Hatton keeps it loose for Indiana All-stars
Brian Smith, Sports Editor
At the end of the high school season, North Harrison product Lilly Hatton had surgery on her left shoulder. The hope was for Hatton to make her return to the floor for the Indiana-Kentucky All-star series, but the 6-foot-1 standout wasn’t cleared to help the Indiana All-stars.
Still, donning No. 7, Hatton was on the Indiana bench as a supportive teammate. Be it through hyping players or shouting toward teammates to be a sixth voice from just off the court, Hatton relished the week as an Indiana All-star.
“It’s a blast,” Hatton said of the week. “I’m able to do everything but full contact. At our practices, I could do most everything until it came to scrimmaging. Still then, I was hyping them up, trying to be the best teammate that I would want to have in that situation.”
One of the assistant coaches on the Indiana bench had a Mid-Southern Conference connection as well, with Eastern (Pekin) coach Mike McBride on the sideline.
“She had a tremendous high school career,” McBride said of Lilly. “She’s a phenomenal player and an even better person. This week, she brought everything we wanted. Her attitude has been great, and she’s been a great teammate.”
Coaching against North Harrison the previous four years, McBride said it had been fun to watch Lilly play but knew how difficult it was for his team in battles with the Lady Cats.
“We hadn’t had any success facing her,” McBride said. “I teased her when we had our mini-camp that, if there is one thing our program can try to do now, is figure out a way to beat North Harrison. It’s still no easy task because they still have good players. I think she’s a big reason all these young players are so good at North Harrison. She’s set that example of how to work and get better. Young kids look up to that and develop in a similar fashion.”
Saturday’s trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is one Hatton and McBride both took in 2017 when North Harrison was the Class 3A state runner-up and Eastern was the 2A state champion.
“Coming back through Southern Indiana on the way (to Louisville) tonight, we passed areas we were familiar with,” McBride said. “We were hoping if we got a chance with a lead late that we could get her into the game. The opportunity didn’t present itself.”
For Hatton, she was able to bond throughout the week with the other 12 All-stars as they eventually split the series with Kentucky.
“I’ve met people who I probably wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise,” she said.
“I’ve made some great friends like Hannah Noveroske, Riley Ott and Jorie Allen. They are amazing people that I will have relationships with forever. I’ll be able to watch Jorie, Hannah and Shaila (Beeler) on one team (Indiana) next year.”
Soon Hatton will trek toward South Carolina and begin her workouts with Wofford University. The Terriers also are taking a summer trip to Europe to play basketball.
With Hatton not blocking shots, scoring at the rim or pulling rebounds in the All-star games, a few questions were asked about her past, future and experiences during the week.
Best meal? ––The cafeteria at Marian University (where camp was held) is amazing. I want to eat there forever.
Surprise All-Star player? –– I know we had a lot of guards, but Riley Ott (Laporte High School, Purdue University Fort Wayne) showed she was deserving. She can play. I’m so glad she is here.
Blocking a shot or hitting a 3-pointer? –– Block a shot. It’s unexpected. Swat it in the crowd.
All-star number? –– Seven. It kind of looks like a No. 1. It’s close. (Miss Basketball Jorie Allen walks by with the equivalent of an unamused emoji face followed by a smile.) We have a lot of fun.
North Harrison coach Missy Voyles? –– I love her. It’s a love-hate. The days she kicked us out of practice or we run until we about throw up, hate. But out of gym and as a person, I love her.
Looking forward to at Wofford? –– Everything. It’s my dream school. Dream place. Dream coaches. It’s everything.
Miss about North Harrison? –– The people. The crowd. My teammates. My coach and my family.
Favorite non-North Harrison gym? –– Bankers Life. I wish we would have won there, but I loved it.
Thoughts on shot clock (All-star game was played with college rules)? –– I was in charge of calling out ‘shot clock’ and the first play when we got a shot-clock violation, guess who forgot to call it out? Me. I guess I take responsibility for setting the tone of the game from the bench. It was my fault.
Memorable or awkward moment? –– Me, Jorie (Allen), Hannah (Noveroske) and Riley (Ott) sang Disney songs outside on a park bench. We may have been overheard by some of the other players, but we’re over it. We’re forming an all-girl group.
Thoughts on the Indiana Boys’ All-stars? –– So athletic. Our practices overlapped a little bit so we got to watch some. We hung out and played cards with them too.
Best dunker –– Dawand Jones (Ben Davis High School, Ohio State University football). Yesterday, he hit a Euro-step, one-hand slam. Oh, my. He’s such a big guy (6-foot-8, 360 pounds), going to play football at Ohio State, and he’s amazing to watch. He’s a fun guy who has a blast. He’s going to play in the NFL one day, and I’m going to say I knew him. He’s so funny. We are sitting on the bus, and he comes up with his phone and starts banging on the bus window. He’s goofy and fun to be around.
Looking forward to about Europe trip? –– Excited to eat a lot of food and pasta. I want to white-water raft the Swiss Alps.
IN-KY Game recap
At Knights Hall, the Kentucky All-stars rallied from a 12-point deficit to pull off a 79-74 victory Friday night on the campus of Bellarmine University. Emma Nolan (Marquette Catholic High School, St. John’s University) and Jorie Allen (Bedford North Lawrence High School, Indiana University) had 12 points apiece.
Indiana earned a split by defeating Kentucky 76-71 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday. Hannah Noveroske (Michigan City High School, Indiana University) and Allen showed the way with 18 points apiece.
Senior girls defeated the Juniors last Wednesday at New Castle Fieldhouse by a lopsided score of 97-58. Sydney Freeman (Central Noble High School, Ball State University) led all scorers with 20 points.
On the boys’ side, Indiana rolled to a pair of lopsided victories over Kentucky. Friday’s contest saw Indiana defeat Kentucky 97-64 behind 18 points from Brandon Newman (Valparaiso High School, Purdue University), 17 via Isaiah Thompson (Zionsville High School, Purdue University) and 16 from Indiana Mr. Basketball Trayce Jackson-Davis (Center Grove High School, Indiana University).
Saturday, Indiana won 120-74, paced by 17 points and eight boards from Jackson-Davis.
Floyd Central product Cobie Barnes put up six points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in Saturday’s contest. On Friday, Barnes had seven points, four rebounds and two assists.