Penn advances to semi-state for first time since 2018-19
MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Just four local teams remain in the Indiana high school boys basketball playoffs.
One of those teams is Penn. The Kingsmen are back in the gym preparing for semi-state after getting revenge over Chesterton in regionals last weekend.
Even though nobody on Penn’s roster has played in a semi-state game, it’s business as usual for the Kingsmen because beating Chesterton doesn’t win you a state title.
The last time Penn made it this far was 2019, when this year’s team’s senior core were just 8th graders. They remember that team, and this year’s team wants to take the success of Kingsmen past to the biggest stage.
“It’s definitely nice getting the revenge, but we’re trying to move on,” said Joe Smith, senior guard. “Hammond Central, semi-state, and we’re one step away from getting to that state championship, so that’s what we’re looking forward to.”
Senior forward Josh Gatete agrees.
“Especially since we haven’t been here before, we’re looking forward to this moment since we were all freshmen,” he said. “Especially when we were eighth graders actually at Penn basketball camp. We had the seniors at the time — like Noah Applegate, Drew Lutz — they made it to semi-state their year, and we just wanted to see if by the time we get to their age we can do the same thing. So, this has always been a huge goal of ours.”
Penn will face Hammond Central in the second semifinal on Saturday at Michigan City. The winner will move on to the championship game that same night against either Fort Wayne Wayne or Kokomo.
Here’s a look at Saturday’s schedule:
Fort Wayne Wayne vs. Kokomo, 11 a.m. EDT/10 a.m. CDT
Penn vs. Hammond Central, 1 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. CDT
Fort Wayne Wayne/Kokomo winner vs. Penn/Hammond Central winner, 9 p.m. EDT/8 p.m. CDT
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