Carmel gets tested again in 63-52 win over North Central

Carmel gets tested again in 63-52 win over North Central

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Carmel gets tested again in 63-52 win over North Central

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NOBLESVILLE

Don’t let it be said Carmel wasn’t tested if it goes on to win a third consecutive Class 4A state championship.

Sectional 8 is an obstacle course of teams with different styles and strengths, some led by future Hall of Fame coaches. Two nights ago, it was patient, methodical Zionsville that top-ranked Carmel rallied to beat.

On Friday, the Greyhounds put away young and up-tempo North Central 63-52 with a strong fourth quarter. Carmel (21-1) will play third-ranked Hamilton Southeastern (21-3) — a 61-51 winner over Noblesville — for the Sectional 8 championship on Saturday night.

“Our guys have done a great job with the mentality of taking care of what’s in front of them,” Carmel coach Scott Heady said. “You enjoy for the time you’re in the locker room and then you get ready for the next one.”

Unlike the Zionsville game, when Carmel had to come back from down five points in the fourth quarter, the Greyhounds led throughout Friday. But after trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half, the Panthers (16-7) tied it at 41 early in the fourth quarter on a putback by Antonio Singleton.

“Their pressure bothered us a little bit,” Carmel senior Zach McRoberts said. “But we just had to play through it and move on to the next play. I thought we did that in the fourth quarter.”

Carmel ran off a 9-0 run, capped by 3-pointer from junior reserve Neil Lampe, to go ahead 50-41 with 4:30 left. North Central, which saw its 11-game winning streak snapped, would again get within five points, but Carmel made 7-for-10 from the free throw line to put it away.

McRoberts, who hit the go-ahead basket with a minute left in the 47-43 win over Zionsville, led the Greyhounds with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Michael Bruns added 16 points.

North Central coach Doug Mitchell said it’s no secret why Carmel is gunning for a third consecutive title.

“What’s the game of basketball?” Mitchell said. “They don’t turn it over much, so they get good shots. They take shots they can make. For the most part they stay between their man and the basket. They rebound like wild men and they make free throws. What else is there in basketball?”

McRoberts was also key in holding North Central’s leading scorer, sophomore Eron Gordon, to four points on 3-of-10 shooting. Freshman Kris Wilkes led the Panthers with 13 points and four rebounds.

In Friday’s first semifinal, HSE rallied past the host Millers (14-7). An 11-0 run gave Noblesville a 39-33 lead midway through the third quarter. But freshman Zach Gunn helped spark 17-2 run by the Royals with a layup and a steal, which led to two free throws.

Senior guard Eric Davidson led HSE with an efficient 22 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Davidson seemed energized by a little friendly trash talk.

“They were saying I wasn’t going to score on them and they were going to win,” Davidson said. “That just added a little more fuel to the fire.”

Gunn banged his knee late in the game and didn’t return. He was able to walk under his own power and iced the knee after the game.

Carmel beat HSE 55-54 on Feb. 13. Davidson just missed a potential game-winning shot in the final seconds on a 17-footer from the baseline.

“They have a lot of weapons,” Heady said of HSE. “You can’t relax with any of their guys on any possession. They are getting more guys involved than they have the last couple years. They are definitely the best team we’ve played this year. But we’re looking forward to it.”

Noblesville ……………7181610 – 51

Hamilton SE …15151219 – 61

Noblesville (14-7) – John Kiser 3 1-1 8, Jack Trittipo 4 4-7 12, Sean Wilson 3 2-2 9, Jordan Saal 0 0-0 0, Justin Pegues 4 0-1 9, Zach Parker 1 0-0 2, Jake Mills 3 2-2 9, Max Meehan 0 0-2 0, Joey Brewer 1 0-0 2, Joey Herron 0 0-0 0, Josh Gentry 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 9-15 51.

Hamilton Southeastern (21-3) – Mason Hankins 0 0-0 0, Tyler Jenkins 1 0-0 2, Brendan Burns 3 0-0 6, Chris Ford 3 0-0 7, Eric Davidson 6 7-8 22, Grant Leach 3 1-1 8, Jack Kramer 0 0-0 0, Zach Gunn 3 2-2 10, Ty Scholl 2 2-4 6. Totals: 21 12-15 61.

3-point goals: Noblesville 4 (Wilson, Mills, Pegues, Kiser), Hamilton Southeastern 7 (Davidson 3, Gunn 2, Ford, Leach).

Carmel……………17141022 – 63

North Central ……………….10141513 – 52

Carmel (21-1) – Ryan Cline 4 4-5 13, Neil Lampe 1 0-0 3, Zach McRoberts 7 9-10 23, Michael Bruns 6 3-3 16, Preston Flamion 0 1-2 1, Parker Bernhold 3 0-2 6, Keegan Culp 0 1-2 1, Liam Duncan 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 18-24 63.

North Central (16-7) – Jordan Walker 2 3-3 8, Wes Stowers 2 1-2 5, K.J. Lesure 1 3-4 5, Eron Gordon 3 0-3 6, Philip Toles 1 0-0 2, Jeff Harris 1 3-4 6, Michael Loggan 1 0-0 3, Kris Wilkes 4 5-6 13, Antonio Singleton 1 2-2 4. Totals: 16 17-24 52.

3-point goals: Carmel 3 (Cline, Lampe, Bruns), North Central (Walker, Harris, Loggan)

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