February 24, 2018
Warren Central Outlasts Zionsville for First Girls Basketball Crown
Warren Central junior Shaila Beeler scored a game-high 21 points, including three free throws in the final 38 seconds to ice a 50-46 victory over Zionsville in the Class 4A championship game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
In the final game of a highly-competitive day, the Warriors of coach Stacy Mitchell were able to outlast the Eagles in a game that featured 10 lead-changes and 11 ties.
The last tie came at 39-39 after Zionsville’s Megan Sheridan hit a free throw with 6:03 left. On the next possession, Warren Central’s Melody Johnson followed-up her own miss to break the tie with 5:28 left and the the Warriors (20-7) never trailed again.
Zionsville, making its first state finals appearance under coach Andy Maguire, was able to pull within 47-46 on a Sheridan basket with :42 left, but Beeler’s free throws iced the contest.
The title is Warren Central’s first in the program’s history (the Warriors were runner-up in 1984), but the 26th total in the school’s athletic history.
K’ja Talley added 14 points for the winners, while Maddie Nolan paced Zionsville (22-6) with 17 points and Sheridan added 15.
Class 4A State Championship Records
Highest Free Throw Percentage: .889 by Zionsville (16-18).
Warren Central's Maray Bell named Mental Attitude Award winner
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Maray Bell of Warren Central High School as the winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class 4A Girls Basketball.
The award is presented annually to a senior participant in each classification who was nominated by her principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.
Bell is the lone starting senior on the team, and according to principal Rich Shepler she has placed the team at the forefront and lends a hand when and wherever she is able. Bell has stated, “There are times when we may be down during a game, but we are never defeated. I have to make sure the morale of the team stays positive.”
Outside of athletics, she has earned many awards for her character, leadership and respect. Bell also lends her hand to volunteering at Eastern Star Church, within her community, Gleaner’s Food Bank and Warren Youth Girls Travel Basketball League. In a class of 757, Bell sits at 47th, holding a 3.79 GPA.
She is the daughter of Brandy Stephens and Fort Bell and wants to pursue a career in dentistry, but is undecided on her college choice.
The Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers, the presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Warren Central High School in the name of Maray Bell. Since 1989, more than $840,000 in college scholarships have been presented to deserving high school athletes in Indiana.
The award is named in honor of the former IHSAA assistant commissioner Patricia L. Roy, who oversaw the girls basketball state tournament from its inception in 1976 until her retirement in 1999.