Ashlynn Brooke’s Jumper Lifts Pioneer to First State Championship
Sophomore Ashlynn Brooke’s jump shot with :07 left lifted Pioneer to a 43-42 victory over Loogootee in a rematch of the 2020 Class A state title game.
The victory gives the Panthers of coach Jeff Brooke their first-ever state basketball title and avenges a 45-43 loss to Loogootee in last year’s championship game. The title is also Pioneer’s second of the current school year as the Panthers defeated Loogootee in the Class A volleyball championship match last fall.
Pioneer (25-4) held a 22-18 lead at halftime and used a 13-2 run to close the third quarter to take a 37-29 lead into the final eight minutes.
Coach Brian Smith’s Lions, however, rallied back with an 11-2 run to take a 40-39 lead with 3:52 remaining.
In the final minute, Loogootee (20-5) missed a pair of front-end free throw attempts to give Pioneer a chance. After a timeout with :23.4 left, the Panthers worked the ball to Ashlynn Brooke who converted the game-winner.
The victory wasn’t secure until Pioneer senior McKenzie Walker stole a pass under the Loogootee basket just before time expired.
Olivia Brooke led Pioneer with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Hailey Cripe added 12 points and Ashlynn Brooke netted 10 points.
Loogootee’s Kylie VanHoy led all scorers with 18 points and Brooklynn Jones added 12.
Class A State Championship Records
Olivia Brooke named Mental Attitude Award winner
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Olivia Brooke of Pioneer Junior-Senior High School as the winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class A Girls Basketball.
The award is presented annually to a senior participant in each classification who was nominated by her principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.
Brooke has maintained a 4.0 GPA while serving as president of the Sunshine Society and the Pep Club. She is also a member of the Pioneer Student Council, Pioneer Athletic Council, National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
She has earned four varsity letters in girls basketball and helped lead her team to back-to-back appearances in the state championship game.
She was also a member of her school’s volleyball team that claimed the Class A state championship over Loogootee last November contributing a match-high 38 assists as the Panthers’ primary setter.
She is the daughter of Jeff and Angela Brooke of Logansport, IN and will study Civil Engineering while playing volleyball at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond.
The Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers, the presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Pioneer Junior-Senior High School in the name of Olivia Brooke.
The award is named in honor of the late former IHSAA assistant commissioner Patricia L. Roy, who oversaw the girls basketball state tournament from its inception in 1976 until her retirement in 1999.