CROWN POINT — One of the great basketball careers in Logansport history — and state history for that matter — came to an end Saturday at the Class 4A Northern Semistate.
Whitney Jennings led a spirited comeback for Logansport after falling in an early double-digit hole against No. 4 Penn. The Berries grabbed the lead in the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold on in a 44-41 loss to the Kingsmen.
Penn (25-1) will face defending state champion Bedford North Lawrence (26-1) next Saturday for the state title in Terre Haute. The Berries (24-3) have to settle for a Final Four finish and the first semistate appearance in program history.
“Just to be able to get here, people didn’t expect us to be here, let alone win, so we were three points away from the state championship game,” Jennings said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s just how it is.”
The Berries entered averaging just seven turnovers a game, an amazing stat for a girls basketball team that can largely be attributed to Jennings’ expert ballhandling ability. But against the state’s best defensive team statistically — Penn leads Class 4A allowing just 33.5 ppg — the Berries had seven turnovers in the first quarter alone in falling in a quick 12-2 deficit after one quarter. The only Berries’ basket was on a Nakeya Penny runner with 5:45 left that gave them a 2-0 lead.
“The best defensive team we’ve faced all year and we knew they were going to throw something at us in the first quarter,” Jennings said. “It took us awhile to adjust to what they were doing, but they definitely threw us off at first.”
The Berries clawed back to within 19-12 at halftime. They made some adjustments at the half and more than doubled their offensive production to that point in the third quarter, and a Jennings steal and layup late in the frame brought them all the way back to a 27-27 tie entering the fourth bringing the large Logansport crowd in attendance to a frenzy.