Our defending State Champion Lady Knights fashioned a fine 21-3 win/loss record this year playing one of the toughest schedules in Indiana. For most teams this might have been the greatest season on school record. But for the only school in Indiana history to capture 5 IHSAA State Championships success isn’t measured by the win-loss record it’s measured by the number of State Championship banners hanging from the rafters.
So, when a fine Concordia team upset Luers in the Leo sectional championship game a week ago, it was a devastating loss—far short of our goal. But going through some inconsistent play throughout the season was a sign of what was yet to come. Then we won the 1st sectional game over a much improved Leo team by 4 points (we beat Leo earlier in the season by 29 points). To make matters worse, our Point Guard and best player (Markee Martin) went down with a MCL knee injury in the Leo game. But we have many excellent players!
These girls really stepped it up in Game 2 vs. our friendly archrival Bishop Dwenger in a 46-42 win. Luers built a solid 14-point lead after 3 quarters. But in the last 4 minutes, we played “not to lose,” rather than “playing to win.” Nevertheless, we held on for a fine victory.
Senior Natalie Henry really came through with a career game just when it was needed most! She ran the point with only 2 turnovers all night. Nat also hit 11 of 16 crucial free throws, and had 13 points in all. Our warrior, Amanda Pedro scored 18 points (many in the 4th quarter), and controlled the boards. Mary Hathaway played solid ball all night long, and Kelsy Wyss held Dwenger’s top scorer Erin Jacobson to only 7 points. This was another close win over a solid Dwenger team. But Luers would play probably our worse half of the year in the next game, trailing Concordia 24-9. Only 9 points in an entire half. Markee Martin did play in the 2nd half. She and Amanda sparked a huge comeback that would fall just 3 points short. But make no mistake about it! Concordia outplayed Luers for most of the game, and richly deserved the win! I am rooting for the Lady Cadets to win the Peru Regional, and then on to state. If they play the solid D they played vs. Luers, they can do it.
You know in any year when you go 21-3, there are certainly many highlights. Here’s just a few:
•The 52-43 early season win over Class 3A Number 1 ranked Brebeuf, a team that spanked us by almost 30 points a year ago.
•Kelsey Wyss hit for 22 points.
•Markee Martin scored 15 points, and Amber Gottfried had 7 and dominated the glass in a 41-39 upset of #1 ranked 4A south side.
•Kelsey was red-hot, going for 26 points in 68-49 win over Snider.
•Our 51-28 win over Concordia in the SAC Holiday Tournament gave Luers their unbelievable straight 33rd win over SAC conference opponents over the past few years!
•Probably the biggest win was a huge comeback over a very well coached Dwenger squad in early January. Down by 7 with a couple minutes left, Markee completed the charge by hitting a downtown 3 with only 20-some seconds left to tie it up. Luers never lead until overtime in this 54-42 win.
•Mary Hathaway and Markee each hit for 13 apiece in the 61-53 win at Harding.
•Then on Senior Knight, Waynedale’s own Sara Freiburger (St. Therese) had her career night, scoring 18 points and pulling 10 boards-putting an exclamation point on her solid career! This win capped off an undefeated regular season SAC Title with a 9-0 record.
•Markee Martin, Amanda Pedro, Kelsey Wyss, and Megan Pedro made the ALL-SAC team at years end.
Despite losing our 2 solid Seniors, the Lady Knights should be very strong next year, and are determined to make a run at the schools 6th State Basketball Title. And, as always, more talent is being groomed. The combined record of Luers JV team (Kristi O’Brien, Mackenzie Wyss and Jennifer Byrd), and Freshman team (Melissa Oberly, Emily Braun, Maria Peppler, Monica Aguirre) was 30-5. And soon 60 Jr. High future Lady Knights will begin their fun Jr. Knights season. These young 6th, 7th and 8th graders almost all from our CYO schools, are coached by a dozen volunteer coaches. These talented coaches give up a tremendous amount of hours away from their families to help these girls improve their skills in the sport that our great state has become famous for! We put very little emphasis on winning, and much more on teaching at this level. The long range Goal and Focus is to work with these kids on the fundamental skills that will result in MAKING THE GIRLS BETTER PLAYERS BY THE TIME THEY ENTER BISHOP LUERS! All this teaching is done in a fun, Christian, and positive way. You know, we had never even came close to winning a State Title until our 2nd class of Luers Jr. High program girls reached their Senior year. Now we have captured 5 State Championships since that 1999 year. We at Bishop Luers are VERY PROUD of our success! But by golly, all of our Bishop Luers Coaches and Players have WORKED VERY HARD FOR YEARS and YEARS to ACHIEVE THAT SUCCESS!