PENDLETON —The Pendleton Heights girls basketball team played host to Fishers on Monday, with the visiting Class 4A fifth-ranked Tigers proving to be too much for the Arabians.
Fishers’ twins Hailey and Olivia Smith, who are committed to Ball State University, led the charge to defeat the Arabians 66-51.
The Arabians, despite offensive bursts of their own, were never able to overcome the double-digit lead the Tigers had throughout most of the game.
After falling behind by 10 at the end of the first quarter, the Arabians closed the gap to 31-23 as senior Whitney Warfel hit a shot at the buzzer. Warfel led the Arabian scoring drive with 21 points.
Sister Kaycie Warfel, a sophomore who is averaging more than 19 points per game, was held to 4 against the Tiger defense in the first half but came back to finish the game with 16.
She had to go to the bench after fouling out with less than a minute remaining in the game. It was the first time in her career she maxed out on fouls.
The Tigers led by as many as 19 points during the contest, but the Arabians tried to chip away at the lead until time ran out.
The Arabians struggled with the physicality of the Tigers, as Fishers controlled the boards with Hailey Smith tallying 19 rebounds.
“We had stretches where we played well,” Coach Nick Rogers said. “Had some stuff thrown that we just couldn’t finish. That (Fishers) is a great team.”
The Arabians are 6-5 for the season (4-1, Hoosier Heritage Conference). They play host to Lawrence Central on Saturday, Dec. 17, with the game starting at noon, and travel to Yorktown on Dec. 21.
“It’s part of the maturation process. We’re going to continue to get better,” Rogers said.