Miller Girls Basketball Wins State
By Joe LaRue, Managing Editor, joe@thetimes24-7
The Noblesville Millers Girls Basketball team won the Indiana Class 4A state final on Saturday, beating the Grizzly Cubs of Franklin Community High School by a resounding score of 76-52. Leading the way for the Millers was junior guard Ashlynn Shade, who tied a class 4A record with 31 points.
The Millers finished the season with a 25-4 record, including ten straight wins to close out the season, to take home their first state title since 1987. Sophomore forward Ava Shoemaker and sophomore guard Reagan Wilson both chipped in with 12 points, while junior forward Dani Mendez pulled in eight rebounds and nine points.
For Franklin Community, senior Ashlyn Traylor led the way with 18 points and 6 rebounds to shine through an otherwise diminished offensive performance for the Grizzly Cubs, who shot 15-51 from the field, including 6-24 from behind the arc.
Beyond Shade’s electric, record-tying 31-point performance, the game saw another record set: the highest combined free-throw percentage, .853. Noblesville shot 13-15 from the line, while Franklin Community shot 16-19, for a combined 29-34 shooting from the foul line. The discipline so characteristic of Hoosier High School basketball shines through once again.
Millers Head Coach Donna Buckley was humble in the wake of the win, saying her team was confident going in but planned on a tough game, saying, “Our kids expected to win, they have been playing really well lately. The girls were really excited and confident going into the game. Obviously, Franklin is good and we expected a tough game but we played really well and finished out the second half well to get the win.”
Coach Buckley was quick to praise Ashlynn Shade’s 31-point game, but emphasized the team-nature of the win. She said, “She (Shade) played really well and did what she did, but it allowed our other players to open up and play well. When she drew doubles, other girls stepped up and hit big shots.” Finally, with no seniors graduating, I asked Coach Buckley about expectations for next season. But she said, “Right now, we are going to enjoy the win and just see what happens when we get back at it during the off-season.” After a dominating 24-point win, the Millers have certainly earned the right to enjoy their victory.