Times Photo By George Sinnis: Parrish's Lady Royals are looking to make it back to back Class 4A state championships.
Times Photo By George Sinnis: Parrish's Lady Royals are looking to make it back to back Class 4A state championships.

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!

Madison Layden is the daughter of coach Kathie Layden, who has compiled a 148-48 record in eight seasons at Northwestern.

Layden averages 25.7 points and ranks second in the state to Marion’s Rashaya Kyle (28.0 ppg). Hamilton Southeastern’s Sydney Parrish is third in state scoring at 25.3.

Layden has starred on both Northwestern state championships, along with Kendall Bostic, who averages 20.7 points and 10.1 rebounds.

And many of the so-called experts believe that Layden, who’s headed for Purdue, is in the same class with Parrish, who will play for powerhouse Oregon. Both are considered front-runners for 2020 Miss Basketball honors.

Certainly, that would be a tremendous matchup should they advance and square off in the Marion Regional opener.

In 2019, Parish became only the sixth player to be honored as Indiana’s Female Gatorade Player of the Year, an award that usually goes to a senior.
Parrish is the third Hamilton Southeastern player to be named as a McDonald’s All American. She follows Taya Reimer in 2013 and Indiana Mr. Basketball Gary Harris in 2012. She’s just one of four Hamilton County players to receive McDonald’s All-American honor. The other was Carmel’s Josh McRoberts in 2005.

Parish led the Lady Royals to a 27-1 record and the Class 4A state basketball championship last season in HSE’s first-ever state basketball championship.

Still, no matter what transpires, Sydney Parrish should be crowned Indiana’s Miss Basketball in my opinion. She has certainly earned it. She scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and carried the Lady Royals on her back in the state title game.

Parrish, a four-year starter, is also HSE’s all-time girls and boys basketball scoring champion, and she was chasing the Hamilton County scoring title going into the sectional opener this week. She’s also won three Hoosier Crossroads Conference scoring titles after finishing third her freshman year.

And she was IBCA Underclass Supreme All-State in 2018 & 2019; IBCA Underclass All-State in 2017; and selected to the Indiana Junior All-Stars in 2019.

Should she be presented Indiana’s Miss Basketball No. 1 jersey, she would join Harris and Zak Irvin (2013) as the only HSE players to earn the coveted title.

*—Mark Morrow, a Hall of Fame Indiana sportswriter, has resided in Hamilton County since 1989. You can follow him in The Times, and on Twitter at mmediamarko12. He can be reached at mediamarko5@gmail.com or by calling 317 460-8018.