TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Bedford North Lawrence High School sophomore guard Alexa Bailey played the whole game on Saturday night.
There was no other option.
“Alexa was unbelievable,” Stars coach Kurt Godlevske said. “There was no way I could have even thought about taking her out. She was carrying us. She was defensively tough, offensively tough. She was one of the best players on the court in a state championship game.”
Alexa scored 19 points and had four steals in unbeaten and No. 2 Bedford North Lawrence’s 54-51 victory over Fort Wayne South in the Class 4A title game. It was the third state title for the Stars (28-0), who also won in 1983 and ’91 in the single-class format.
Alexa, whose father is former Indiana University standout Damon Bailey, hit 7-of-10 shots and 5-of-7 free throws. Dominique McBryde hit 7-of-11 shots to share high-scoring honors with Alexa.
“It was playing together,” Alexa said. “It was never a one-man show. Playing together was key.”
Damon Bailey, an assistant coach for the girls team, led Bedford to the state boys basketball title in 1990.
“It’s unbelievable as a parent to watch your kid to accomplish something you know they’ve worked so hard to achieve,” Bailey said. “For her to have such a great game is something special.”
The attendance for the evening session was 6,918. The afternoon session was 4,780.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Nothing surprises Evansville Mater Dei High School girls basketball coach Steve Goans anymore. Winning has become the norm for the Wildcats, and winning back-to-back state titles is what his team expected.
“This has been a dream come true,” he said Saturday after the Wildcats claimed the Class 2A state championship. “I can’t thank these ladies enough for letting some old guy like me be a part of it and it has been a great run.”
Tori Schickel had 18 points and 17 rebounds and Beth Fischer had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Mater Dei.
Brittany Neeley, who was named the Mental Attitude Award winner, had 16 points and Allison Oyler had 12 — all from 3-point range — for the Comets, who made their first state finals appearance.
Mater Dei didn’t want the Comets to do what the Wildcats accomplished last season — win their first girls basketball championship game.
The Wildcats scored on a 3-pointer by Ashlynn Spahn at the start of the game and led the rest of the way.
“We got off to a very good start which did help our comfort level a little bit,” Goans said. “I just thought that overall we played really well.”
Tired or not, Fort Wayne Canterbury picked up the pace after a close call and went on to beat Vincennes Rivet 42-35, claiming their fifth girls state championship in six seasons.
A late rally by the Patriots whittled Canterbury’s 16-point lead to 36-35 with just minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Class A girls basketball state final, but the defending Cavaliers finished the game on a 6-0 run.
“That’s when I said that we’ve worked too hard to let being tired take over,” said Canterbury coach Wayne Krieger. “It was a situation where we got tired, but we have enough pride in these kids and they were able to pick it up.”
Canterbury forward Kindell Fincher had 17 points and 19 rebounds, guard Darby Maggard had 11 points for the champions. The win gave the Cavaliers’ their second straight state title. Canterbury (25-3) secured the title for three consecutive years between 2008 and ’10.
Patriots guard Kelsey Ivers had 17 points and six rebounds, and forward Lauren Herman had nine points and seven rebounds.
Aaliyah Gaines hit a layup on a fast break with an assist by Fincher to put Canterbury on the scoreboard first while the Patriots were plagued by poor shooting. A free throw by Fincher brought the game to a 9-9 tie before the Cavaliers went on an 11-3 run.
Canterbury ended the second quarter on another run, 6-2, to take a 30-16 lead into the half.
“We just couldn’t get a shot to go down in the first half and I think that made the difference,” said Vincennes head coach Tim Young.
The third quarter debuted with a basket from Maggard to extend the Cavaliers’ lead to the largest of the game, 32-16.
But Patriot guard Katie Donovan ignited a 19-4 run that overlapped the third and fourth quarters and brought Vincennes within a single point with just over 3 minutes to play.