Burger King Outstanding Student Athlete: Penn's Sara Doi

WSBT 22 Photo

The Penn girls basketball team is in semi-state this weekend, and has a chance to go back to the state finals for third time in five years.

But they might not be playing Saturday, if it were not for Sara Doi.

Penn was tied at 41 with Lake Central over the weekend, in the final minute of the regional championship game.

Senior Sara Doi looks back at the final moments of the game, "We were running down the clock from like 48 seconds and we were trying to get everybody in place to set up our play and people weren't where they needed to be and there were like eight seconds left, so, I was like I just have to go and get up a good shot."

Doi added, "And so I went and there were those agonizing two hits on the rim, and then it fell in."

That game winning shot sent the Kingsmen to the semi-state, and Penn will be leaning on their captain Doi that day.

Head Coach Kristi Ulrich said,"She’s a coaches dream. For Sara to stay who she is. Be a leader, be a dynamite defender, distribute the basketball when she needs to and then take advantage of opportunities for herself when they're there as well. and keeping everyone else around her poised and composed."

Doi has been poised this season, as one of two seniors on this year’s team. But that’s because she’s been here before. Two years ago, Doi helped Penn win a state title. Only a sophomore at the time, Doi was actually one of the team captains on a roster stocked full of upperclassmen.

"I think the very first thing that stood out to me about sara was her work ethic. and then the way her teammates respected her," Ulrich added, "If they were seeing those things and we were, there was no question that she shouldn't be a captain even as a sophomore."

Doi and the Kingsmen will take on Zionsville in the Class 4A semi-state at Valporaiso high school.

Doi said, "I just want to see this team come together again and just give it a good fight and no matter the outcome, I'm just so proud of everything we've been able to accomplish this season."

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