Girls hoops: No. 3 Carmel hands No. 1 Homestead its first loss

Girls hoops: No. 3 Carmel hands No. 1 Homestead its first loss

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Girls hoops: No. 3 Carmel hands No. 1 Homestead its first loss

Blake Smith hit the game-winning free throws for Carmel on Saturday against top-ranked Homestead.

Blake Smith hit the game-winning free throws for Carmel on Saturday against top-ranked Homestead.

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One question reverberated throughout Carmel girls basketball practices leading up to the team’s matchup with Class 4A co-No. 1 Homestead on Saturday.

“Where are No. 4 and No. 12?”

All week long, the No. 3 Greyhounds prepared for the Spartans duo of Madisen Parker (No. 4) and Karissa McLaughlin (No. 12) that scored a combined 58 points earlier this week against No. 5 Lawrence North. On Saturday, they were held to a combined 26 points, and Carmel pulled out a 56-54 win in overtime.

Amy Dilk led the Greyhounds (14-2) in scoring with a game-high 28 points. She scored 14 of her team’s 21 first-half points and hit 4-of-6 free throws in overtime.

“Brad Stevens once said, ‘The bad dude always wins.’ Amy Dilk was the bad dude today,” said Carmel coach Tod Windlan.

Carmel held the high-powered Spartans (16-1) to 18 points in the first half and just six in the second quarter, as McLaughlin and Parker were held to a combined six points. The Greyhounds took a 21-18 lead into the break but sputtered in the third quarter as the Homestead duo found their stroke. McLaughlin and Parker combined to score 13 in the third, matching Carmel’s total as a team.

Dilk hit a pair of free throws to give Carmel a two-possession lead with 2 minutes to go, but Homestead tied the score with 10 seconds to go on a three-point play by Teryn Kline.

The teams traded leads several times in the extra period. McLaughlin gave Homestead a one-point lead with 1:07 to go, but Blake Smith gave Carmel the lead again with a layup. Homestead tied the score with 10 seconds to play, but Smith was fouled on the ensuing possession and hit both free throws to seal the win for the Greyhounds.

Homestead was just 5-for-17 from the perimeter, with McLaughlin and Parker combining to shoot 4-for-16.

“We are a perimeter-oriented team. On a day like today when we weren’t shooting the basketball great, we needed to try and get underneath their defense,” Homestead coach Rod Parker said. “We had an opportunity to hit a couple big shots down the stretch that we just didn’t knock down.”

While Carmel didn’t score at its usual rate – the Greyhounds average 62 points per game – that was a trade Windlan was willing to make for holding Homestead nearly 20 points below its season average of 72.

“We decided to take a little air out of the ball and make it a lower-possession game,” he said.

“We told our kids if it’s in the 60s or below, we’ve got a really good chance to win. If it’s a shooting contest, we’re probably going to lose.”

In the end, it came down to execution for the Greyhounds. It wasn’t flashy. But it got the job done.

“We maintained our focus throughout,” Dilk said. “We followed coach’s game plan. That sealed the win.”

CARMEL 56, HOMESTEAD 54, OT

Homestead 12 6 19 11 6 — 54

Carmel 14 7 14 13 8 — 56

Homestead (16-1) — Madisen Parker 4-16 10 Teryn Kline 2-3 1-2 5 Karissa McLaughlin 5-10 4-4 16 Haley Swing 3-4 6 Jazmine Geist 6-9 2-2 12 Kara Gealy 1-1 3 Team totals: 21-43 7-8 54

Carmel (14-2) — Olivia Christy 2-5 1-2 6 Amy Dilk 9-15 9-12 28 Blake Smith 2-3 2-2 6 Tomi Taiwo 3-9 8 Reagan Hune 2-2 0-2 4 Mackenzie Wood 2-2 4 Team totals: 20-26 12-18 56

3-point goals: Homestead 5 (Parker 2, McLaughlin 2, Gealy) Carmel 4 (Taiwo 2, Christy, Dilk)

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