Dani Haskell Pours In 36 Points, Leads Franklinville Over Panama, 65-49
After retreating up the stairs and on to the track that encircles the basketball court at the Physical Education Complex at Jamestown Community College on Saturday afternoon, Franklinville posed for another round of team photos with the Section VI championship banner.
Even after friends and family of the Lady Panthers captured the moment for posterity, Coach Allan Dunlap couldn’t stop smiling.
“Oh, my gosh, what an unbelievable feeling for our kids,” he said after No. 2 Franklinville knocked off No. 1 Panama, 65-49 in the Class D title game. “We talked about this game ever since (Panama) beat us last year, on the way home on the bus. To play them again here, in this atmosphere … is unbelievable.”
Dani Haskell was pretty unbelievable, too.
All the 5-foot-6 sophomore point guard did was pour in 36 points to spearhead the Cattaraugus County school’s first girls sectional title since 1987 before a standing-room-only crowd.
The win advances Franklinville (23-0) into the Far West Regional at 3 p.m. next Saturday at Rush-Henrietta High School against the Section V champion. Panama, the three-time defending sectional champ, meanwhile, ends its season 21-2.
Haskell scored 8 points in the first quarter, 11 in the second, 10 in the third and 7 in the fourth, and demonstrated the ball-handling, shooting and creative skills that make her a must-see player.
“I travel all over with AAU and I’m confident when I say that Dani is one of the best players in all of New York State, and she’s only a sophomore,” Dunlap said. “She’s just outstanding, obviously. She can do it all.”
Haskell was especially brilliant during a third-quarter surge that put Franklinville comfortably in front.
Leading 34-29 a little over two minutes into the second half, Franklinville finished the period on an 18-7 run, most of it orchestrated by Haskell, who scored 10 points and set up several other baskets. Her signature moment arguably came with her team leading 37-31.
Taking the ball strong to the basket, her runner rolled off the rim and Panama grabbed the rebound. But in a blink of an eye, Haskell stole the outlet pass and scored on a difficult reverse layup.
Sister Ally Haskell followed with a 3-pointer, and then Dani Haskell converted a traditional three-point play, drilled a long trey, fed Abby Burrell for a basket and then beat a defender on a drive for another deuce.
“Out of all the players I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some good ones — Paige McCormick playing for UMass who graduated from Heuvelton (Central School) — I’d put (Haskell) in that same category,” Panama coach Jeff Angeletti said. “She’s just a difference maker on offense and defense.”
Armed with a 52-36 lead, Franklinville didn’t allow Panama to get closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
“They played really well,” Angeletti said. “They scripted to take away our bigs a little bit, especially (Natalie Angeletti) and they did a great job of that and that frustrated us. We had foul trouble early. All those things you don’t want early in the game…. Then the third quarter, that’s when they really put it to us. Our girls worked their butts off trying to stop it and there’s just no stopping it.”
Angeletti believes there will be no stopping Franklinville in the next couple weeks either.
“We’re pulling for them,” he said. ” … This is a default state champion. I’ve done a lot of scouting … and I really think Franklinville, hands down, will be a state champion. … It’s theirs to take.”
Dunlap certainly hopes that will be the case.
“To start the season going to the state final four was kind of beyond our wildest dreams,” he said. “We’ve always been focused on (the sectional final). … Now we’re one game away. I’m not sure we’ll play against anyone tougher than the team we played today.”
NOTES: Sophomore Abby McCoy chipped in with 11 points, senior Ally Haskell added 8 and junior Bri Broadwell had 6 for Franklinville, which led 16-14 after the first quarter and 32-25 at halftime. … Sophomore Kylie Schnars had a brilliant game for Panama, finishing with 22 points, while senior Lauren Barmore chipped in with 8. … Seniors Barmore and Elle Angeletti played their final game for Panama. … Recipients of the Intense Milk Character Athletes of the Game were Natalie Angeletti of Panama and Ally Haskell of Franklinville.
Broadwell 3 0 6, Burrell 1 0 2, AHaskell 3 0 8, DHaskell 13 7 36, McCoy 3 2 11, O’Neal 0 2 2, Totals 23 11 65.
Johnson 2 0 4, Lisciandro 2 0 4, Barmore 1 5 8, Yuchnitz 1 0 3, NAngeletti 2 0 4, EAngeletti 0 0 0, Schauman 0 0 0, Marsh 2 0 4, Schnars 9 4 22, Totals 19 9 49.
3-point goals–AHaskell 2, DHaskell 3, McCoy 3, Barmore, Yuchnitz.
Franklinville 16 16 20 13 — 65
Panama 14 11 11 13 — 49