INDIANAPOLIS

Ellie and Maddie Bischoff grew up understanding their time together as high school basketball teammates would be short-lived.

Three years apart in age, the Greenwood residents are attempting to make the most of the experience as members of the Roncalli girls team.

“At first it was different, because I’ve been here (alone) for two years,” said Ellie, a 5-foot-9 senior guard who transferred from Center Grove before the start of her sophomore year. “It was different having my sister at all of my practices and on the Roncalli court with me.

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“But I’ve enjoyed watching her play. She’s played well.”

Going into Thursday’s game against Heritage Christian, Maddie, a 5-9 freshman guard, ranked second on the team in scoring at 10.6 points a game behind another Johnson County resident, 5-10 sophomore wing Alana Vinson (13.1). Ellie Bischoff, who missed the start of the season due to an injury, had 11 points in her first two games back.

A proficient long-range shooter, Ellie, the eldest of Brian and Holly Bischoff’s five children, went 105 of 316 from behind the 3-point stripe her sophomore and junior seasons combined.

Maddie Bischoff is capable of playing either point guard or shooting guard.

“I had not seen Maddie play, so I went to Center Grove’s last eighth-grade game to watch her play (last season),” Roncalli coach Stan Benge said. “I knew she had the potential to be a good player, but she’s done a nice job for us so far.

“Ellie is pretty much just a great shooter. She’s progressed in other areas, where Maddie is a more well-rounded player who brings the ball up and can take it to the basket. But both are very nice young ladies and super people.”

Maddie Bischoff attended Center Grove for Grades 6 to 8, while Ellie was there for Grades 7 to 9.

Ellie moved to Roncalli to grow deeper in her Catholic faith. Furthermore, she already had friends at Roncalli and looked forward to learning the game from Benge, who recently picked up his 600th career victory in a coaching career that dates back to the mid-1970s.

Her younger sister followed, and the impact has been immediate.

Maddie Bischoff scored 13 points, grabbing two rebounds and making three steals in a season-opening victory against Perry Meridian. She collected 10 boards in a recent loss to Cathedral.

The jump from middle-school hoops to a varsity program responsible for an average of 19 wins a year since the 2008-09 season is a big one. Maddie Bischoff finds it easier due to the presence of her older sister at practices and games.

“I really like it. It’s fun playing with Ellie because she’s right there with me and can help me with things,” Maddie said. “Mostly it’s helping me with the plays because it is my first year. It’s more comforting that she’s with me.”

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at mbeas@dailyjournal.net.