NorthWood wins state championship over Salem 37-29

INDIANAPOLIS (WNDU) - Nappanee is partying like it's 1999, as the NorthWood Panthers girls basketball team won it's first state championship in over 20 years with the 37-29 win over top-ranked Salem.

Saturday's 3A State Championship was the lowest scoring title game in Indiana history.

NorthWood senior center Maddy Payne led the Panthers with 19 points and 10 rebounds and won the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award.

Head coach Adam Yoder was thrilled with how his team executed the game plan.

"I'm so proud of how we stepped up today," Yoder said. "I can't remember the last time we had seven people score in a game. Everybody made their shots, made their free throws. Got the ball inside a lot, didn't always finish but we got it inside a lot. The great eight. I texted these eight people last night and didn't include anybody else because they're great. They may not be Indiana all-stars by themselves but together they're stage champs today "

Saturday was also the final game for seniors Payne, Kate Rulli, Reagan Hartman and Karlie Fielstra. Before the game, a speech by Fielstra fired up the team to get the job done.

"When I was younger, I would always think about it's so sad that everybody's last game pretty much has to be a loss," Fielstra said. "I told the team that everyone, except, for one team. I told them that I wanted to be the one team that didn't have to have their last game on a loss. We wanted to win it."