GOSHEN – The Northridge girls basketball team wiped out the lone blemish on an otherwise perfect season Saturday night.
The Raiders exacted a little bit of revenge in championship fashion in doing so too.
No. 7 Northridge dethroned No. 10 Penn 48-39 in the title game of the Class 4-A Goshen Sectional.
The Raiders, whose lone loss of the season was a 50-44 setback to Penn at home on Dec. 13, earn the second sectional title in program history. Northridge, which improves to 26-1, won the sectional crown in 2014.
The Raiders advance to play Gary West (19-6) next Saturday at 11 a.m. (EST) in the opening game of the LaPorte Regional. The second game pits host LaPorte (15-10) versus Merrillville (20-5). The winners square off next Saturday night for the regional title and a berth in the semistate on Feb. 18 at either Logansport or Crown Point.
Penn, which claimed the Class 4-A state championship last season, sees its season end at 20-5. The Kingsmen had won six straight sectional titles.
The sectional finale was tied at 11-11 after the opening period. The Raiders outscored Penn 11-5 in the key second stanza to take a 22-16 halftime lead. Northridge then outscored Penn 11-8 in the third quarter to lead 33-24.
Junior standout Brooke McKinley, the top scorer on the season for the Raiders, scored a game-high 21 points. McKinley hit a trio of treys for the champions.
Kelsey Brickner netted 11 points and Mel Bontrager and Marci Miller each chipped in with four points for coach Doug Springer’s team.
Reganne Pate led Penn with 13 points. Lindsy Kline, the lone senior on the Penn roster, had eight points. Sara Doi scored seven points and Chloe Foley six for the Kingsmen.
Northridge hit 18-24 free throws, while Penn was 9-12 from the stripe.
The Raiders will take a 14-game winning streak into next Saturday’s regional.