Girls basketball: Penn ends West Side’s run
By LaMond Pope firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-2691 February 22, 2014 11:28PM
Gary West Side Dana Evans leaves the court during the final seconds their loss to Penn in the Penn 4-A Girls basketball Regional finals in Mishawaka, Ind. Saturday Feb. 22, 2014.| Joe Raymond ~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 24, 2014 6:53AM
MISHAWAKA — West Side trailed Penn by double digits at halftime of Saturday’s Class 4A Penn Regional championship game.
Coach Rodney Fisher had a simple message for his Cougars.
“He said we had to leave it all on the floor,” freshman guard Dana Evans said. “You can’t give up. You worked too hard. We worked too hard.”
The words clicked in for West Side late in the third quarter. The Cougars made a spirited rally in the fourth quarter, but the Kingsmen withstood the charge to defeat West Side 57-43.
“At the tail end of the third quarter we made a little bit of a run,” Fisher said. “The fourth quarter they started figuring out ‘hey, the game is not over. We’re still in it.’ We made a run, but when you spot the No. 4 team in the state a 16-point lead on their home floor, it’s kind of hard to come back.”
Camryn Buhr scored 17 points to lead Penn (24-1). Evans paced the Cougars (18-4) with 18 points.
“They didn’t give up,” Fisher said.
Penn started distancing itself in the second quarter. The Kingsmen outscored the Cougars 11-3 in the final 3:12 of the quarter to go to halftime with a 27-17 lead.
West Side made only two field goals in the second quarter. The Cougars had just two more in the third.
“The first quarter was decent, the second quarter was terrible,” Fisher said. “We just stood and watched. Whoever was dribbling the ball, four people were watching. We were just lethargic the second and basically the third quarter.”
The fourth was a different story. The Cougars used an 11-5 run midway through the quarter to get within 49-43.
“We felt like the time was going out and we had to give it our all,” Evans said. “We had to keep fighting, not give up and leave it all on the floor.”
Penn stopped the rally and scored the game’s final eight points to hold on for the victory.
Fisher had another message for his team after the game.
“He said we came far, we worked hard,” Evans said. “But it doesn’t stop here. We have next year, all the juniors. I’ll be a sophomore. We had a lot of doubters that didn’t even think we were going to win sectionals. We proved people wrong.”