Panthers Journey of Playoffs Begins!

Julia Atwood, Writer

All eyes are on the Panthers as the first playoffs since the 2019-2020 season begins. The Panthers head into the first round of playoffs after suffering their first loss in over 3 seasons ending the longest winning streak the basketball program has ever seen. The stakes are high and the girls are feeling this pressure.

On March 4, at 5 p.m the Panthers, seed 5 began the first round of playoffs facing Braintree highschool, seed 27 at their home gym, Franklin High School.

The Panthers came out strong getting the first two points of the game scored by Senior Captain, Stef Padula followed by another two points from Senior Captain, Brigid Earley. The Panthers caught a quick lead adding a couple of threes from Junior, Katie Peterson, and Senior, Julia White. Braintree was able to respond with a full-court layup from Senior, Hailey Sherrick. The connection of this team is strong which Brigid Earley says they built in and out of practice from team drills to team dinners. This connection is a main component of their success so far. The Panthers didn’t let up and finished the first quarter off with an 8 point lead making the score 22-14.

The Panthers kept their momentum in the second quarter with a three from Junior, Katie Peterson. The Panthers increased their lead to make it 33-14 with four minutes left in the quarter and a timeout from Braintree. At the end of the quarter, the score was 42-21 with Katie Peterson leading with 17 points as well as Stef Padula and Brigid Earley with 6 each.

Sid Chandra Photography

The Panthers had a rocky start to the second half. The crowd was growing and Brigid Earley says that the packed gym atmosphere is new to them and they need to adjust to it.  The Panthers overcame the pressure and Stef Padula drained another three. After scouting Braintree in a previous game Brigid Earley says that they are a strong shooting team which has been obvious in this game but has not slowed the Panthers down. The Panthers kept their lead by maintaining strong defense which Brigid Earley says is due to them practicing Braintree’s offense to make sure they were ready for whatever may happen. To finish off the third quarter Senior, Jess Pingeton made a huge half-court shot at the buzzer which made the crowd go crazy. The Panthers now had a 30 point lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Panthers kept their lead and did not let up. A few foul shots were made as well as a strong contested lay-up from Freshman, Ellie Bonacci. Sophomore, Norah Maccallum sealed the game with 2 foul shots making the game 70-43.

The Panthers will continue down the road of playoffs to face Lincoln-Sudbury on Tuesday, March, 8.