BNL wins the crown the Lady Kingsmen wanted - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

BNL wins the crown the Lady Kingsmen wanted

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The Penn girls basketball team so desperately to be the state champs, but unfortunately for them Bedford North Lawrence won the crown the Lady Kingsmen wanted.

"We just got down from the [beginning] and the sad part is that we couldn't get it back," said Penn senior Jessica Alexander. "I know how bad we wanted this."

Senior guard Brittani Rizzi led the way with 17 points for the Stars who beat Penn 51-41. Rizzi hit five of the six three point shots she attempted.

"[Bedford North Lawrence] was able to respond and hit some big shots and we did not do that down the stretch," said Penn head coach Kristi Kaniewski-Ulrich. 

For Penn's senior class this is the second time they have been state runner-ups.

"I'll never forget this (team)," said senior forward Caroline Buhr, who finished with 11 points. "The friends that we have on this team are friends that we'll have forever."

Former Mr. Indiana Basketball Damon Bailey was the head coach for Bedford North Lawrence. Bailey becomes one of a select few to win a state title as a player and a coach. His daughter Alexa was a starting guard for the Stars.

"When I won a state title as a 17 or 18 year old kid, I was out here like [the Stars players] just having fun," said Bailey. "As a coach and as a parent you under the sacrifices that these kids have made, the parents have made, a lot of the people in the school system have made to allow you to have this type of success. This one's a little bit sweeter."

In the closing minutes of the game Penn head coach Kristi Kaniewski-Ulrich pulled her starters from the game. As some of the girls walked to the bench in tears they apologized to their teammates for not being able to win.

"Those girls mean so much to me and they have nothing to be sorry for," said Kaniewski-Ulrich. "I knew that their entire whole heart was in it. They wanted this game for themselves, but even more importantly for their teammates."

Penn finished their season 25-2.

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