Despite leading 15-3 in the second quarter, Lake Central High School fell to Penn High School’s Kingsmen 43-41 in the final game of Indiana’s LaPorte 4A Regional Championship. Penn captured its eighth regional girl’s basketball championship in the program’s 43-year history.
Penn will take on Zionsville Community High School on Saturday in the Semi-State round, and stands two wins away from a state championship.
The Kingsmen took advantage of the Indians’ poor free-throw shooting and lack of 3-point threats. Penn hit five 3-pointers while Lake Central hit only one.
Lake Central High School (22-7) took on Penn High School (26-1) in the LaPorte 4A Regional Championship on Saturday. The teams met earlier in the season in a game that Lake Central won. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Lauren Ladowski (12) (of Lake Central) is fouled by Trinity Clinton (9) (of Penn) while attempting a layup. Lake Central was able to grab an early 15-3 lead thanks to their efficiency in scoring near the basket. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Lauren Smolen (12) attempts a free-throw. Lake Central’s lack of points at the free-throw line lent to Penn’s victory.(Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Lauren Ladowski (12) and Antreese Shelton (10) hit the ground after Ladowski attempted a layup. Both teams played very physical defense throughout the game. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Trinity Clinton (9) bowls through Cheyenne Mathas (12) on her way to the basket. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Tia Chambers (12) puts up a shot between Lauren Smolen (12, left) and Rachael Robards (32, left). Penn was able to take their first lead of the game with four seconds left in the third quarter. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Sara Zabrecky (10) and Cheyenne Mathas (12) tangle with Jordyn Smith (9) for a free ball. Both teams left everything on the court for a chance to continue their season. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Sara Doi (12) hits a 3-pointer over Taiylour Kirkwood (12). It was Penn’s 3-point shooting as a whole that allowed them to stay in the game after trailing by as many as 12 points. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Sara Doi (12) spins on Lauren Ladowski (12) before hitting the game-winning shot. In her Penn career, she has experienced victory and defeat. She was at the very top of Indiana girls’ basketball after the Kingsmen won the 4A state tournament in 2016 and also played on the 2017 team that failed to win the sectional championship after the school had won six straight prior. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Rachael Robards (12) reacts to missing a game-tying shot as time expired. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
The Penn Kingsmen celebrate the school’s eighth regional championship after a close game. The team will attempt to win the school’s fourth Semi-State Championship on Saturday. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Head Coach Kristi Kaniewski-Ulrich captured her fourth Regional Championship in her ninth season at Penn High School. The win avenged Penn’s only loss in the regular season. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Cameras seek out Sara Doi (12) for interviews after she scored the game-winning shot with 4.5 seconds left. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Head Coach Kristi Kaniewski-Ulrich shares an emotional moment after the game during her interview with the Regional Radio Sports Network. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
After leading her team to victory, Penn’s Sara Doi (12) led the Kingsmen in the net cutting celebration. Doi was the team’s leading scorer during the season, and turned in a great performance to propel Penn into the Semi-State round. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)
Photo at top: Penn High School (of Mishawaka) defeated Lake Central High School (of St. John) 43-41 in a tightly contested game that came down to the final shot. Lake Central haven’t won a regional championship since 1998. (Erik Alcantar/MEDILL)