By Mark Ambrogi
Going into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame is a great honor for Krissi Davis.
Making it even more memorable is the former Noblesville High School standout will be inducted individually as well as inducted as a member of the 1987 team that went 27-0 en route to winning the school’s only girls basketball state title.
“I think it’s absolutely wonderful going in with the team,” Davis said. “To me, basketball is always a team sport. To have the team there is going to be really something special.”
Davis and the 1987 team will be inducted at the Hall of Fame’s 16th annual Women’s Awards Banquet, which begins at 5 p.m. April 29 at Primo Banquet and Conference Center in Indianapolis.
“I can’t believe it’s been 30 years, it’s crazy,” said Davis, who is single with two dogs. “This honor is humbling. When I was a high school senior playing basketball and having fun, I never thought down the road it would lead to all this. It’s been neat to go down memory lane.”
Davis, one of five seniors on the team, said the senior leadership was crucial.
“We knew what needed to get done,” Davis said.
Courtney Cox Cole was a sophomore starter on the 1987 squad. Cole, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as an individual in 2015, helped lead the Millers to the state championship game in 1988 before losing to Fort Wayne Snider by two points.
Davis scored more than 1,000 points for Noblesville, led the team to an 81-17 record and three additional sectional titles in her four years. The Indiana All-Star then was a two-time team Most Valuable Player for Notre Dame.
She then became a graduate assistant at DePaul while getting her master’s degree in marketing and management.
“I kind of thought I wanted to get into coaching but nothing panned out,” Davis said. “I wasn’t just going to hang out and volunteer somewhere.”
Instead, Davis came home and worked for the family business, Davis/Haslam, in Noblesville. She and her brother, Mike Davis, operate the industrial supplies company. Mike, a former Ball State University football player, played on the NHS state runner-up football team in 1979.
She later did serve as an NHS assistant volleyball coach for head coach Jill Lyon Almodovar, who was on the ’87 championship team.
“Every time I get up, I’m sore and tired, so I don’t really miss the game,” Davis said. “I miss the coaching aspect of when you show somebody something and all of a sudden the light clicks on.”
One teammate Davis stays in contact with is Cole, who still lives in Noblesville.
Cole is looking forward to reminiscing with other teammates.
“It’s always good to remember something like that,” Cole said. “Obviously, that was a huge deal back at the time. It was a major achievement to go undefeated, and it was all before class basketball.”
Cole also was on Noblesville’s state championship golf teams in 1986 and 1987.
“Each one is a unique experience in itself,” Cole said. “Basketball is great because we went unbeaten with a great group of people. It was a special season. The golf titles each had their own unique things that happened, also.”
Cole said she remembers some tight games and sometimes when the Millers struggled.
“We would always find a way to win,” Cole said.
Davis said looking back at the scrapbooks her mother kept she realized they were looking to go to the state title game.
“There were a couple of games that could go either way and we’re not there,” Davis said. “You had to have some luck it seems like back then.”
Cole recalled how excited the community was about the state championship.
“I remember them taking the bus around the square and all the people all there cheering,” Cole said. “Then we came back to a gym full of people, all of that was amazing.”
Cole played two years of basketball and four years of golf at Indiana University. She and her sister, Monica Cox Peck, owned Hare Chevrolet before selling it earlier this year. Cole and her sisters will continue to do their “Sisters of Savings” advertising for the dealership for five more years.
Cole said mostly she is relaxing, or at least as much as she can after being diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago.
“My health is decent. It’s just gone from my lungs into my bones,” Cole said. “I’m just living with stage 4 cancer. That’s how it is. I’m beat up a little bit but things are good.”
1987 state champion team
- Chama Anderson, Noblesville
- Krissi Davis, Noblesville
- Chris Owen Mills, Noblesville
- Donna Placido Pedersen, Elwood
- Cindy Woods Burns, Seattle
- Cami Cass, Brownsburg
- Kris Lammers Holland, Brevity Park, Calif.
- Courtney Cox Cole, Noblesville
- Jenny Sigman Alexander, Mechanicsburg, Va.
- Jenny Smith Knight, Noblesville
- Jill Lyon Almodovar, Noblesville
- Jana Thompson Gearries, Lebanon
Championship game: Beat Anderson Highland 47-38 at Market Square Arena Feb. 28, 1987.
Head coach: Ray Lyttle. Assistant coaches: Rich Bagienski, Dave Ferris and Karen Baird.
Banquet info: Tickets are $50 for the banquet at Primo Banquet and Conference Center, 2615 National Ave., Indianapolis. For more, visit hoopshall.com or call 765-529-1891.