Senior night didn’t go as planned for the Fishers Lady Tigers basketball team this past Tuesday against No. 7 Carmel.
But that won’t stop the team from fighting as they host the Avon Lady Orioles (3-15, 0-5 HCC) this Saturday at 2:30pm. Fishers had it’s Sr. Night festivities wiped away by a relentless Carmel squad, who won the game 54-24. FHS was washed out in the first half, as Carmel held the Lady Tigers to just 2 points, en route to a 33-2 halftime lead.
Amidst the team’s worst season since 2011 (5-16 finish), Michael Gaines’ side has a prime opportunity to pick up it’s first HCC victory of the season against a struggling Avon team. The Lady Orioles dropped their first 14 games to start the season under first year head coach Jason Haid, but have won 3 in a row, including 4 of their last 5.
As Avon starts to get it’s footing in the late stages of the season, Fishers will look to generate some confidence and a bit of momentum heading into the state tourney this February. The Sectional Draw for the Girls Basketball State Tournament is this coming Monday, January 25th at 8:00pm eastern on IHSAAtv.org and can also be heard on the IHSAA Champions Radio Network.
Next up for Fishers is No. 4 Lawrence North (15-3, 5-0 MIC) on the road on January 26th at 7:30pm.
Despite a mixed bag of results halfway into the regular season, the Fishers Tigers (6-7, 2-1 HCC) are still in the hunt for a conference championship.
Fishers will travel to meet with the Avon Orioles (5-10, 0-2 HCC) Friday evening, as the defending Hoosier Crossroads Conference champs look to remain in contention for the HCC title. “This is a must win game for us,” said Senior Forward Cam Wolter.
The urgency is high for FHS, coming off of two wins last weekend against Brownsburg and Bishop Chatard. “If we are going to accomplish something this season, it starts tomorrow night,” said Fishers Head Coach Joe Leonard.
Meanwhile, Avon has lost 6 of their last 8 contests– including a 59-54 defeat at the hands of Danville in the Hendricks County Tournament Championship. The Orioles sit in second to last place in the HCC, yet their less than stellar 5-10 record doesn’t quite indicate the entire story of the team’s season. 6 of Avon’s 10 losses have come by single-digit margins, while 3 of said defeats have been by less than 5 points.
Fishers isn’t sleeping on the opponent, especially going on the road. “This is not a 5-10 team, they’re better than that,” said Fishers Sr. Caleb Reitz. The Tigers are 7-2 all time against Avon (won past 4 meetings), one of the better marks for the young program in it’s 10th season overall.
Avon’s starting lineup features a face that Fishers is actually quite familiar with, that would be Senior Forward Shawn Moore. Moore, a player who saw some varsity minutes last season with FHS, moved to Avon for his senior year and is turning in steady averages of 10.4 points/gm and 5.2 rebounds.
The Orioles are also led by Jr. Guard Evan Lowden (11.8 points/gm, 4.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists) and Sr. Forward Antoin Clifton (7.9 points/gm, 4.3 rebounds).
FHS continues to lean on seniors Lance Dollison and Cam Wolter for offensive production. Dollison posted 21 points in the 55-50 win over Chatard, while Wolter became Fishers’ all-time leading rebounder after registering 15 over the weekend in two games. Freshman point guard Willie Jackson will be set to make his 5th consecutive appearance in the starting lineup, as the team is 3-1 since Jackson’s insertion. Joe Leonard thus far is more than pleased with the freshman’s production: “The kid is a winner. He has no poor body language, he might show excitement, but never negativity.”
A key matchup that will have tremendous impact on FHS’ chances in the HCC will be taking place at Hamilton Southeastern, as Zionsville (9-0, 2-0 HCC) pay a visit to league leaders HSE (11-5, 3-0 HCC) with the winner taking sole possession of the top spot in the HCC. Should Zionsville knock off Southeastern, Fishers would have a chance to earn at least a share of the title if they were to run the table in their final 2 conference games vs. Westfield and then Zionsville on the road in late February.
Yet the Tigers know that Friday night’s game comes first and won’t be doing any scoreboard watching. This game should prove to be one of those conference road tests that may go unnoticed in the thick of January, but the team is very well aware of it’s significance.
JV game tip is scheduled for 6:00pm eastern, with the varsity game following at approximately 7:30.