On March 2, 2002, the Bishop Luers girls basketball team pulled off something remarkable, winning its fourth consecutive state title. It was the first time in IHSAA history that a school won four straight titles in either the boys or the girls state basketball tournaments.
After winning the first three titles in Class 2A under coach Gary Andrews, the Knights came back under Teri Rosinski to win the Class 3A title by beating Gibson Southern 51-37 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Senior Megan Dossen won her fourth individual title, and junior Michelle King and senior Michelle Hamlin each won for the third time.
The Knights' starting lineup was Dossen, Hamlin, King, sophomore Jessica Hathaway and freshman Stephanie Gerardot. Individually, all five players are among the best in Bishop Luers history.
Hamlin scored 14 and Dossen 13 in the title game, and the Knights' defense held Gibson Southern to 34% shooting and forced 28 turnovers, allowing a state-record low of 37 points.
Canterbury girls basketball won three state crowns in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and skipped a year in 2011 before winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. Heritage Christian also won three in a row in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and numerous schools have won two in a row.
Besides playing for a new coach, moving up a class and adding some new players, the 2002 title was also unique because that squad lost five games, more than the previous three teams combined, finishing 21-5. The Knights lost to Leo, Northrop, Snider, Huntington North and Concordia during the regular season. During the previous three seasons, Bishop Luers had a combined record of 81-3.
Andrews finished a nine-year run at Bishop Luers with a 167-44 record before taking over as coach of the Saint Francis women's team. Rosinski, the 1977 Miss Basketball, was a more than capable replacement, winning two state titles and compiling a 128-24 record in six seasons.
The biggest test of the 2001-02 season came against Concordia in the regional. The Cadets had beaten the Knights 71-54 at Bishop Luers to win the SAC title, but the Knights won the rematch in the state tournament, 51-26, in the regional.
The closest state title win during the run came in a 62-60 victory over Forest Park in 2000 as Rachel King scored 22 points, including the last free throw to give the Knights the two-point edge. A desperation Forest Park 3 from the top of the key rattled around the rim, off the backboard and off the front of the rim as time expired.
The 2004-05 Knights finished 22-3 and won the SAC tournament and regular-season titles but lost to NorthWood 50-40 in the regional championship game.
The Knights rebuilt and came back to win the Class 3A title in 2006 by beating Evansville Memorial 65-54. Bishop Luers also won the Class 2A 2011 state title under coach Denny Renier by beating Brownstown Central 59-46. In 2012, Bishop Luers lost to Evansville Mater Dei 56-52 in the Class 2A title game.
About this series
Ever wonder what a Northeast Indiana Sports Hall of Fame might include? During a time when it may be difficult to look ahead to great sporting events, the Journal Gazette is going to offer you a look into Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana's fantastic athletic past. Over the next few weeks, we'll offer some suggestions on the people and events which could be featured in such a facility.