three sports journalists with significant ties to Indiana high school basketball will be recognized with Virgil Sweet Awards for 2020.
    Jim Peters of the Michigan City News-Dispatch and LaPorte County Herald-Argus, Mike Carmin of the Lafayette Journal & Courier and Gordon Engelhardt of the Evansville Courier & Press are the recipients of this year's awards.
  • Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville’s super freshman who leads the Lady Millers with a 20.3 scoring average and placed third in Hoosier Crossroads Conference scoring, will get her first taste of intense tournament pressure in tonight’s semifinal round of Sectional 8 at Westfield High School.

    And there’s a pretty good chance that she’ll likely handle her part of the challenge quite well.

    This is a new season. Noblesville’s 10-12 record, worst in the field, means very little.

    Time to hit on all cylinders and produce a cohesive team effort. 

    That’s what really matters at tourney time.

    Each surviving team has at least one go-to player when times are tough.

    Shade will likely need to be that player once again for the Lady Millers.

  • Regional huge test for Sectional 8 survivor
Sports Talk with Mark Morrow

    No matter the outcome of Sectional 8 this week, here’s a couple of strong possibilities for the near future in Indiana high school girls basketball:

    Whichever team advances from Westfield will likely need to get past both Class 4A No. 1 Northwestern (23-0) and then No. 4 Homestead (22-1) to reach the semi-state round.

    No easy task . . . indeed!

    Northwestern, the two-time defending 3A state champion, was forced to move up a level under the IHSAA Tournament Success Factor.

    And the Lady Tigers have yet to face a stern test in 4A. Their closest game so far was a 61-58 encounter against Maine West (Ill.).

    Their closest game against an Indiana Team was a 65-51 conquest of North Central.

    Yeah, they are that good! Ask anyone!

  • There’s nothing like the drama of a last-second shot in high school basketball.

    There’s nothing like the feeling you get when the ball zips through the net.

    There’s nothing like that ecstatic feeling and expressing overwhelming joy and excitement . . . or the feeling you have when a loss can feel like a dagger to the heart.

    There’s nothing like your reaction whether you are a player on the court or a fan in the stands, on the winning or losing side of the floor. 

    You’re either going to walk away happy or sad. Wiping tears from your eyes or pumping your fist in the air while celebrating.

    That’s what this time of year is all about: It’s a one-and-done tournament. You’re either all in or all out . . . No second chances.

  • The 2020 IHSAA girls basketball tournament is upon us . . .  just days away!

    The 45th Annual event starts with sectionals next week (Feb. 4-8).

    A few questions come to mind right off the bat:

    Are the Hamilton Southeastern Lady Royals, the 2019 Class 4A state champions, destined to repeat?

    First things first, what are the odds they can get out of a tough sectional that’s always extremely competitive?

    The Lady Royals have the most decorated and explosive player in the Sectional 8 field in 2019 Indiana Gatorade Female Player of the Year Sydney Parrish, whose 26.1 scoring average ranks second in the state. I would say that’s a pretty good sign for starters. 

  • Just give this kid the ball
Sports Talk with Mark Morrow

    Some thoughts, opinions and other notables:

    I watched Friday night’s tape-delayed Hamilton Heights-Lapel game on the TV 40 sports channel.

    I’ve been hearing a lot about Husky junior Gus Etchison, and it marked the first time I’ve seen him in action.

    I liked what I saw. He was terrific.

    The kid has GAME. He can really play. He had 34 points in a 21-point victory. Etchison did pretty much everything but sell popcorn. Very impressive player, indeed.

    And watching him reminded me a great deal of 1970 Carmel Indiana Mr. Basketball David Shepherd, who scored 66 points in a game his senior year.

    Gus has already delivered a 56-point performance this season. 

    Etchison is a 6-foot guard like Shepherd. He’s built like the Greyhound great and he also has black hair, and he plays with much the same flare. He’s quick, pushes the ball relentlessly, can shoot from far-away places, looks for the open man, and made a couple of “oh-wow-did-he-really-do that passes!’’ and he has tremendous upper body strength.

    Etchison also had two break-away dunks. Not sure I ever saw Shepherd dunk.

    The Husky spit-fire is averaging 25.9 points per game, seventh best in the state. He averages 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.2 blocks. He shoots 59 percent on 2s and 37 percent on 3s, as well as 75 percent from the foul line.

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Copyright 2016 
Hamilton County Sports Daily
a division of Sagamore News Media