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WATCH NOW: Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point rally to capture first state title since 1985

WATCH NOW: Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point rally to capture first state title since 1985

From the WATCH NOW: Crowning achievement: Bulldogs capture third state championship series

See highlights from Crown Point's 4A state final victory over Brownsburg.

INDIANAPOLIS — Ally Becki was simply unstoppable at the start of the Class 4A state final Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Brownsburg senior, who has committed to Ball State, made her first six shots en route to 14 points during a red-hot shooting display in the first quarter.

Then, she and the rest of her teammates went ice cold as Crown Point, appearing in its first state final in 24 years, turned up its defense and held Brownsburg scoreless in the second frame.

"We just had to make some minor adjustments where we stopped pressing for a little while there," Crown Point coach Chris Seibert said. "We kept losing them in transition, and us trapping allowed Becki to get even more open looks."

Star power: Crown Point's Jessica Carrothers, Brownsburg's Ally Becki headline Class 4A state final

Once Crown Point tweaked its approach, it never looked back. Brownsburg notched eight field goals in the first quarter but was held to six made field goals for the rest of the game, allowing Crown Point to pull away for a 44-34 victory and its first state title since 1985.

"It feels great (to a be state champion)," Jessica Carrothers said. " ... Just having it happen this year with the seniors we have, with the team we have, it's just amazing."

As the final buzzer rings, the Bulldogs huddle and celebrate their 44-34 win against Brownsburg

Carrothers, an Indiana Junior All-Star candidate, poured in a game-high 25 points and added seven rebounds and five steals to become the second person in her family to win a state championship. Her older brother, Johnny, led Andrean to a Class 2A state title in 2019.

"He's gonna be salty. I know he will," Carrothers said jokingly. "But I know he's happy for me, and I know that him being my brother and him pushing me every day, it's what helped me get to this point."

Chasing Johnny: Crown Point's Jessica Carrothers looks to match older brother with state title

The standout junior scored 14 points in the first half to help Crown Point (25-1) flip a 19-10 deficit at the end of the first quarter into a 24-19 lead heading into halftime.

Brownsburg (17-11) went 8 minutes and 14 seconds without a point and 10 minutes and 58 seconds between made field goals, which included the aforementioned scoreless second quarter. Becki capped off her stellar first quarter with a layup with three seconds left in the period, and junior forward Novalee Glass finally ended her team's field goal drought with a layup at the 5:05 mark of the third quarter.

During that stretch, Brownsburg missed 14 consecutive shots.

"At halftime, one of the problems we were facing (when we switched on screens) is that there would be a big mismatch (in the post)," Lilly Stoddard said. "So we talked about that and we decided we were going to go under that screen. We really had to play some good defense on the person with the ball (on the perimeter) so that they couldn't get a good pass into the post, and I thought we all did a good job of that."

The Crown Point Bulldogs will compete in the 4A state final in Indianapolis. Get to know the team's players.

Even when Brownsburg was able to work the ball inside, Stoddard was lurking. The 6-foot-4 junior, who has committed to Purdue, only blocked one shot but altered many more. She also had five points, a game-high 12 rebounds and a team-high two assists.

"Honestly, it's just a crazy feeling watching the clock count down from about five (seconds) and just thinking that in five seconds we're going to be state champions," Stoddard said. "But honestly, I think that (Saturday) everybody played great, making the extra pass and everybody was making their shots. Brownsburg was really good. They were tough competitors, but I that that we played well."

After erupting for 14 points in the opening period, Becki cooled off significantly once Crown Point hunkered down on defense. The star guard finished with 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field.

Brownsburg coach Debbie Smiley praised Becki for her herculean effort in the first quarter and throughout the team's entire playoff run, but she also noted Carrothers' strong performance.

The junior scored at least 25 points in all seven of Crown Point's postseason games.

"Her teammates really look for her, and not just from a scoring standpoint, but from a leadership standpoint as well," Smiley said. "And she's just a junior, so for her to be able to come out in a state championship as a junior and never having been here, to play at that level against a pretty good defensive team, hats off to her."

Longtime Crown Point coaches reflect on glory days ahead of state final

When the final buzzer sounded, Carrothers hugged her best friend and teammate, Alyna Santiago. The feisty senior guard totaled six points, two rebounds and one steal in the final game of her prep career.

Fellow senior guard Allie Govert, who wreaked havoc on the perimeter all season long beside Santiago, was presented with the annual Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award.

"(We) could not have had a more deserving recipient of the award," Seibert said. "She embodies everything it means to be a student-athlete. She's tremendous on the court and does all of the little things for us. She's our glue player."

The last time Crown Point won a state championship was when it became the first girls basketball team in IHSAA history to claim back-to-back state titles in 1984 and 1985, before class distinctions were implemented.

Out of everyone in the program, only one person has been there for all three state championships, assistant coach Scott Reid. The 1978 Crown Point alum is in his 35th season at his alma mater, and Saturday's victory marked the fifth state final appearance and third state title win of his legendary career.

"I just think that when he was gone with COVID (in November) and when he came back, we were a different team with him back," Carrothers said. "He always focuses on defense, like Lilly said, and (Saturday) we focused on blocking out, which personally for me, I finally blocked out but I didn't get the ball.”

Even after leading Crown Point to its first state championship in 36 seasons, Carrothers was certain that Reid would let her know about it.

“Maybe next year,” Carrothers said, laughing.

4A girls basketball state final - Crown Point vs. Brownsburg

WATCH NOW: Scouting Crown Point's 2020-21 state-bound girls basketball team


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Lake County Sports Reporter

James Boyd is the Lake County prep sports reporter for The Times. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a proud native of Romeoville, Illinois. Before anything else, his main goal in life is to spread love and light.

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