Panama Downs Southwestern; Seniors On Both Teams Recognized
Prior to Wednesday night’s nonleague basketball meeting with visiting Panama, the Southwestern girls basketball team, led by coach Dave Turnbull, chose to begin their Senior Night celebration in a unique way: honoring the Panthers’ seniors.
“What a class act,” Panama head coach Jeff Angeletti said of the gesture. “(Turnbull) is a great friend of mine and is a great coach, but just a real class act. To recognize them and give them flowers. … Our kids thought that was amazing.”
“They’re all great kids,” Turnbull said of the two teams. “(Angeletti) and I usually try to get together to practice between now and our first playoff games. Our teams practice together and the girls are friendly with one another and Jeff and I are good friends, so this game was a lot of fun tonight.”
And, in the spirit of the evening’s festivities, the Panama (17-2, 11-0 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 2 West) seniors rose to the occasion, escaping the Hunt Road complex with a 56-48 victory over the Trojans (10-10, 7-4 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 West).
Despite finishing with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, Southwestern held Natalie Angeletti scoreless in the first quarter and held a 13-12 lead after a 3-pointer by Sofia Genareo, who finished with a team-high 13, put the Trojans ahead for the first time in the game.
With Angeletti struggling early, Kylie Schnars, who finished with 16 points, rose to the challenge, accounting for 12 of Panama’s first 17 points midway through the second quarter.
“(Kylie and Natalie) look for one and other,” Coach Angeletti said. “One might be struggling, but usually the other will pick them up until they can look for one another a bit.”
The younger Angeletti found her stroke late in the second quarter, knocking down seven straight points to give Panama a 24-17 lead. Southwestern refused to go away though, as back-to-back buckets by Genareo and two free-throws from Allison Lundmark knotted the score at 24 with 36 seconds left. A layup by Mandy Brink 12 seconds later, however, gave the Panthers a two-point lead at halftime.
“Give Southwestern credit, they were really crashing the boards,” Coach Angeletti said. “We weren’t doing a good job of rebounding and taking care of the ball, off our own rebounds. I think we did a really good job of boxing out in the second half and I thought we did a really good job of getting back in transition and stopping their break, because they love to get out there.”
Natalie Angeletti continued her hot stroke in the third quarter, draining two 3s in the frame, as the Panthers attempted to put the game away. But the Trojans would not go away easily, as 4 points from senior Gianna Hoose helped narrow a once 13-point deficit to seven early in the fourth quarter. And, though Southwestern struggled to finish, the Trojans head coach was still pleased with the effort.
“We sustained our defensive effort all throughout the game,” Turnbull said. “Overall, we did a really nice job. We needed to get bodies on people when the ball went up. We started rebounding a little bit better and we started to attack the basket a little bit more. Early on, we were settling a little bit and I thought we kind of recalibrated ourselves.”
And, despite a second straight loss — the first coming on Monday to Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division I leader Orchard Park — Turnbull knows Wednesday’s matchup will get his team into postseason form.
“I told our girls: I like where we are getting ready for playoffs even coming off a loss because I think the girls played really well,” he said. “They played hard and I think that when we get everyone on the same page at the same time, where everybody is ready to go, I think we’re going to be in pretty good shape.”
Regarding the nonleague schedule, Angeletti –whose team will face Fredonia on Friday on the road –agreed.
“The fact that we’re doing it over break, the rhythm of not going to class is very similar to a playoff-type schedule, especially when you go further and go to states,” he said. “It just couldn’t work out any better. The fact that we have the opportunity to play Southwestern and then Fredonia, it sure beats practice and it sure beats scrimmaging. I couldn’t ask for a better schedule.”
NOTES: Brink finished with 11 points and three steals for the Panthers. … Schnars grabbed seven rebounds and Madelyn Lisciandro and Kylee Odell each finished with six. … Kira Ricker finished with 11 points for Southwestern with two 3s, while eighth-grader Reece Beaver, who also sang the national anthem prior to the game, finished with 8 points. … The Trojans honored seniors Lotte Kranzo, Kim Truver and Gianna Hoose prior to the game, while also honoring Panama seniors Angeletti, Schnars, Odell and Sally Watson.
Brink 5 0 11, Lyon 0 0 0, Odell 1 1 4, Angeletti 8 0 19, Bailey 1 0 2, Watson 1 0 2, Lisciandro 1 0 2, Schnars 5 6 16. Totals 21 7 56.
Turnbull 0 0 0, Beaver 2 0 4, Lawton 3 2 8, Kranzo 0 0 0, Genareo 4 2 13, Dibble 0 0 0, Truver 1 2 4, Lundmark 0 2 2 , Ricker 4 1 11, Hoose 3 0 6. Totals 17 9 48.
3-point goals–Brink, Odell, Angeletti 3, Genareo 3, Ricker 2
Panama 12 14 21 9–56
Southwestern 13 11 12 12–48
Jayvees: Panama 56, Southwestern 17