March 5, 2011
Jeffersonville Leads From Start to Finish To Win First Championship
Jeffersonville jumped out to a big lead early, then held off a late charge from Penn to win Saturday’s Class 4A girls basketball state championship game, 43-29, at Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne.
Lakin Roland led the way with nine points in the first half for Jeffersonville, who shot 58% from the field over the first 16 minutes to build a 21-9 lead at the break. Jalynn McClain picked up where Roland left off, as McClain scored nine of her 13 points in the second half. Brooke Valentine was the third Red Devils player to finish in double figures with 14 points, and she also gathered eight rebounds.
The Red Devils never trailed in the game, but it was not without drama, as Penn’s defensive intensity got the Kingsmen within six points midway through the fourth quarter. Tori Millner, who finished with 12 points, was the offensive catalyst for the Kingsmen, but Penn shot just 25% in the contest. Leading scorer Alexandria Morton was held in check throughout the evening and scored just three points.
The state title is the first in girls basketball for head coach Chad Gilbert and Jeffersonville, who finish the season with a 28-2 record. Penn also made its first appearance in the state title game, capping a season in which head coach Kristi Kaniewski led the Kingsmen to a record of 23-2.
Saturday’s morning session drew 4,341 while the evening counted 3,678 for a four-game total of 8,019.
Penn’s Ashley Lutz Named Mental Attitude Award Winner
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Ashley Lutz of Penn High School as the winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class 4A Girls Basketball.
The award is presented annually to a senior participant in each classification who was nominated by her principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.
At Penn, Lutz has served as a freshmen mentor and has been involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Granger Community Church Student Ministry. She is undecided on where to attend college but plans a career in Education.
She is a four year letterwinner in basketball, served as team captain the last two seasons earning the team’s Mental Toughness and 6th Man awards and was an Honorable Mention All-Northern Indiana Conference selection.
She is the daughter of Spencer and Peggy Lutz of Granger.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, will present a $1,000 scholarship to Penn High School in the name of Lutz.
The award is named in honor of the former IHSAA assistant commissioner Patricia L. Roy, who oversaw the girls basketball state tournament from its inception in 1976 until her retirement in 1999.
Class 4A State Championship Game Quotes
Jeffersonville Coach Chad Gilbert
“Our defense was super. We wanted to force everything into the middle. We wanted to contest every shot and limit them to one shot. They did not score a basket in the fourth quarter until that three right at the end.”
“This win was special. Once you are a champion, you are a champion for life. Our kids were focused. In that second quarter we had good shots, we just missed them. But we finished strong at the end.’
“It was too much Jeff in the first quarter and at the end of the game. We wanted to get off to a good start because we knew they would have trouble guarding us man to man. When they went to the zone our kids got a little apprehensive and missed some easy shots.”
“We had the will to win and we never got rattled all night - that’s the sign of a champion.”
Penn Coach Kristi Kaniewski
“We knew they were going to be good in the post, we worked on it all week long. It was almost like we were sort of shell shocked.”
“The first quarter was tough. They came out and built that large lead. I’m proud of my kids they continued to fight the entire time, we never gave up.”
“It was a great opportunity to come here and play for a state championship and I hope this is good motivation for the girls to work hard this summer to get back here.”