Phone: 317-846-6601 Fax: 317-575-4244 Website: www.ihsaa.org
March 4, 2006
FORT WAYNE BISHOP LUERS WINS RECORD FIFTH STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Fort Wayne Bishop Luers had a strong performance in a 65-54 showing over Evansville Memorial in the Class 3A State Championship. The victory gave the Knights a record fifth state championship, two better than any other school with all coming since 1999. Bishop Luers also participated in a record sixth girls’ basketball championship game.
It was the second state title for fifth year coach Teri Rosinski, who had guided the Knights to the 3A title in 2002 and a runner-up finish in 2004.
The Knights (24-4) came out strong in the first quarter behind Vini Dawson’s 10 points and outscored Evansville Memorial 24-10 to the first break. With that showing, Bishop Luers tied a Class 3A state record for most points in a quarter.
After trailing 34-19 at the half, Memorial managed to trim the deficit to 10 at the third quarter break at 49-39. The Tigers chipped it to seven just five seconds into the final eight minutes on a three-pointer by senior Courtney Reising, but that was as close as Memorial would get the rest of the way.
Bishop Luers, which finished with 17 straight victories, was led by freshman Kelsey Wyss who scored 21 points and pulled down eight rebounds and sophomore Amanda Pedro’s double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds. Pedro’s classmate MarKee Martin also had 14 rebounds in the contest, while adding seven points, and seven assists. Pedro and Martin’s rebounding efforts tied the Class 3A record for most in a game. Dawson was the only other Knight who reached double figures finishing with 14.
Evansville Memorial was led by senior FahKara Malone’s 20 points, five assists, eight rebounds and a 3A record seven steals. Sophomore Chelsea Falkenstein also had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Tigers who were making their first appearance in the state finals. The Tigers were coached by Bruce Dockery, completing his 19th season with a 23-5 record.
JENNIFER BALBACH NAMED MENTAL ATTITUDE AWARD WINNER
Evansville Memorial senior forward Jennifer Balbach is the 2005-06 Girls Basketball Class 3A recipient of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award.
Balbach helped coach Bruce Dockery’s Tigers to a 23-5 record and the school’s first-ever trip to the IHSAA state finals. She is a four-time Academic All-City selection who has played on three sectional and city-champion teams, two regional winners, and two conference title squads.
The versatile Balbach will graduate with 10 varsity letters—four each in cross country and track and two in basketball. She is a three-time state qualifier in track and a four-time semi-state qualifier in cross country, earning all-conference honors in both.
Balbach ranks ninth in her senior class with a 5.85 cumulative grade point average on a 6.0 scale. She is a student council representative who is active in the Snowflake Alcohol & Drug Education Program for seventh and eighth-grade students and the Tigers in Drug Education high school program.
“Jennifer is active academically as well as serving as a role model and mentor to younger students,” said Memorial principal Gerry Adams. “While others celebrated our semi-state championship last Saturday evening, she returned to be part of the Snowflake overnight retreat. That is a good example of both her value system and her dedication.”
Balbach, the daughter of Ken and Julia Balbach, is active as an Easter Seals volunteer and a youth minister at St. Theresa Church. She plans to study pharmacy at Purdue or business at Indiana University.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA corporate partner, presented a $1,000.00 scholarship to Evansville Memorial High School in the name of Jennifer Balbach. Since 1989, more than $512,000 in college scholarships have been presented by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance to deserving high school students in the state.
Award recipients, nominated by their principals and coaches, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership, and athletic ability in basketball.
A member of the IHSAA Executive Staff beginning in 1972, Ms. Roy was responsible for girls basketball from the inception of the tournament series in 1976 until her retirement in 1999. Regarded both statewide and nationally as a pioneer in girls athletics, Roy served on the IHSAA Executive Staff longer than anyone in the history of the Association.
VSN MEANS ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY
friends at Visual Sports Network, the IHSAA’s official photographer for all state championship
events and one of the leading action photographers in the
CHAMPIONSHIP MERCHANDISE STILL AVAILABLE
For t-shirts and other merchandise commemorating this year’s tournament or for any of our events, visit our friends at Morris, Inc.
STATE FINALS PROGRAMS AVAILABLE
there for the state finals? You can still purchase a copy of the official
souvenir program while supplies last! Programs are $3.00 if you purchase in
person at the IHSAA Office (
Teri Rosinski, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers Coach
“These kids have risen to the challenge all season. All the credit goes to these young ladies. Their competitive spirit and never say die attitude is unparallel. These kids just can’t be stopped. Winning the state championship was a total team effort.”
“They (Luers) just didn’t have an answer for our kids rebounding. It was all heart and desire from our kids. Sarah Freiburger, MarKee Martin, Amanda Pedro all did a great job of rebounding. What can I say? It was all heart and desire.”
“They (Memorial) have some outstanding players. We knew that Memorial would come out fired up and take it right to us and it definitely got a little close in the second half. It was just a matter of keeping our composure and I think just continue to execute our offense and do what we had done all season. We are truly a team. That’s the story of our season…you just you just can’t focus on stopping one person.”
“We learned so much from our last defeat against (Lima Bath, Ohio), our girls turned it around right then. We asked ourselves what we needed to do to be a championship team so this doesn’t happen again. We challenged them and they rose to the occasion.”
#32 Vini Dawson
“Winning the state championship is really special. This is my second trip here (State Finals) and it’s much better the second time around.”
Bruce Dockery, Evansville Memorial Coach
“We just dug ourselves too big of a hole in the first quarter. We came out in the second half and played the way we have all year.”
“We normally get off to a good start in a game, but we didn’t do a good job on the boards and didn’t shoot the basketball well in the first quarter. Fort Wayne Luers, on the other hand, shot the ball well and hit the boards hard. Our kids fought back hard in the second half, but we dug ourselves too big of a hole.”
“In the second half, they hit free throws and we were working real hard on defense. We would get some big traps, but then leave someone open and they would take advantage of that. Fort Wayne did a tremendous job of protecting the lead.”
“It’s a real tribute to these ladies, they didn’t quit and they worked hard on defense. We’re a good shooting team; unfortunately we didn’t do it this game. We can’t dwell on that. I’m just excited what our team did this year to get here.”
(On FahKara Malone)
“FahKara is a special young lady and an outstanding basketball player. She did a nice job today although they keyed on her. As well as she played today, unfortunately everybody didn’t see the real FahKara Malone. She can definitely play at a higher level. I’m proud of her effort.”