Noblesville girls stop Pendleton’s win-streak

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NOBLESVILLE — It had been a long time since the Pendleton Heights Arabians had tasted defeat.

After 16 minutes of play Wednesday night, they were in position to claim a 10th-straight victory.

But thanks to one unstoppable player, it took just a few minutes for their efforts to become completely unraveled.

Junior Emily Kiser scored 29 points, nearly accomplished a triple-double, and led Noblesville on a 16-2 run to open the third quarter as the Millers beat the Arabians 72-55, the first loss for Pendleton Heights since before Christmas.

The 6-foot-2 Kiser posed several matchup problems for the Arabians. In addition to her scoring, inside and outside, she also led all players with 11 rebounds and eight assists. Arabian coach Chad Cook said his team simply had no answer for her.

“She gave us a couple major problems,” he said. “Rebounding that we couldn’t do anything about. You can’t move her; she’s got good footwork. She poses a problem for us because we just don’t have anyone who can get that high. Also, she makes good, quick decisions with the ball. She’s a big-time player.”

Arabian senior Sam Hammel scored the final four points of the first quarter to start a 9-2 run that saw Pendleton Heights (18-4) build an eight-point lead, its biggest of the game. The Millers fought back to take a lead, but senior Adrienne Phillips sank a 3-point shot and junior Lauren Landes hit a pair of free throws at the end of the half for a 31-29 advantage.

But the Millers came out of the locker room on fire in the third quarter.

“In that third quarter, we were anticipating, or hoping for, something,” Cook said. “Instead of realizing how good we are and confident, we were trying to make things happen a little bit before they were happening. Instead of going up with the shot, we were looking for something else. Instead of reading the screen, we were anticipating what they were going to give us. They gave us a lot of trouble and played a great (second) half.”

Kiser scored eight points during the run to open the third quarter — four on layups and four on jumpers. The Millers made 11 of 18 shots in the period overall and had zero third-quarter turnovers, while the Arabians made just one field goal on only four attempts and turned the ball over seven times.

“Those first few minutes of the third quarter changed the way the game was going to be played,” Cook said.

Phillips ended the run with a pair of free throws to cut the margin to 10, but that was as close as Pendleton Heights could get the rest of the way.

Phillips led the Arabians with 17 points, senior Kelsey Burton scored 15, and Hammel added 13. All three players also had eight rebounds each, while senior Ashley King handed out three assists. Sophomore Maddie Knight scored 17 points in support of Kiser for Noblesville (12-9).

The Pendleton Heights junior varsity team also lost Wednesday. After leading by eight early, the Arabians fell to Noblesville 33-31. Freshman Aubree Dwiggins scored 16 to lead the way offensively, while freshman Laikyn Conner garnered nine rebounds and sophomore Leonie Wilson had four steals.

The Arabians have one more game left in the regular season, and it is an important one. At 7:30 p.m. Saturday they will visit Yorktown with a chance to clinch the outright Hoosier Heritage Conference title with a win.

“To be able to go win the conference outright with a 7-0 run of it, we want to make sure we do that,” Cook said. “Maybe get some positive things happening there.”