South Bend Washington Panthers win back to back semi-state titles

NOW: South Bend Washington Panthers win back to back semi-state titles

LAPORTE, Ind -- The Washington girls basketball team made their second straight semi-state appearance today at LaPorte high school for a chance to make it to the state finals for two consecutive years.

The game kept Michiana fans on the edge of their seats to start as the panthers fault tooth and nail to keep their season alive.

Coming into Saturday's matchup, the panthers were 25-3, facing a 26-1 Garrett Railroaders.

"That team is good. That team is tough. They’ve won a ton of games. They were prepared and we came in after that first quarter and we got it done," said Washington's Girls Basketball Head Coach Steve Reynolds.

The records weren’t on the panthers mind Saturday as they finished the game with a nearly 30 point gap winning 66-39.

After failing to bring home the championship last year, the panthers knew there was a lot at stake Saturday and came prepared regardless of a tough first quarter.

"The win was great we knew that we were going to come in very aggressive. We knew that we were going to get the job done so it means a lot because we just want it more," said Washington's Girls Basketball player Rashunda Jones.

"We’ve played a lot of tough games. We’ve been out in front and we’ve played from behind. So I knew once we settled in we would be fine," said Reynolds.

The team picked up the pace coming out of half-time leading Garrett 30-19 and tacking on 25 points in the third quarter alone.

"We believe in each other and we believe in the process and they have engaged the process at an unbelievable level," said Reynolds.

"It means a lot coming from like a family-oriented team. We really just enjoyed this whole moment just with my sisters, my dad, and my mom so, I'm super happy we got this win, I'm just hoping we can get state," said Washington's Girls Basketball player Mila Reynolds.

The panthers will play for the 3A state championship next Saturday and it will be a rematch versus the Silver Creek dragons who took home the win last year winning 54-48 over the panthers.

We will be in Indianapolis next week for the state finals to cheer on the panthers as they are the favorites in the rematch.

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