Two girls basketball teams are still alive in Michiana, as Penn and Marian survive and advance to their respective regional championship games.
Penn knocks off Plymouth 47-28 in 4A Regional Semifinals, ending a thrilling run by the Pilgrims, but improving to 25-0. The Kingsmen now face a tough test in the regional title game, going up against another undefeated team in Crown Point.
"It's really exciting because we put in a lot of work and we know how hard we worked to get here and it's really exciting," Penn sophomore guard Trinity Clinton said.
"I felt that once we started doing a better job of following our game plan, we settled in a little bit more," Penn coach Kristi Ulrich said. "I mean Plymouth is a terrific team they really slowed us down. They played great half court defense and really liked to control the tempo and in the first half they definitely did that. We have a lot of leaders in the locker room and you know we count on them to help the younger kids be ready for stages like this when we have these types of opportunities."
Penn will take on Crown Point in the 4A regional title game Saturday night at La Porte High School. Tip off is scheduled for 8pm EST/7pm CT.
Penn is moving on, but for Plymouth, a fantastic season comes to a disappointing end. The cardiac kids had quite the run in sectionals, using two buzzer beaters to win their first sectional championship since 2013, and coach David Duncan couldn't be more proud of his group.
"I'm going to remember our seniors," Duncan said. "Our seniors have put so much time into this. It gets to the point where we are family and we love each other and it was pretty emotional in the locker room and the seniors kind of got us back where we needed to be. We talked to our younger kids about how important it is to get back in the gym and they understand that. We won't be off too long and we'll be back in the gym."
In 3A, Marian advanced to their first-ever regional title game, taking down Knox 53-36 at Rensselaer Central High School. Senior guard Makayla "KK" Weaver was dominant for the Knights, leading the team with 22 points.
In addition to advancing further than any other Marian team in program history, the Knights also set a school-record with 22 wins this season.
"It feels awesome," Marian coach Steve Scott said. "We got to this point last year, and came up a little bit short, now we got to win one to get to the final 8, there's nothing better than that."
"I really don't know how to feel because it's such a huge win," Weaver said. "We left a legacy, and that's a very big thing. You have to be so proud to be part of stuff like that, so I feel like a champ."
Marian will play for their first ever regional championship Saturday night against Northwestern at Rensselaer Central High School. Tip off is 8pm EST/7pm CT