ST. JOHN | If this was the game where Penn was ripe for the picking, this was it.
The Class 4A No. 10 Kingsmen were coming off of an emotional 10-point win over its primary rival Mishawaka the night before and had to travel all the way over to the region.
But after Times No. 3 Lake Central started out on an 8-0 run, the visiting Kingsmen put the clamps down and surrendered single-digit points for the last three quarters, as they handed LC its first loss in Saturday's 39-27 win.
"They did a great job of running multiple defenses and it was a struggle to finish against their size," Lake Central coach Marc Urban said. "They did a good job of pressing our guards hard."
After jumping out to a 15-10 lead thanks to the 8-0 run, the Indians (3-1) hit just four buckets next two quarters.
Penn (3-0) went on an 8-0 run of its own in the second quarter on its way to a 14-5 margin to take a 24-20 lead going into the half.
Senior forward Rolanda Curington paced Lake Central with six points and three rebounds while junior forward Lindsay Kusbel added four points and seven boards.
After just eight combined points from both teams in the third quarter, Penn, who had three players in double figures, went on a 6-0 run in the fourth to seal the game while giving up just two points on the defensive end.
Penn coach Kristi Kaniewski Ulrich thought her team dealt with the 8-0 run very well in addition to all of the trials they have faced in this young season.
"We needed to stay the course and stick to the game plan because we knew we had to limit their three-point attempts," she said. "We've faced a lot of adversity with suspensions from AAU violations and some injuries, but we've played with composure and poise."