Photo By Cody Bahn // SEASON TO REMEMBER: Senior Emily Kiser goes up for two of her game-high 30 points during Tuesday's first-round game. Kiser finished two assists shy of a triple-double and has been a consistent force for Noblesville all season.
Photo By Cody Bahn // SEASON TO REMEMBER: Senior Emily Kiser goes up for two of her game-high 30 points during Tuesday's first-round game. Kiser finished two assists shy of a triple-double and has been a consistent force for Noblesville all season.

As the Indiana state basketball tournament kicks into gear, teams across the state will need their best player to come up big. For the Noblesville Millers, this player is undoubtedly 6’3 senior forward Emily Kiser.

Kiser certainly came through for her team in the Millers’ first postseason game. She nearly finished with a triple double (30 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists) as Noblesville cruised past Anderson, 72-44, in the opening round of sectionals.

After a solid first half performance with 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting, Kiser exploded with 20 points in the second half. She scored at will using her size and soft shooting touch around the basket against a helpless Anderson frontcourt.

For a first time observer or for someone who just caught a glimpse at the box score, this looked like an incredible performance, a once-in-a-career type of game. In truth, Kiser, who averages 21.1 points per game, has been cranking out high-scoring outputs all season. In the five games previous to Tuesday’s tournament win over Anderson, Kiser posted scoring totals of 27, 31, 25, 26 and 23. As a junior last season, Kiser registered her single-game career high with 32 points at Anderson.

All this scoring over the past four years has pushed Kiser into the Noblesville record books. In late November against Hamilton Southeastern, Kiser became the eighth girl in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark.

Her current total of 1,310 points is good for fourth on the all-time Noblesville scoring list. She trails only her former teammate Alexis Shannon (1,361, 2013-16), Cindi Merril (1,525, 1999-2002) and Courtney Cox (1,869, 1986-89).

And, as Noblesville head coach Donna Buckley pointed out after the Anderson win, Kiser does more than just score. “She’s pretty ridiculous,” Buckley said. “There’s not much she can’t do. She can shoot the 3, she rebounds, she scores, she passes the ball well.”

In fact, according to the Noblesville Athletic Department, Kiser’s 911 career rebounds represent the highest-career total in school history since the program began tracking the statistic.

All of these stats have helped contribute to a lot of Miller wins over the past four seasons. Since Kiser joined the team as a freshman, Noblesville has tallied four winning seasons, a sectional championship (2014-15) and an overall record of 73-26 (.737).

Buckley thinks these numbers could also add up to postseason accolades for her star player.

“To me, I’ve said this really for the last half of the season, I think she’s a top five Miss Basketball candidate,” Buckley said. “When you take our strength of schedule and what we’ve been able to do and what she faces every single night, the numbers she’s put up are just insane.”

Noblesville has never had a player named Indiana Miss Basketball. On the boy’s side, only Tom Coverdale (1998) has won the award.

Buckley and Miller fans aren’t the only ones who have noticed Kiser over the years. After a stellar junior season, in which Kiser averaged a double-double (19.6 points, 11.6 rebounds) and made the Indiana Junior All-Star team, a number of Division I colleges came calling. Last July, Kiser committed to play collegiately for the Michigan Wolverines.

When evaluating schools, Kiser liked the quality of the Michigan basketball program and also the academic prestige the university carries. The Wolverines finished 28-9 last season and won the WNIT title. Currently, the team is 19-4 and ranked No. 13 in the country.

“I honestly think it’s the best of both worlds,” Kiser said. “I mean basketball ends at some point, so I was looking for academics and athletics.”
Kiser is leaning toward studying business in Ann Arbor.

On the verge of finishing her high school career and beginning a collegiate one, Kiser reflected back to the start of her basketball journey.

“We were definitely a basketball family,” Kiser said. “My dad played. It was a family sport growing up. We played against each other in the driveway and whatnot.”

One of the family members Kiser battled on the driveway as a youngster was her older brother John Kiser. John (class of 2015) was also a prolific scorer for the Millers. When Emily reached the 1,000-point mark in November, she joined her brother in this select club. Emily and John became the first siblings to each score 1,000 points in their careers. John is currently a sophomore on the Valparaiso men's basketball team. Emily’s sister, Anna, is a sophomore on Noblesville’s varsity team.

From her childhood driveway to her last high school playoff push, Kiser said her journey, especially her senior year, has been a blur.
“It’s been awesome,” she said. “It came really fast, and it went by really fast. I’ve just been having fun with my teammates. Definitely thankful for all the opportunities that I’ve had.”

Kiser and her Miller teammates’ next opportunity comes in the form of a rematch with their rival, the No. 1-ranked Carmel Greyhounds (22-2), on Friday in a sectional semi-final game.

Back in November, the Greyhounds beat the Millers soundly, 78-41.

The challenge couldn’t be any tougher, but the Millers will have a special player to turn to.