The Player Perspective: FHS Girls Basketball- Winning Streak Extends to 41


FHS Girls Basketball pregame against Canton (via Sammy Patel Photography)

Ryan Martin, Writer

41 wins in a row. FHS Girls Basketball has been on a tear, establishing themselves among the best programs in the state as they extend the MIAA’s longest winning streak for girls basketball. The team’s last loss came in a March 2019 playoff game against Springfield Central, remaining undefeated over the last 1,049 days since. The girls have been as good as advertised to start their 2021-22 campaign, now 6-0 over the first third of their season. Although they’ve stayed perfect, not every win has come easy for Franklin; every team wants to be the ones to knock off the Panthers, and some have come close this year. To find out what the key to Franklin’s success has been, I caught up with Katie Peterson (Jr.) and Bridget Leo (Jr.) after their most recent win at Foxboro.


Ryan Martin: Entering the season, you guys were on a then-35 game win streak. How difficult is it to remain humble coming into this season and as a team not take your foot off the gas? 

Katie Peterson: Even though we had such a large win streak coming in, we all realized that this was a new team and we had to work to get wins. We knew that keeping this streak was not going to be easy which kept us humble. If anything, this streak motivates us to work even harder because we don’t ever want to look back at a loss and think about what more we could have done.”

Katie Peterson (#12) dribbles into the paint against Mansfield (via Sammy Patel Photography)

Bridget Leo: “Coach Leighton and Coach Pingeton constantly stress taking one game at a time, and how the record and scoreboard don’t matter. We are never looking behind us, we are just trying to focus on our next game, and how we can improve. We challenge each other every single practice, which just makes us even more ready for the next game.”


RM: Starting the season 2-0, you guys match up and pull out a tough road win, one of the closest games in recent memory over a good Oliver Ames team (who was 2-0 entering the game and has been dominant since). What kind of confidence did you gain from this win, knowing this team is still capable of pulling through in tight games?

KP: We knew going into this game that it was not going to be easy and the win was certainly one that we had to work for. For me, it validated how talented of a team we are and our capabilities to handle pressure. Going into closer games in the future, I definitely think that playing OA will help us keep composure in high-pressure situations.

Bridget Leo (#11) sets up on defense against Oliver Ames (via Sammy Patel Photography)

BL: I think the OA game was a huge confidence booster. Going into it, we knew they were a very talented team and it was going to be a challenge. It was great to show everyone how we were able to stay composed under pressure and rise to the occasion against these really competitive teams.  


RM: Feeling good after the OA win, COVID-Cancellations forced the postponement of 5 straight games(!!). How were you guys able to stay optimistic and in mid-season shape over that almost a month stretch?

KP: While it was disappointing that 5 games in a row were canceled, we recognized that we had no control over the situation. We used this time away from games to improve as a team and work hard to get better. Our intensity at practice was never lowered which helped us not just maintain our abilities, but improve them.

BL: As hard as it was not being able to play a game in almost a month, I think that long break was super beneficial for the team. We were able to become even closer to one another and challenge each other in practice. Spending a lot of time with each other outside of games allowed us to grow stronger as a team, which I think allows us to perform better.


RM: After home wins against Mansfield and a rescheduled W vs. Taunton, you guys once again find yourself in a neck-and-neck road game at Foxboro. You guys pulled out a 51-47 win, thanks in large part to Stefany Padula (12 points)  and Olivia Quinn’s (11 points) performances. As they’re now Senior Captains on such a talented team, how important has their leadership been to this team’s success? How has it made you two better leaders yourself?

KP: Olivia and Stefany play large roles in this team’s success; not only are they both talented basketball players but they are also great leaders. They continuously lead by example with their work ethic which pushes the team to play at a higher level every day. On the court, they are always motivating others and providing guidance on how to better work as a team. Watching them teaches me more about the ways that a leader can impact their teammates and it makes me want to step up every day.

BL: Stef and Liv are both great leaders and they set such a great example for the rest of us. Just noticing the little things they do, like being the last one off the court at practice, or running to high-five someone after that person makes a mistake, helps me become the type of leader I strive to be.  Not only are they leaders on the court, but off the court as well.


RM: Finally, the unbeaten streak now sits at 41 straight victories entering this Friday’s game at Milford. Is the pressure starting to mount for you guys as the wins pile up? What aspects of Franklin Basketball need to shine over the last 2/3 of the season to keep the streak alive?

KP: Our win streak certainly sits in the back of our heads as we play but our coaches always put emphasis on the fact that our win streak doesn’t matter. We know that if we lose it doesn’t mean that our season is over or we let anyone down, it will just motivate us to work harder. In order to reach our full potential, we just need to keep playing at a high intensity and work together on both ends of the floor; if we do that I think we can go far.

BL: Having not lost a game in a long time definitely builds up a lot of pressure and puts a target on our backs. Like I said before, taking one game at a time allows us to not think about the past, and just focus on what’s ahead of us. As we have become closer to one another, I think it allows us to play at a higher level because the level of trust is so high. 


Franklin is back in action today, looking to move to 7-0 as they travel to Milford to take on the Scarlet Hawks and extend the longest winning streak in program history.