The Times photo by Aaron Snyder
Noblesville senior Eagan Keever-Hill glances at the student section and smiles as he holds the ball for over a minute while the clock runs down on Friday night in Noblesville. The Millers lost in a low-scoring affair against Perry Meridian on senior night and four seniors — Keever-Hill, Zack Johnson, Xavier Hines and Alex Hancock — were the only Millers to score.
The Times photo by Aaron Snyder Noblesville senior Eagan Keever-Hill glances at the student section and smiles as he holds the ball for over a minute while the clock runs down on Friday night in Noblesville. The Millers lost in a low-scoring affair against Perry Meridian on senior night and four seniors — Keever-Hill, Zack Johnson, Xavier Hines and Alex Hancock — were the only Millers to score.

The Noblesville Millers (13-10) took on the Perry Meridian Falcons (9-12) in a home game where the Millers had hoped to celebrate a win senior night but fell short of the Falcon’s 28-24 in a low-scoring affair after managing just two points in the entire fourth quarter.

The Millers loss came as five seniors — Zack Johnson, Xavier Hines, Eagan Keever-Hill, Jordan Schmidt, and Alex Hancock — played the final home game of their high school careers at The Mill in Noblesville.

Senior Zack Johnson led the Millers in scoring with 17 points. Senior Xavier Hines added seven points, three rebounds and a steal, and seniors Eagan Keever-Hill and Alex Hancock each had two points of their own.

Perry Meridian was led by sophomore small-forward Jayden Taylor who managed 13 points. Sophomore Mason Corsaro, senior Paul Jones and sophomore Noah Pendleton each added five points.

The game stayed mostly even through the first quarter and a nice defensive play by Zack Johnson at the end of the first kept Perry’s lead at just two. After the first quarter Noblesville trailed Perry Meridian 8-10.

After the Falcons scored two quick buckets at the start of the second, Noblesville coach Brian McCauley called a timeout to keep the now 14-8 lead from growing.

Perry Meridian held the ball for several long stints during the second quarter and, until Zack Johnson hit a three with just under two minutes remaining, the Millers had managed only two points in the second.

When the two teams went to the locker room for halftime, the Falcons were on top 16-13.

On the first play of the third quarter the Millers brought the deficit to just one point, but Perry Meridian answered with a three after holding the ball for nearly a full minute. But Noblesville’s Xavier Hines quickly knocked down a three of his own to make the score 19-18, Falcons.

The rest of the third was slow-paced — much like the rest of the game — but, at the end of the fourth quarter, the Millers had gained a one-point lead: 22-21.

The 22-21 Miller lead remained intact for the first three and a half minutes as neither team could manage a bucket until Noblesville’s Zack Johnson hit a floater while driving the lane—giving the Millers a three-point lead: 24-21.

But with 2:05 left in the fourth Perry Meridian hit a big three-pointer to tie the game at 24-24.

On the ensuing possession, the Millers held the ball for nearly two whole minutes before finding an open shot in the corner from Xavier Hines. But on Hines’ miss, Zack Johnson was called for a controversial loose-ball foul and sent Perry to the free-throw line.

Luckily for the Millers, Perry missed their second free-throw—giving Noblesville the ball back with 20 seconds trailing 25-24.

But on the next possession Noblesville’s Zack Johnson missed a shot in the lane and the Millers were called for an off-ball foul with 2.5 second left—giving Perry a chance to go up by three.

Fortunately for the Millers, Perry missed their second free-throw yet again—giving the Millers one last chance for a full-court pass and quick shot.

On the in-bound pass, it appeared as if Zack Johnson may have been held by a defender — keeping him from reaching the full-court pass — but no foul was called and the Millers were themselves forced to foul after the turnover.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Falcons were on top 28-24.

Perry Meridian will play Decatur Central (13-6) in the first round of sectionals on Tuesday night. That Sectional 11 game will tipoff at 6 p.m. at Perry Meridian High School.

The Millers drew a first-round bye in Sectional 8 and are set to take on the winner of the Westfield-HSE game. The Millers will play the winner of that game on Friday, March 1. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at Carmel High School.