The Crown Point High School Basketball Team’s remarkable, undefeated season saw its end on Saturday with a 28-61 loss to the Hamilton Southeastern Royals at the semi-state game. The Lady Bulldog’s finished their year as Regional Champions after a remarkable year of dedication, grit, and success that few predicted from the young team.
The game started off rough for the Bulldogs, with Hamilton quickly building a double digit lead. At the end of the first quarter, the Royals led 23-7. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs never stopped fighting and managed to slow the lead to a degree. The Royal’s defense remained strong, leading the Bulldog’s to be unable to make their shots and break through that lead.
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“They kept battling, and we tried to press. We just couldn’t get the stops we needed,” said Chris Seibert, Head Coach for the Bulldogs. “Against a team like this, you’ve got to make your shots. Give [Hamilton Southeastern] all the credit, they’re a tremendous, tremendous basketball team. That’s what we’ve got to try and strive to get going forward.”
Many of Crown Point’s core players are very young, such as freshman star Jessica Carrothers and sophomore point guard Alyna Santiago. Going into this season, Region sports fans and media knew the Bulldogs had a wealth of talent. The question was if they could translate that into a strong season so early in their careers. Their 28-1 final record answers that question quite clearly.
“I was so proud of all of our young kids,” Seibert said. “No stage was too big for them. They competed all year and played with an inner confidence that is something you can’t teach. It definitely bodes well for us going forward, but our four seniors are going to be greatly, greatly missed.”
The departing seniors were role models for Carrothers, who was averaging 22.1 points per game prior to the semi-state game on Saturday. She is looking to further establish herself as a team leader and drive a successful season next year.
“The seniors are like my older sisters, I didn’t want this season to end,” Carrothers said. “I’m proud of how we played. I know next year we’re going to take this and work harder. We’ll be back. We’re going to take this feeling we have right now – we don’t want to feel it again next year.”
Rather than focus on one game, Seibert highlighted the huge achievements the team made throughout the year when he talked to the girls after the loss.
“You can never take this stuff away, the DAC Championship, the Sectional Championship, the Regional Championship,” Seibert said. “Just to get the excitement back with Crown Point Basketball. This crowd tonight was amazing, it was absolutely amazing the way the community has embraced our team. Hopefully that will continue going forward.”
It will be a long offseason for this pack of Bulldogs who were hungry for the taste of a state title. Nonetheless, Congratulations to the Crown Point Lady Bulldogs on their outstanding season. The Region is so proud of you and is excited to watch the kind of success you will have next year.