Lady Bulldogs' quest for state falls game short, lose 61-28 to Hamilton Southeastern Lady Royals at 4A Semistate

A Special Report by the team

CP's Lilly Stoddard wins the opening tip against Hamilton Southeastern, but that was pretty much the highlight of the day for the Lady Bulldogs. HSE jumped out to a 23-7 first quarter lead. (All photos by Mark Smith)
HSE's Lydia Self (5) made things difficult for CP sophomore guard Jessica Carrothers (14). Carrothers, who averaged 22 points a game, was held to seven by the defense of top-ranked Hamilton Southeastern.
HSE 6-foot-2 senior Tayah Irvin (21) looks to get the ball inside to 6-foot-2 senior Amaya Hamilton (10) against the Lady Bulldog defense. The Royals' versatility with big players created multiple problems for CP.
CP's 5-foot-7 Jessica Carrothers gave up seven inches to her defensive matchup, HSE's Tayah Irvin (21). HSE held CP to a season low 28 points. CP had scored at least 52 in the previous 28 games.
CP coach Chris Seibert and senior Caitlyn Phillips (10) look for answers against Hamilton Southeastern. Crown Point was in the semistate final for first time in 22 years.
HSE's Tayah Irvin (21) makes it difficult for Ellie VanDeel (11) to get to the basket here. CP shot 20% from the field.
The CP bench tried to keep their spirits up in the final minutes. The Lady Bulldogs' 28-game winning streak came to an end against Hamilton Southeastern.
Coach Chris Seibert consoles guard Jessica Carrothers as she leaves the game for the final time. Carrothers season final scoring average of 21.6 points per game is believed to be the highest ever for a CP freshman.
HSE junior Sydney Parrish is considered the top basketball player in the junior class in Indiana. Parrish averaged almost 21 points per game for the top-ranked Royals.
CP senior Yasmine Porter holds the game ball after the semistate loss. Porter is one of four CP seniors who will leave school as regional champions.
In the first semistate game last Saturday at LaPorte, defending state 1A champion Marquette, led by senior twins Sophia (1) and Emma Nolan (31) advanced to the final game with a 47-32 win over Northfield.
The biggest winner at the semistate may have been HSE coach Chris Huppenthal, who reaches the state championship game for the first time in his 23 years as a head girls basketball coach. (All photos by Mark Smith)

Copyright © 2019 and Meyer Multimedia Services, a division of Meyer Broadcasting Corp.  All rights reserved.
Revised: February 18, 2019 .

Team /Record 1 2 3 4 Final
PENN (26-1) 23 14 17 7 61
CROWN POINT (28-1) 7 10 10 1 28

Saturday, February 16, 2019  - Class 4A Semistate game at LaPORTE, IN

HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (61) Malea Jackson 3-2-8, Lydia Self 2-0-4, Amaya Hamilton 5-3-13, Jackie Maulucci 3-2-8, Tayah Irvin 3-1-7, Sydney Parrish 5-1-12, Bailee Poore 1-0-2, Makayla Hinshaw 0-2-2, Lauren Morris 1-0-2, Molly Walton 1-0-3, Bri Baker 0-0-0, Ryan Viele 0-0-0. TOTALS 24-44 (54.5%) 8-13 (61.5%) 61.

FREE THROWS: HSE (8-13, 61.5%) Jackson 2-2, Hinshaw 2-2, Maulucci 2-2, Irvin 1-3, Parrish 1-3.

REBOUNDS (23) Parrish 5, Walton 3, Irvin 3, Hamilton 2, Jackson 1.

ASSISTS (15) Maulucci 5, Jackson 4, Parrish 2, Self 2, Walton 2.

BLOCKS (5) Parrish 2, Hamilton 2, Irvin.


3-GOALS (5-12, 41.7%) Amaya Hamilton 3-5, Sydney Parrish 1-4, Molly Walton 1-1, Jackie Maulucci 0-1.

CROWN POINT (28) Ellie Van Deel 2-5-9, Lily Stoddard 1-7-9, Jessica Carrothers 2-3-7, Alyna Santiago 0-2-2, Grace Tyndall 0-1-1, Caitlyn Phillips 0-0, Paige Sanborn 0-0-0, Allie Govert 0-0-0, Alexis Smith 0-0-0, Yasmine Porter 0-0-0, Gabby Vania 0-0-0. TOTALS: 5-25 (20%), 18-23, 78.3%) 28.

FREE THROWS: (18-23, 78.1%) VanDeel 5-7, Stoddard 7-8, Carrothers 3-4, Santiago 2-2, Tyndall 1-2.

REBOUNDS (24) VanDeel 6, Stoddard 6, Santiago 3, Phillips 2, Govert.




3-GOALS (0) Carrothers 0-3, Phillips 0-2, VanDeel 0-2, Santiago 0-1.

FOULED OUT: Alyna Santiago (4th Q – 4:54 left).

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LaPORTE (02-16-2019) It was like a high school team playing against a college team.

Top-ranked Hamilton Southeastern totally dominated fourth-ranked Crown Point 61-28 in the Class 4A Northern Semistate Saturday and the game was exactly as close as that score indicated.

HSE (26-1) led 5-1, 12-2, 23-7 at the quarter and 37-17 at the half. Against the taller, more skilled Royals, Crown Point only got off 25 field goal attempts and made just five of them. They were 0-for-8 in three point shots and scored only one point in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs (28-1) never scored two field goals back to back and their trademark full court press forced a grand total of just four HSE turnovers.

The Metro Conference champions, who won for the 16th game in a row, played very confidently, as if they knew they were going to win easily.

“We didn’t think they’d played anybody,” said HSE coach Chris Huppenthal, a veteran of Northwest Indiana basketball at Highland from 1995-2003. Some of us thought that HSE couldn't be that much better than 4A No. 2 Penn (26-1), a team CP had defeated at the LaPorte Regional seven days earlier.

“We didn’t think Penn was that good,” said Huppenthal. You can't always go by summer league play, but we played Penn without two of our starters in the summer and we beat them.”

Crown Point clearly hadn’t seen anyone like HSE. After Bulldog senior Ellie Van Deel split two free throws 12 seconds into the game, HSE scored five in a row including a 3-point shot from 6-foot-2 senior Amaya Hamilton.

After CP’s Lilly Stoddard split two free throws, the Royals scored seven in a row, including a second three pointer by Hamilton. HSE was 170 of 515 (33%) on 3-point goals in their first 26 games.

When CP’s top scorer Jessica Carrothers split two free throws to cut the Royals’ lead to 12-4, Hamilton hit her third 3-pointer to up the count to 15-4.

After Carrothers scored the Lady Bulldogs’ first field goal to cut the HSE lead to 15-6, HSE senior Molly Walton hit a 3-pointer to make it 18-6. After Carrothers split two free throw s to cut the lead to 20-7, HSE all-state junior Sydney Parrish hit a 25-foot 3-point shot in the final second of the period to end the quarter at 23-7.

Since HSE started three 6-foot-2 players in Hamilton, Parrish and Tayah Irvin, Crown Point concentrated on keeping the Royals outside. With five three-pointers in the first quarter, HSE blew up that strategy.

“You can only take away so much against a team like this,” said CP coach Chris Seibert. ”Our goal was to try to force them away from what they are comfortable doing. Take away layups and make them hit shots from the perimeter. Give them credit. They did. Number 10 (Hamilton) hit three quick ones. We lost her a couple of times on switches. But they made the shots. When they’re shooting well, they’re tough to beat.”

At the other end of the floor, CP was overmatched. Carrothers, who is a 5-foot-7 freshman, was being guarded by Irvin, a 6-foot-2 senior. Ellie VanDeel, a 5-foot-10 CP senior, was guarded by Parrish, who is 6-foot-2. HSE switched easily and helped on defense against CP attackers, they used some 2-3 zone after they cut up a lead.

CP wasn’t allowed any offense.

“They had their center guard Jessica. She was 6-foot-2 and she could move like our guards,” said Seibert. “I thought we didn’t do a very good job of getting the ball inside. But we couldn't see inside. Their pressure made it hard to see. They are a tremendous team.”

“We hadn't been in that atmosphere before,” said senior Caitlyn Phillips. “Obviously they’re awesome. We could tell right away they were going to be a dominant team. We tried to get to the basket as much as we could and get fouled. But they were very good.”

Another key to the game was the relative ease at which HSE beat CP’s full court press. The Lady Bulldogs average 22 steals a game. But HSE’s size allowed them to pass over the defense. The Royals were credited with only four turnovers in the 32-minute game.

HSE won for the 26th time, 23 of them by 10 points or more. Even though CP and Penn went through the regular season undefeated, HSE was ranked No. 1 during the second half of the season.

“We kinda thought we were the number one team before the season began, even though the rankings didn’t say it,” said Parrish. “But we have one game (the state championship) to go and we’ve played Lawrence North (22-6) before and it was a good game. We know they have a good team.”

A crowd of about 3,500, including over 1,000 from Crown Point, waited for the game to get competitive, which it simply never did.

Crown Point’s girls and coaches handled it as well as they cold have. No technical fouls or complaining about the referees. The talent differential seemed to frustrate them more than anything else.

Crown Point does need to play a more difficult nonconference schedule. When CP softball elevated into a state class program, they began to seek out schools like Harrison, Carmel and New Palestine. Boys basketball played basically the same schedule for 20 years. But recently they have added teams like Pike and Noblesville and McCutcheon.

CP will almost certainly do that in case they’re back in the semistate (the Lady Bulldogs return three starters) next season.

But 28-1 will be hard to duplicate.

“Nobody can take away the sectional and regional titles,” said Seibert. “Or the undefeated Duneland championship. I think this team brought some excitement back to Crown Point girls basketball. The crowd tonight was amazing.”

“Our young core will be focused. I think they know how close. They came and they won't need much motivation for next season."

“Some teams deserve to win, but they didn't get there,” observed Seibert. “This team worked hard and played hard and they won.”

LADY DOG NOTES: CP senior Caitlyn Phillips wanted to thank the crowd for coming from CP to watch them.

“It was insane,” she said. “Not only from Crown Point, but a lot of people from all over coming to watch. The (playoff) crowds just kept on building and building.”

Phillips, a varsity softball outfielder, played in her final basketball game. She’ll be going to Marian University in Indianapolis in the fall to join the softball program. But, even though she’ll be gone, she would like to see the fans stay with the Lady Bulldogs.

“Hopefully they can keep this going next year,” she said. “So there are always people that come and watch us and want to watch and so we always have a lot of fans on our side.”

Hamilton Southeastern is undefeated against other Indiana high schools. They played the Ryle Raiders of Union, Kentucky and lost 57-49 on December 1. Sydney Parrish didn’t have any comment on the officiating in Kentucky, but she talked about trying to defend a perfect record.

“I think the loss helped us,” she said of the out-of-state loss.” It took pressure off us. We’re weren't coming into every game undefeated. I think we’re playing as if we were undefeated even if we’re something and one.”

Ryle (25-4) is the top-ranked team in Kentucky and the No. 50 team nationally. In that game, Ryle was 17 of 56 from the field (4 of 23 on 3s) but 19 of 27 from the foul line.

Crown Point overachieved this season. The Lady Bulldogs were 13-11 last season. Freshmen Carrothers and Stoddard made major impacts.

“They played with a confidence that you can't teach,” coach Chris Seibert said. “But we also can't underestimate the contributions of our four seniors, who will be greatly missed. Even if they weren't playing, they helped us in so many ways in practice and behind the scenes.”

CP did play the regional semistate without starting junior forward Abby Stoddard (9.3 ppg).

“She was greatly missed,” said Seibert. “She’s a 6-foot-1 girl who can do a little bit of everything. For us to get to this point without her is a testament to the rest of the kids. But we can't wait to get her back for next year. Happy and healthy.”

Coaches never let themselves talk about themselves, but HSE coach Chris Huppenthal, who is now 423-114 in 23 seasons as a girls basketball coach, reached the state finals for the first time in almost a quarter century of coaching. The talkative Huppenthal fell silent when I asked him what finally reaching the state championship game meant to him.

He smiled and looked across the floor and said, finally, “We have a very good team.”

Coach: Chris Seibert, 77-27 in 4th year at school, 136-104 in 10th year overall
Nov. 3 at Hanover Central 3A W 64 19    
Nov. 10 at Hammond Morton 4A W 72 8    
Nov. 13 at Andrean 2A W 77 34    
Nov. 17 N Warsaw 4A W 52 39   tournament
Nov. 17 at Northridge 4A W 52 47   tournament
Nov. 20 at East Chicago Central 4A W 61 33    
Nov. 23 at LaPorte 4A © W 71 64    
Nov. 27   Lowell 4A W 85 24    
Nov. 30   Portage 4A © W 67 29    
Dec. 1   Hobart 4A W 86 11    
Dec. 7 at Valparaiso 4A © W 61 18    
Dec. 11   Highland 4A W 68 24    
Dec. 14   Lake Central 4A © W 54 21    
Dec. 27 N North White 1A W 67 21   tournament
Dec. 28 N Mount Vernon (Fortville) 4A W 54 31   tournament
Dec. 28 N Indianapolis Cathedral 4A W 78 48   tournament
Jan. 4   Michigan City 4A © W 51 47    
Jan. 5 at Lafayette Jeff 4A W 72 56    
Jan. 10 at Munster 4A W 60 37    
Jan. 12 at Merrillville 4A © W 58 37    
Jan. 15   Kankakee Valley 4A W 61 46    
Jan. 17 at Chesterton 4A © W 56 22    
Jan. 23 at Hammond Noll 2A W 66 59    
Feb. 1 N Lowell 4A W 77 28   sectional
Feb. 2 N East Chicago Central 4A W 62 32   sectional
Feb. 4 N Highland 4A W 58 31   sectional
Feb. 9 N Kankakee Valley 4A W 65 49   regional
Feb. 9 N Penn 4A W 58 31   regional
Feb. 16 N Hamilton Southeastern 4A L 28 61   semistate

Coach: Chris Huppenthal, 248-76 in 14th year at school, 423-114 in 23rd year overall
Nov. 3 at Ben Davis 4A W 47 42   tournament
Nov. 3 N Southport 4A W 95 18   tournament
Nov. 10 N Lake Central 4A W 68 37   tournament
Nov. 10 N Valparaiso 4A W 73 22   tournament
Nov. 13   Perry Meridian 4A W 77 14    
Nov. 16 at Franklin Central 4A © W 83 29    
Nov. 17 at Carroll (Fort Wayne) 4A W 62 22    
Nov. 20   Brownsburg 4A © W 55 41    
Nov. 23 at Carmel 4A W 62 43    
Nov. 28 at Noblesville 4A © W 65 31    
Dec. 1 N Ryle (Ky.) L 49 57    
Dec. 4   Pendleton Heights 4A W 69 35    
Dec. 7 at Avon 4A © W 53 37    
Dec. 11   New Castle 3A W 76 38    
Dec. 15   Fishers 4A © W 65 41    
Dec. 28 N New Albany 4A W 62 29   tournament
Dec. 29 at North Central (Indianapolis) 4A W 55 44   tournament
Jan. 3 at Warren Central 4A W 49 41    
Jan. 11   Westfield 4A © W 56 30    
Jan. 15   Lawrence North 4A W 56 45    
Jan. 18 at Zionsville 4A © W 53 33    
Jan. 22 at Pike 4A W 64 50    
Feb. 1   Fishers 4A W 36 27   sectional
Feb. 2   Carmel 4A W 47 34   sectional
Feb. 9 N Carroll (Fort Wayne) 4A W 59 34   regional
Feb. 9 N Homestead 4A W 57 47   regional
Feb. 16 N Crown Point 4A W 61 28   semistate
Feb. 23 N Lawrence North 4A 8:15 pm   state