Carmel wasn’t going to be denied its third straight sectional title. 

The No. 2 Greyhounds jumped out to an early 20-point lead behind a flurry of 3-point makes and never looked back in route to a 68-48 win over the Hamilton Southeastern Royals in the Class 4A Sectional 8 Championship Saturday night. 

Senior Tomi Taiwo led Carmel’s offensive attack with a game-high 26 points. The Iowa-bound prospect connected on six 3-pointers, as the Greyhounds hit 12-of-20 from behind the arc. Fellow senior Amy Dilk made four 3’s and finished with 18 points to go along with six rebounds and a game-high nine assists. 

Carmel led 23-6 after the first quarter, and stretched its lead to 20 a minute into the second. A night after scoring 31 against Fishers in the semifinals, Southeastern sophomore Sydney Parrish was held to just two points on 1-of-10 shooting. 

The Greyhounds led 33-16 at the half, opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run, and cruised to the title. 

With Parrish being held 13 points below her season average, junior Malea Jackson tried to pick up the Royals offense. Jackson finished with a team-high 14 points. Fellow juniors Amaya Hamilton and Molly Watson joined Jackson in double-figures with 13 and 12, respectively. 

Junior Reagan Hune and sophomore Jasmine McWilliams scored 10 each for Carmel. The Greyhounds held a 33-17 advantage on the glass bend a game-high eight boards from senior Blake Smith. McWilliams finished with seven rebounds and Dilk pulled down six. 

Carmel shot 50 percent as a team from the field and 16-of-18 from the foul line. 

The win moves Carmel (24-2) into the Kokomo regional semifinals Saturday against Zionsville (19-5). Tip-off is scheduled for noon. The Eagles advanced to the regionals with a 73-46 win over the Lafayette Jefferson Bronchos in their sectional title game. 

Carmel is 2-0 against Zionsville this season, winning 66-48 Nov. 14 and 75-51 Dec. 29. 

The winner of the regional semifinals will face whoever wins between Carroll and Fort Wayne South Side.