ELWOOD — On a stage showing that girls high school basketball is undoubtedly alive and well in Indiana, Tipton senior Kacie Juday put on the performance of a lifetime.
In front of a nearly-packed house, Juday scored a school-record 38 points as the No. 5-ranked Blue Devils outlasted the host Panthers 65-61 in Saturday night’s Class 2A Sectional 39 Championship.
“I was just really focused, ready to win,” said Juday. “Even when we were down, I knew we could do it. I had no doubt in my team.”
The Stony Brook recruit also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds in leading her school to its third sectional title in four years and first since her sophomore season.
“This one is definitely better,” Juday said. “It was a game with ups and downs that made it a lot of fun and the atmosphere was unbelievable. Just awesome. This is the biggest game I’ve ever played in and the best atmosphere. It was so awesome having this many fans supporting us 100 percent.”
Tipton coach Nick Comer, whose squad moved to 16-4 in advancing to face Shanandoah at 10 a.m. in next Saturday’s Lapel Regional, wholeheartedly agreed.
“I’ve never been in a girls basketball atmosphere like this,” Comer said as Blue Devil fans celebrated around him on the court. “We’ve been in some big games, but this was phenomenal. It’s a credit to this community. And it’s a credit to our community.”
But was it the best game Comer has seen Juday play in her stellar career?
“Yeah, absolutely. She’s had some good ones. She’s always been phenomenal in sectional championships. She’s just a winner. She’s one of the top five or six players in the state in my opinion. Anybody who has an All-Star vote needs to watch a game like [Saturday].”