Lawrence North tops undefeated Northwestern for first state title
After coming up short in last season’s Class 4A state championship game, Lawrence North made amends with a thrilling 59-56 victory over top-ranked Northwestern at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The eighth-ranked Wildcats were led by junior guard Jayla Smith, who drained five 3-pointers on her way to 22 points as the program claimed its first girls basketball title and finished with a 26-4 record.
Northwestern, which moved to 4A after winning the last two 3A state championships, received a game-high 25 points from senior guard Madison Layden and 20 from senior center Kendall Bostic. The Tigers completed the season with a 29-1 mark and were 107-9 during the Layden-Bostic era.
Lawrence North led nearly the entire way, building a 17-9 advantage after one quarter and leading 31-22 at halftime. Layden picked up her second foul at 2:48 of the opening stanza and had to take a seat before eventually returning and leading Northwestern’s furious second-half rally.
The Tigers clawed back to tie it at 35-35 at 3:22 of the third, but a Kalyn Ervin 3-pointer gave LN a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Northwestern got to within a point at 51-50 at 3:55 of the final period, but Smith’s triple provided her squad some breathing room.
After timeouts by both teams with 7.4 seconds left, Northwestern had a chance to tie, but Layden’s short turnaround in the lane was off the mark. The Tigers fouled and Lawrence North point guard Kristian Young made the first of two free throws with 2.0 left to account for the final tally.
Class 4A State Championship Records
Most 3FG Made
10 by Lawrence North (Most ever in a state championship game, any class)
Best 3FG Percentage
.500 (10-20) by Lawrence North
Most 3FG Made
(Tied) 5 by Jayla Smith, Lawrence North
11 by Kristian Young, Lawrence North (Most any class)
Lauren Gunn named Mental Attitude Award Winner
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Lauren Gunn of Lawrence North High School as the winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class 4A 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.
Lauren was a member of the 2019 Girls Basketball State Runner-Up team and has twice been named “Best Teammate.” She is also a member of Lawrence North’s Track and Field team and was the anchor for their All State 4 X 400 Relay Team who won their conference meet and finished in third at the state meet in 2018. Gunn also was a state qualifier in the 200 Meter Dash in 2018.
Off the court, she is an active member within her community and school. She is a part of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society, and has been involved with SHEroes, Inc. and the Indiana Black Expo. Gunn has also volunteered with the Lawrence North Food Pantry, the St. Vincent 5K Run/Walk, Coats for Kids, and numerous other organizations.
Academically, Lauren ranks 26th in her class of 637 students and is an Advanced Placement Scholar. She has also been named to the Junior Academic All-State Girls Basketball team and was recognized as the Lawrence Township Student of Character.
Lauren is the daughter of Christopher and Linda Gunn of Fishers, Indiana, and plans to attend Valparaiso University where she will study Pre-Med.
The Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers, the presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Lawrence North High School in the name of Lauren Gunn. Since 1989, more than $840,000 in college scholarships have been presented to deserving high school athletes in Indiana.
The award is named in honor of the former IHSAA Assistant Commissioner Patricia L. Roy, who oversaw the girls basketball state tournament from its inception in 1976 until her retirement in 1999.