For the first three quarters, very little separated the Class 4A No. 16 Noblesville Millers the the Class 3A No. 6 Western Boone Stars girls basketball teams.
But the Millers physical play paid dividends for the visitors in the fourth quarter, as Noblesville built a double-digit lead and held on for a 53-48 win.
"I thought their physicality got to us eventually," Western Boone head coach Rich Schelsky said. "Teams that are deep like they are and physical, they kind of hang on you and that wears on you. We ended up being pretty short-handed tonight. Our bench wasn't as deep as normal, and they wore us down. Noblesville is a great opponent. They have had a tremendous season; they throw a lot of athletes at you and it is going to prepare us for the stretch run."
Things got off to a tough start for the Stars as starting point guard Taylor Vanderpool injured her hand on the opening offensive possession of the game.
She did not return and it was unknown how much time, if any, she would miss with the injury.
Schelsky said the Stars would adjust if they needed too.
"It changes our rotation and it changes how much we can pressure defensively and stuff like that," Schelsky said of her absence. "It will depend on some of the match-ups and what we have in front of us. But some of our younger kids are going to have to step up. They are probably going to get more time and opportunities and have to fill the void."
The Stars' Julia Hole also suffered an injury late in the game, and it was unclear about her status after the game.
Noblesville led by four at the end of the first quarter, and by one at the half.
For more of this story, read Wednesday's Lebanon Reporter.