Junior Kalea Fleming hit two free throws with 1:07 left and Brooklynn Jones hit two more in the final 30 seconds to help lift Loogootee to a 45-43 victory over Pioneer to give the school its first-ever girls basketball championship in the Class A title game.
Fleming’s free throws gave the Lions of coach Brian Smith a 43-42 lead and Jones’s charity tosses sandwiched a Pioneer free throw that provided the final margin.
In a matchup of two first-time finalists, No. 1 Loogootee (27-2) captured its fourth-straight victory over a ranked team and snapped No. 4 Pioneer’s 19-game winning streak.
Pioneer led, 26-20, at halftime and 32-24 midway through the third quarter, but made only two field goals the rest of the game and none during the final quarter.
Jones led Loogootee with 17 points, while Makenzie VanHoy added 15.
For coach Jeff Brooke’s Panthers (25-3), Hailey Cripe led with 13 points, while Madison Blickenstaff netted 10.
Class A State Records
Most 3FG Made
8 by Loogootee
(Tied) 8 by Kalea Fleming of Loogootee
Chelsie Sutton named Mental Attitude Award winner
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Chelsie Sutton of Loogootee High School as the winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class A 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.
She has distinguished herself with a 3.75 GPA and ranks 15th in her senior class. She is a four-year member of the girls basketball team and will play her fourth season of softball this spring. She has earned the Student Athlete Academic Excellence Award three times at her school and is an active member of the LHS Beta Club, French Club, Pep Club, Student Council and SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) Club.
Chelsie become the third Loogootee student athlete to win an IHSAA mental attitude award in school history, the last being Taylor Wittmer in the 2006 Class A Volleyball State Finals.
She is the daughter of Mark and Andrea Sutton of Loogootee and will study radiology at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.
The Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers, the presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Loogootee High School in the name of Chelsie Sutton. Since 1989, more than $840,000 in college scholarships have been presented to deserving high school athletes in Indiana.
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.