Fishers girls basketball seniors conclude memorable four-year run


The Fishers High School girls basketball team has had a memorable four-year run.

The Class 4A No. 3 Tigers finished the run with its first trip to the state championship before losing Feb. 25 to No. 7 Bedford North Lawrence 46-42 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Fishers finished 26-3 to give it a four-year combined record of 86-15 with two sectional titles and three Hoosier Crossroads Conference championships.

“They’ve gone through hard things in life,” Tigers coach Lauren Votaw said. “They’ve gone through hard things this season. And they fought, that’s how they got here. We didn’t come out on the end we wanted to, but I’m super proud of the young ladies they’ve turned into. These seniors, man, they’ve given so much to this program. The impact they’ve had, for years to come, they have no idea the impact they have made.”

Votaw said the loss doesn’t diminish what the Tigers accomplished, including beating No. 2 defending state champion Noblesville 67-64 in double overtime in the sectional semifinals and No. 4 Hamilton Southeastern 58-44 in the sectional final.

“We came out of the toughest sectional, the toughest conference in the state, and these kids endured all that,” Votaw said. “It wasn’t the ending that we wanted, but it can’t take away what these kids have done, what these seniors have done. There’s only two teams in the state with a higher winning percentage than our seniors in the last two years. One is right there (Bedford North Lawrence) and the other is Lanesville, which won (the Class A title).”

Votaw said the run was great for the community and the youth feeder program.

The Tigers have been led by twin sisters Olivia and Hailey Smith, who will play for Ball State University next season. The other seniors are Karina Scott and Alycia Triplett.

“Hailey and Olivia are great players,” junior Talia Harris said. “All of our other seniors played well, too. They’re great leaders. Our seniors are our big dogs.”

When the disappointment of the loss goes away, Harris said she expects the Tigers will appreciate all they accomplished.

Harris, who averaged 9.3 points per game on the season, led the Tigers with 15 points in the championship final.

“Since the sectional last year, we saw she had this in her to be more of an offensive player,” Votaw said. “She did a phenomenal job.”

Harris said she was just trying to do whatever the team needed.

“My teammates played a big part in that,” she said. “They were getting me the ball when I was hot and setting screens. They were rebounding and kicking it back to me.”

Harris made 5 of 13 shots while the rest of the team was 8 of 29 from the field.

Olivia and Hailey were both 1 of 6 from the field. Hailey scored six points and Olivia had three points. Entering the game, Hailey was averaging 12.1 points per game and Olivia 10.6 points. Alycia Triplett had a team-high 12 rebounds as the Tigers held a 31-22 rebounding edge.

“It was just them getting to the basket late game,” Harris said of the loss. “We had fouls we probably shouldn’t have given up. We did everything we could. We played defense. We hit big shots. They hit big shots. It just came down to the last possessions. We tried to stop them, and we just couldn’t.”

Chloe Spreen, who led the Stars with 20 points, fouled out with 1:50 to go. Harris hit a free throw to tie the score at 40-40. After two free throws by Bedford’s Madisyn Bailey, Harris tied it at 42-all with a jumper outside the paint.

The Stars’ Emma Brown came in and scored four key points.

“To their credit, they had another kid step in,” Votaw said. “They were able to finish.”

Brown put the Stars ahead with a driving layup to make it 44-42 with 19 seconds left. She missed the free throw after the basket.

The Tigers got called for an offensive foul with a little more than 5 seconds left for a moving screen.

“We were just trying to get to the basket, get a foul call maybe — just something to push the momentum back to us,” Harris said.

Brown was fouled and hit two free throws to seal it with 3 seconds left.