Season ends at the Regional buzzer for Lady Bulldogs in close 42-41 loss to Penn, finish season at 26-1

A Special Report by USA-365 Team

The Regional Radio Sports video team was on the case at the LaPorte Regional. Penn and LaPorte recorded one point victories in the semifinals. (All photos by Mark Smith)
CP's Dash Shaw (20) and Alyna Santiago stand for the national anthem. CP and Penn met in regional play for the second year in a row.
Penn's defensive plan was to take the ball out of the hands of CP's top scorer Jessica Carrothers. Jordan Smith and Antrese Shelton try to push Carrothers to her left.
... and with the help of Reganne Pate (22), Carrothers reverses her course.
... the double and triple team forces the CP sophomore to pass off before she can get into the foul lane.
In the lane Penn put hard double team pressure on CP senior Abby Stoddard (30).
The WJOB Network aired the semifinals at LaPorte. First time CP made the 'network' all season.
Sister Abby watches as Lilly Stoddard delivers an outlet pass against Penn. Lilly was held to three points but she had seven rebounds and three blocked shots against the Kingsmen.
Penn's Trinity Clinton (42) sets a unique screen on CP's Jessica Carrothers. Neither Penn or CP led by more than six points at any time during the regional game.
Dash Shaw scored eight against Penn but five of the points came in the final minute as CP rallied to take a 41-40 lead.
CP's Allie Govert (24) is careful against speedy Penn junior Caitlyn Costner. Costner joined Penn at midseason and was a major factor in the 42-41 win over Crown Point.
Penn newcomer Caitlyn Costner draws attention of CP's Abby Stoddard, Dash Shaw and Jessica Carrothers in third quarter action against Penn. Costner led all scorers with 16 as Penn beat CP by one point. (All photos by Mark Smith)

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Revised: March 02, 2020 .

Team /Record 1 2 3 4 Final
PENN (26-2) 11 7 13 11 42
CROWN POINT (26-1) 10 7 15 9 41

Saturday, February 15, 2020  - at IHSAA Class 4A, Regional Semifinal game at LaPorte High School in LaPorte, IN

PENN (42): Jordyn Smith 1-0-2, Trinity Clinton 6-0-12, Antrese Shelton 1-0-2, Reganne Pate 2-0-6, Kaitlyn Costner 5-5-16, Caroline Morris 1-0-2, Jada Patton 1-0-2 Delaney Sanchez 0-0-0. 17(5-11) 42

CROWN POINT (41): Dash Shaw 2-4-8, Jessica Carrothers 4-6-15, Abby Stoddard 3-2-8, Lilly Stoddard 1-1-3, Allie Govert 2-0-4, Nikki Gerodemos 0-0-0, Alyvia Santiago 1-0-3. TOTALS: 13 (13-15) 41.

FREE THROWS: PENN (5-11, 44.5%) Clinton 0-2, Costner 5-7, Patton 0-1, Smith 0-1. CROWN POINT (13-15, 86.6%) Carrothers 6-6, Shaw 4-5, Abby Stoddard 2-2, Lilly Stoddard 1-2.

3-POINT GOALS: Penn (3) Reganne Pate 2, Kaitlyn Costner. CROWN POINT (2) Alyvia Santiago, Jessica Carrothers.


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LaPORTE (02-15-2020) In the 2019 state tournament an undefeated Crown Point team lost by 31 points to eventual state champion Hamilton Southeastern in the LaPorte Class 4A Semistate. Last Saturday, another undefeated Crown Point team lost by one point in the 2020 LaPorte regional semifinals.

The question that’s older than time is: If you know have to lose, is it better to lose by 100 points so nobody feels bad about any one particular play or is it better to lose by one point so you know you go home feeling you were just as good as the team that beat you.

Just between you and me?

I think it's better to lose by 100 points.

After a hardwood battle worthy of top-10 teams, CP senior Dash Shaw saw her contested layup fall off the rim and sophomore Jessica Carrothers' offensive rebound came too late and Class 4A No. 6 Penn stopped the 26-game winning streak of Class 4A No. 2 Crown Point 42-41 in the late Saturday morning hours in LaPorte County.

In a rematch of CP’s Hall-of-Fame tournament championship game win from December, Shaw put CP ahead 41-40 with a driving three-point play with 21 seconds to go. Penn star Trinity Clinton came back with a driving layup to give the Kingsmen (26-2) a one point lead with five seconds to go.

With almost 1,000 fans coming to their feet Shaw raced up the floor and tried to score the winning basket against two defenders. The shot missed and Carrothers, grabbing the offensive rebound missed a follow through shot that most on-the-floor observers thought came too late anyway.

“It was very hard to find words in the locker room,” said CP coach Chris Seibert, talking about losing for just the second time in 56 games. “It’s a winning and losing business in a lot of respects. This could have happened last year. We got a couple bounces and we beat them (Penn) in overtime.”

“But what they’ll remember is the things they did win and the friendships they made. That’s what we tried to focus on. These are 16, 17 and 18 year old kids who are outstanding representatives of their school in the community.”

After a slow first half that ended 18-17, the energy picked up and the game resembled what it was, a showdown between two of the state’s giants of girls basketball.

With Penn leading 40-38 and a minute to play, sophomore Jada Patton stole the ball from CP’s Carrothers and drove half the length of the floor to score and get fouled. She missed the free throw, but the Kingsmen, who are 53-3 in the last two seasons, led by four. On their next possessions, Shaw was fouled and sank two foul shots. After a missed free throw by Penn’s Jordyn Smith Shaw zipped up the floor split two defenders and scored the game tying basket while being fouled. The CP guard hit her foul shot for a 41-40 CP lead with 21 seconds to play.

CP did not press full court as they had all game and Penn leading scorer Trinity Clinton drove into the lane and scored the go-ahead basket a with five seconds to go. CP did not call time out. Shaw raced up the floor and tried to duplicate her previous go ahead shot. She missed and the ball was batted to Carrothers who was all alone under the basket. The CP guard missed a layup that, most everyone later agreed, came too late anyway.

“That was all we could ask for,” Seibert said. To beat anybody three straight times, much less one of the top five programs in the state, is not an easy thing to do. With all that said, we needed a stop. Jada Patton made a great play but I’m proud that we didn’t fold when we were down four.”

And the unchecked ride of the Lady Bulldogs, which saw them win 16 games on opposing or neutral floors, came to an end.

Penn made an obvious focus of stopping two players: CP’s top scoring guard Carrothers and 6-foot-3 center Lilly Stoddard.

“We wanted to trap her (Carrothers) coming off ball screens,” said Penn coach Kristi Ulrich. “Make sure she was having to give the ball up and pay special attention to the big (Stoddard). She’s so long. She’s very effective when she gets the ball under the rim.”

What Crown Point was trying to do was so difficult. The Lady Bulldogs, winners of 28 in a row before losing to Hamilton Southeastern at the Semistate in 2019, had won 26 in a row this year. They were trying to become the third undefeated girls basketball state champion out of Northwest Indiana and the first since Crown Point went 26-0 and won it all in 1984.

Playing 17 of their 27 games on opposing floors or neutral sites, CP won the Hall of Fame tournament, the Duneland Athletic Conference and Class 4A Sectional 2 before they were finally eliminated by one point.

“It's hard to even think about next year,” said Seibert. “I’m proud of our four seniors. What they’ve meant to our programs. How far we’ve come as a program since their freshman years. I can't say enough how proud I am.”

DOG NOTES: In the final moments of the game Saturday, after Dash Shaw’s potential game-winning shot missed, Jessica Carrothers found herself on the ‘weak side’ of the basketball for a layup that also missed. Some of us, not totally unbiased and watching in real time, thought that Jessica’s shot could have saved the day for CP, but a film review showed it would not have.

“It was too late,” said Penn coach Kristi Ulrich. “It was after the horn.”

Penn won the regional title with a 59-34 win over host LaPorte Slicers Saturday night. Trinity Clinton scored 20 for the Kingsmen who return to LaPorte to face top-ranked Northwestern (28-0) in the 4A Northern Semistate on Feb. 22.

Northwestern is the state’s dominant team, a two-time defending Class 3A champion within two wins of an unprecedented third consecutive state title, this time in Class 4A.

Crown Point stands down with a record of 54-2 in the last two seasons and a bright basketball future despite the graduation of top seniors Dash Shaw and Abby Stoddard.

CP played the final third of the season without Alyna Santiago, a starting guard, who suffered an ACL knee injury in December. Nikki Gerodemos, a 5-foot-11 sophomore forward, seems in line to take Abby Stoddard’s place.

What the Lady Bulldogs need is a couple of bench players ready for regular play. After Alyna Santiago’s injury, CP went largely with seven players and they were at a disadvantage.

Other than Alyna’s sister, Alyvia Santiago, CP’s 2021 ‘rotation’ has more candidates than a Democratic presidential primary.

Penn coach Kristi Ulrich confirmed that Penn will play CP in the regular season next season.

“We want to prepare ourselves for games like this so we want to play as many top teams as we can play. It's absolutely becoming a rivalry.” Broadcast Note: Our next Internet broadcast will be Friday, Mar. 6 when the Crown Point Bulldogs (26-0) play the Class 4A Sectional 2 Quarterfinal winner between Lowell and Chesterton at 7 p.m. CST. Our live coverage starts with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m. If the Bulldogs advance, they would play the other semifinal winner for the Sectional 2 Championship Saturday, Mar. 7. Our Saturday night broadcast will start at 6:45 p.m. CST with the pregame show and 7 p.m. for the tip-off.

Coach: Chris Seibert, 103-28 in 5th year at school, 162-105 in 11th year overall
Nov. 9   Gary West 4A W 76 16    
Nov. 16   Hammond Morton 4A W 84 17    
Nov. 19   Andrean 2A W 77 30    
Nov. 23 N Warsaw 4A W 55 43   tournament
Nov. 23 N Northridge 4A W 68 43   tournament
Nov. 26   East Chicago Central 4A W 88 16    
Nov. 29   LaPorte 4A © W 76 49    
Nov. 30 N Castle 4A W 49 43   tournament
Nov. 30 N Columbus North 4A W 62 54   tournament
Dec. 3 at Lowell 4A W 70 18    
Dec. 6 at Portage 4A © W 80 37    
Dec. 7 N Fremd (Ill.) W 59 43    
Dec. 13   Valparaiso 4A © W 57 23    
Dec. 17 at Highland 4A W 72 17    
Dec. 20 at Lake Central 4A © W 71 39    
Dec. 27 N Salem 3A W 70 55   tournament
Dec. 27 N Penn 4A W 49 37   tournament
Jan. 10 at Michigan City 4A © W 77 48    
Jan. 11   Lafayette Jeff 4A W 84 28    
Jan. 14   Munster 4A W 52 33    
Jan. 18   Merrillville 4A © W 85 47    
Jan. 21 at Kankakee Valley 3A W 63 34    
Jan. 24   Chesterton 4A © W 60 33    
Jan. 29 at Hammond Noll 2A W 89 52    
Feb. 7 N Chesterton 4A W 58 46   sectional
Feb. 8 at Portage 4A W 50 38   sectional
Feb. 15 N Penn 4A L 41 42   regional

Coach: Kristi Kaniewski Ulrich, 256-32 in 11th year at school
Nov. 7   LaPorte 4A W 61 49    
Nov. 9   NorthWood 3A W 51 33    
Nov. 15   South Bend Riley 4A © W 81 30    
Nov. 22 at Bremen 2A © W 46 39    
Nov. 23 at Lake Central 4A W 60 26    
Nov. 26 at Warsaw 4A W 41 28    
Nov. 30 at Lafayette Jeff 4A W 64 28    
Dec. 3 at Mishawaka Marian 3A © W 53 33    
Dec. 6   Jimtown 3A © W 85 13    
Dec. 9 at South Bend Clay 3A © W 84 24    
Dec. 14 at Merrillville 4A W 45 37    
Dec. 17   Northridge 4A W 66 34    
Dec. 20   South Bend Washington 3A © W 48 41    
Dec. 27 N Brownsburg 4A W 43 40   tournament
Dec. 27 N Crown Point 4A L 37 49   tournament
Jan. 4 at Carmel 4A L 40 44    
Jan. 7   New Prairie 3A © W 60 27    
Jan. 9 at South Bend Adams 4A © W 62 33    
Jan. 11   Carroll (Fort Wayne) 4A W 62 35    
Jan. 14   Elkhart Central 4A © W 57 41    
Jan. 17   John Glenn 3A © W 62 27    
Jan. 18 at Fort Wayne South 4A W 64 53    
Jan. 23 at South Bend St. Joseph 3A © W 54 41    
Jan. 30   Mishawaka 4A © W 74 17    
Feb. 5 N Northridge 4A W 65 42   sectional
Feb. 7 N Goshen 4A W 49 19   sectional
Feb. 8 at Warsaw 4A W 45 44   sectional
Feb. 15 N Crown Point 4A W 42 41   regional
Feb. 15 at LaPorte 4A W 59 34   regional
Feb. 22 N Northwestern 4A L 46 56   semistate