Fishers Ladies Lose OT Contest at Westfield

Westfield’s Jade Shipley looks for an opening as Fishers’ Kenedi London guards her during the Shamrocks-Tigers girls basketball game Friday at The Rock. Westfield won in overtime, 66-60. (Reporter photo by Kirk Green)


Richie Hall

Hamilton County Reporter Sports Editor

The young Westfield girls baskteball team of last season has certainly grown up
this season.

The Shamrocks showed toughness and poise in their game with Fishers Friday night
at The Rock. Westfield made a buzzerbeating putback to send the contest into
overtime, then was solid from the free-throw line in the extra period to score a 66-60 win
over the Tigers.

With the win, the ‘Rocks are now 4-1.  Fishers came into Westfield with a fivegame
win streak, and the Tigers are still 5-2 for the season.

“It is a big win,” said Westfield coach Ginny Smith. “Fishers is a good basketball
team. I really feel like they’re playing like they’re inspired by something. I feel like
every game I’ve watched of them, they just play so hard, with so much fight in them.
They’re actually a fun basketball team to watch.”

The Shamrocks are good, too. This was the kind of game that might not have gone
Westfield’s way last year, when it dropped three of four overtime games.

“It’s huge for us, and especially being able to win in overtime,” said Smith. “I think
that was almost one of our crutches last year.  I felt like we were so inexperienced and then
we couldn’t win down the stretch in some games. For these kids, maybe it’s just a little
glimpse of what it feels like when you’ve maybe got over the hump.”

Westfield trailed 52-47 with 49.9 seconds left in regulation. The Tigers had
just finished a 7-0 run, all thanks to their superstar senior Toni Grace, who had scored
34 points and counting at that time.

The ‘Rocks got within 53-51 with 8.6 seconds left, with Jade Shipley draining a
couple free throws and Sophia Kreag making a layin. Westfield got the ball for a
last shot, and Karley Wininger scooped up a miss and laid it in at the buzzer.

Kreag made a layin early in the overtime to give the Shamrocks the lead for good at
56-55. From there, Westfield earned the remainder of its points from the line. The
‘Rocks made 11 of 14 foul shots in the extra period, while only allowing the Tigers six
trips to the line. Fishers was 5-of-6 from there in the overtime.

Smith said the strategy during the overtime was to spread the floor.

“We got away from our motion offense and just ran a five-out,” said Smith. “I had
five guards in the game.” The ‘Rocks also came up with some big rebounds during the
extra period from Kreag and Ashtin DeCraene; Smith called those “pivotal
points” in the game.

Westfield came to play from the start.  Grace got Fishers up 5-0 right away with a
pair of free throws and a 3-pointer, and the Tigers led 7-3 with 5:49 left in the first
quarter after Grace made two more foul shots.

But the ‘Rocks then blasted off on a 16-0 run that lasted well into the second period.
Jade Shipley scored six points in the midst of that run, including a 3-pointer. Ryann
Bunting helped out with a first-quarter putback and a basket off a steal in the second

Fishers began to work its way back into the game in the second period. Kenedi
London was huge, scoring seven points during that quarter. The Tigers got within
23-21 late in the period, but Shipley drained another 3 to give Westfield a 29-23 halftime

“I thought we responded,” said Tigers coach Lauren Vail. “We went through a little
lull there in the first half. I challenged them to step up and to fight back prior to halftime,
and I thought they did just that. I thought they battled hard.

“Man, I got to give credit to Westfield, though,” said Vail. “I watched them play
Pendleton Heights and they were down a lot in that game and fought all the way back and
they couldn’t pull that one out. And today, they just never gave up. They just never
gave up.”

Grace took over again in the third quarter, pouring in 11 points, including two
3-pointers. Tamia Perryman pushed Fishers ahead 35-34 with a rebound basket; Kreag’s
jumper gave Westfield the lead back, but another triple by Grace got the Tigers in
front 38-36. London rolled in a basket to give Fishers a 40-36 lead at the end of three.

Grace scored all 13 of Fishers’ points in the fourth quarter. She finished the game
with 37 points.

“That was an incredible performance of her,” said Vail. “I was so proud of her
because she played under control. She let the game come to her and she hit some huge
shots. That’s the kind of player I know that kid can be.”

Grace also led the Fishers rebounding with six boards. Perryman and Briana
McGee both had five.

Shipley finished with 22 points for the ‘Rocks, including an 11-of-13 performance
from the line. Kreag scored 10 points. Annabelle O’Hair had eight rebounds, with
Kreag getting five.

Westfield is back in action this afternoon, taking on Kokomo at The Rock
in a 1:30 p.m. varsity tipoff. Fishers returns to the Tiger Den on Tuesday to take on


HSE Schools Foundation Executive Director Freedom Kolb Is Resigning

After nearly three-and-a-half years, Freedom Kolb is resigning her position as Executive Director of the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation.   Shelley Jackson,President of the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation Board of Directors, made the announcement in a posting to the foundation’s Web site.

“It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors of Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation announces the resignation of our Executive Director, Freedom Kolb,” Jackson said in her statement.  “As many of you are already aware, the Foundation recently collaborated with Hamilton Southeastern Schools in securing a $2.1 Million Lilly Endowment award to the district.”

The search is now on for a new executive director, and the foundation is already taking applications.

Below is the full statement from the foundation board president:


Continue reading HSE Schools Foundation Executive Director Freedom Kolb Is Resigning

Podcast: Janet Chandler

Janet Chandler has been immersed in the education of Fishers area students for a very long time at HSE High School.  She serves as the elected President of the Hamilton Southeastern Education Association.  In addition to being a history teacher, Janet is the coach for the high school’s Mock Trial and We the People teams.  Janet Chandler talks about all that and more in this podcast interview.

Fishers Community Chorus Sponsors A Food Drive For Local Families

The Fishers Community Chorus wants you to know they can do more than sing.  I have seen them perform and they sing very, very well.  But this choral group is taking on another challenge – sponsoring a food drive to help local families in need.

Donated packaged food, personal care items and cleaning supplies are needed. All donations support the Fall Creek Township pantry and the Delaware Township food pantry, serving families living in Fishers.

Donations can be dropped off at four STAR Financial Bank locations in Fishers and Cornerstone Lutheran Church on E 116th Street.

But, time is of the essence.  This drive ends Saturday, December 2nd.

You can stay in touch with what is happening at the Fishers Community Chorus through their Web site at this link,  or their Facebook page at this link.

Nickel Plate Rail Line Update From Fred Swift


Fred Swift

Hamilton County Reporter

Keeping up to date on the Nickel Plate Railroad’s status and efforts to get it back on the rails, as well as the accompanying controversy, is a not easy.

Here’s what we know: The newly created Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad is forging ahead with plans to secure railroad engines and train cars to operate excursion rides from Noblesville north, possibly as far as Atlanta. The hope is to have a train on the tracks by Memorial Day 2018, according to Brenda Myers, county tourism director.

The Heritage organization was essentially created by the Hamilton County Visitor and Convention Commission, generally known as the tourism bureau. This entity has access to substantial funds through the county innkeepers tax. Heritage has engaged longtime local railroader Tom Hoback who has formed a new company, Atlanta Pacific, to operate and maintain the railroad.

Hoback said this week that he is awaiting a “track usage agreement” with the county Port Authority which is owner of the Nickel Plate tracks. With that in hand, he will begin efforts to acquire rolling stock.

While it would seem logical that the new Heritage group would want to acquire train equipment from the Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville, Hoback said he has not pursued that, noting he is not sure of the condition of the equipment there. In any event, the museum apparently has no interest in selling its trains, according to its president.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Museum (ITM), still located in Forest Park, wants to continue operations on the Nickel Plate where it ran excursion trains for the past 20 years until the Port Authority suspended its use of the tracks in March 2016 citing safety concerns. Earlier this year the authority approved a plan to convert the railroad south of Noblesville into a recreational greenway trail for walkers, joggers and bicycle riders similar to the popular Monon Trail.

The president of the museum board of directors, John McNichols, indicated this week that the struggle to use the rail line will go on. The museum this week filed a request with the federal Surface Transportation Commission asking that the Port Authority not be given the right to place the Nickel Plate in the Rail Bank.

The rail bank simply means local government is on record as reserving the right to use the right-of-way for a trail, but if and when needed again for rail service it could be converted back to that use. McNichols is not happy with the Noblesville city administration claiming that charges of toxic pollution at the museum’s Forest Park site are not true and only part of an effort “to run the museum out of town.” The museum has a year-to-year lease on its park location which will be up for renewal early next year.

Another organization known as Save the Nickel Plate is continuing efforts to raise funds to save the rail line, but this group is not directly connected with museum. It does support the ‘Save the Train’ yard signs that have appeared around the city.

Meanwhile, the popular Polar Bear Express that operated locally during the holiday season for many years, has moved to Logansport. The ITM, which has found a second home in Logansport, is going to run the Polar Express this year beginning Nov. 24 on tracks from Kokomo to Logansport.

HSE Calendar Survey Results

At the most recent regular Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) School Board meeting, administrator Jeff Harrison reviewed the school calendar survey results with the board members.

The survey results were not posted in the usual place, with the online board agenda after the meeting.  In recent days, the full survey results were posted online.

Several readers asked about the data.  Now that the numbers have been posted online, you can review the full survey results at this link.

Next month, the board is expected to receive a recommendation from school administrators on a calendar for the 2018-2019 school year , and possibly several years into the future.

Darren Murphy Named Hamilton County Court Magistrate


Fred Swift

Hamilton County Reporter

Darren Murphy, Noblesville attorney for 12 years with the Howard Law Firm, has been named magistrate for Hamilton County Courts. He takes over from David Najjar who was recently appointed judge of Hamilton Superior Court 5.

The seven local judges made the appointment, which essentially becomes effective immediately. The position is fulltime in Magistrate’s Court. Murphy is no stranger at the Judicial Center. He has assisted County Attorney Michael Howard for several years.

Murphy is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, participating in the invasion of Panama in 1989. He was wounded in the military action which deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.

A resident of the Fishers area, Murphy returned to the area in 1990, earned a law degree and subsequently began his legal career in Noblesville.

Magistrates serve in an elected judge’s behalf, often conducting preliminary hearings and tending to other matters of legal administration.

Shop Fishers Coming Saturday, November 25th

The Friday after Thanksgiving has long been known as Black Friday, and in recent years the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been set aside for shopping locally.  The City of Fishers is sponsoring a small business shopping event this year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 25th.

40 local stores have signed-up for the Shop Fishers event. All are offering a different deal or incentive to shop locally.

Each business is running a deal specific to their store during the event, and shoppers are encouraged to plan ahead. Details can be found online at this link. or inside the Nickel Plate District (“NPD”) mobile app. The NPD App is available for download on Apple and Android devices, and includes a list of participating  businesses, deals, and an event map. A few hard copies of the Shop Fishers map will be available at participating businesses.

“Shop Fishers started as an effort to support local businesses when the Nickel Plate District was quite literally coming to life,” Mayor Scott Fadness said in a city news release. “Each year, residents continue to embrace our local business community by shopping locally during the holiday season. Shop Fishers takes place all day long, offering deals for everyone on your holiday list.”

During the event, limited Shop Fishers giveaways will be available to the first few customers at each store. Additional Small Business Saturday reusable shopping bags will be available in stores, on a first come first served basis. Shoppers participating are encouraged to snap a picture of themselves out making purchases during the event, and to post them on social media using hashtag #ShopFishers. One lucky winner will receive a Shop Fishers prize pack with goodies from participating businesses. The winner will be selected on Monday, November 27th.



HSE Girls Go 5-0

Hamilton County Reporter

Hamilton Southeastern improved to
5-0 on Tuesday with a 50-43 win at Perry

The Class 4A No. 4 Royals lead 10-5
after the first quarter and 21-11 at
halftime. The Falcons cut HSE’s lead to
33-30 by the third quarter, but the Royals
were able to hang on for the win.

Sydney Parrish led Southeastern with
25 points, nine rebounds and four steals.
Amaya Hamilton grabbed five rebounds.

The Royals will play their first home
game of the season on Saturday
afternoon when they host Fort Wayne
Carroll. Tipoff is 2:30 p.m.