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Bedford North Lawrence advances, Heritage Christian falls at Semi-State

Her entire life Bedford North Lawrence Sophomore Jenna Allen had heard the fabled stories of Hoosier Hysteria in Bedford, and exactly how loud a sold-out crowd could get at the Stars home-court. Even the stories of yesteryear couldn’t have prepared her for the rush of emotion that her and the Lady Stars would experience on Saturday night.

“I couldn’t even hear myself,” said Allen. “It was amazing, I couldn’t even put it into words.”

Allen scored eight of her seventeen points in overtime on Satuday night, leading the Stars (27-0) to a 66-52 victory in the Class 4A Semi-State championship over Roncalli (24-4). At first glance the dominance in the extra period by the Stars, who outscored Roncalli 17-3 in just four minutes of play, doesn’t give justice to the comeback that Bedford North Lawrence had to do in the final period before. Down 41-30 entering into the fourth quarter, it looked as if Roncalli had a stronghold on the contest.

“I told my team we were going to win,” said Bedford North Lawrence Head Coach Kurt Godlevske during the huddle before the fourth quarter. “They all looked at me with fire in their eyes, and I knew it was back. We had that fire against Columbus North, and whenever we have that look in our eye, they really get after people. That’s when they play really well and really smart together.”

The Stars battled back throughout the fourth quarter, with the roof blowing off the gym when Stars Junior Brittany Rizzi spotted up from about three feet from behind the three point line for three of her twenty-three points to put the Stars up 49-47.

“I saw Alexa (Bailey) was driving in,” said Rizzi. “And I knew the girl was going to be going down, and I knew that I’d be wide open. I knew I had to score.”

Despite the deafening noise throughout the gym, the Roncalli Rebels had some magic left of their own. Off a missed free throw from Allen with 13 seconds left in the game, Rebels Senior Bridget Perry (team-high 22 points) drove the ball down court, made a spin move, and found a streaking Elizabeth Bowers wide-open to tie the game at 49-49 with four seconds left on the clock.

But in overtime it was all Bedford Lawrence North, who will now face Fort Wayne South next Saturday in Terre Haute for the Class 4A State championship.

“It is something that I have always dreamed about and wanted for these girls,” said Godlevske. “They are the ones who set this goal at the start of the year. So for us to get to this point, and reach that, it’s a huge accomplishment.”

The clash between the Stars and the Rebels was the second overtime game of the session, with Evansville Mater Dei (27-2) knocking off Heritage Christian (23-4) down 56-49.

Heritage Christian held a 46-45 lead with 1:32 left in the game off a layup from Freshman Tyasha Harris, but after a Mater Dei free throw to tie the score at 46 a piece, the Eagles were unable to convert on a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game. From there, the Wildcats controlled the extra period.

“It was a toss-up between two really good teams that went after each other,” said Eagles Head Coach Rick Risinger. “It would have taken a really nice game for us to win, and one for them as well. I’m extremely pleased with the whole season and especially the tournament run, nothing to be ashamed about this one. This game was just a good, old-fashioned Indiana basketball game.”

Here are all the scores from Semi-State Saturday, with the winners advancing to the State championships next Saturday in Terre Haute.

Class 4A

Fort Wayne South 47, Warsaw 44

Bedford North Lawrence 66, Roncalli 52

Class 3A

Hamilton Heights 69, Benton Central 58

Mount Vernon 59, Rushville 51

Class 2A

Eastern (Greentown) 74, Fort Wayne Luers 55

Evansville Mater Dei 56, Heritage Christian 49

Class A

Fort Wayne Canterbury 74, Lafayette Central Catholic 50

Vincennes Rivet 58, Southwestern 50

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