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Stars Shine Saturday In Panama

Hosts Prevail In Nonleague Showdown Despite Haskell’s Career-High 48

Panama’s Mandy Brink takes the ball to the basket during Saturday afternoon’s nonleague girls basketball game against Franklinville in Panama. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

PANAMA — Just past midday Saturday, the stars were out at Panama Central School.

Seniors Kylie Schnars and Natalie Angeletti dominated the post for the Panthers.

Freshman teammate Mandy Brink was sensational manning the point.

And, yes, senior Dani Haskell, Franklinville’s dynamic, record-setting guard, turned in another jaw-dropping performance with a career-high 48 points.

But the player who hit the biggest field goal in the late-season nonleague showdown between the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association rivals was a young lady who is known primarily for the indelible mark she has left as a cross-country and track athlete.

Franklinville’s Dani Haskell puts up a jumper. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

Senior Kylee Odell drilled a go-ahead jumper with 35 seconds remaining to give the hosts the lead for good as they downed Franklinville, 72-67, to gain a split of the season series.

The win improved Panama’s record to 16-2, with contests remaining next week against Southwestern and Fredonia to close out the regular season. Franklinville, meanwhile, saw its 14-game winning streak snapped and fell to 15-4.

In a game befitting two of the Western New York’s finest programs — Franklinville edged Panama in the Section VI Class D title game last year on its way to a New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship — it went right down to the wire yet again. And while the Cattaraugus County program is in Class C this year and Panama remains in Class D, the weekend meeting was pretty special.

“If felt like playoffs,” Panama coach Jeff Angeletti said.

That was not surprising.

What was surprising, though, was how the final three minutes played out.

After Haskell, who recently surpassed the 3,000-point career mark and is WNY’s all-time scoring leader, drove to the basket for a layup and her 47th and 48th points to give her team a 67-66 lead with 2:44 remaining, Franklinville didn’t score again. And when it turned the ball over with just under a minute left, Odell — after taking a cross-court pass from Maddie Lisciandro — stepped up and hit nothing but net from the left wing to put Panama into the lead, 68-67.

“It’s almost two or three games in a row she’s done that,” Coach Angeletti said. ” … She’s really peaking as well. … We had six seniors last year, so she probably didn’t get the time she wanted, but now she knows it’s hers.”

Added Franklinville coach Allan Dunlap: “We were going to make (Odell) shoot it. She stepped up. It was a great moment for her.”

Franklinville turned the ball over again on its next possession, Brink was fouled, and she canned both free throws to push Panama’s lead to 70-67 with 20.6 seconds remaining. After a timeout, a play was set up for Haskell.

“We used (Abby) McCoy as a decoy in the corner and ran Dani on a handoff off a double screen on the other side. That was the plan,” Dunlap said.

But Panama made the defensive stop, as Haskell’s 3-point attempt was short. Schnars was fouled in the scrum for the loose ball and she subsequently connected on both free throws with 5.2 seconds remaining. Brink then stole the inbounds pass, the clock ran out and the hosts left the school with their second win in less than 24 hours after downing Sherman on Friday night.

“I think we just rose up a little bit,” Coach Angeletti said.

The game was back and forth the entire way. Franklinville — behind five 3-pointers (three by Haskell and two by McCoy) led 19-9 five minutes into the game, but Panama went on a 15-2 run spanning the first and second quarters to take a 36-32 lead into halftime.

Welcome to the Panama-Franklinville rivalry, which added another chapter to its always-entertaining history. By intermission, Haskell had 26 points, Schnars had 16 and Natalie Angeletti collected 11. In the third quarter, Haskell and Brink both had 10 points, with the former’s buzzer-beater giving Franklinville a 54-53 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

“She scored 48 points,” Coach Angeletti said of Haskell. “I don’t know what else we could do?”

“She’s had one heck of a year, one heck of a career,” Dunlap said. “She’s still going.”

And, for one last time in the 2019-20 season, the rivalry lived up to its longstanding billing.

“Iron sharpening iron,” Coach Angeletti said.

Added Dunlap: “It was a great game.”

NOTES: Schnars finished with 22 points; Brink scored 15 of her 21 points in the second half to go along with five assists and five steals; and Natalie Angeletti had 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. … Haskell connected on nine 3-pointers. In two games against Panama this season, she scored a whopping 93 points. In the first meeting in the Joe DeCerbo Memorial at the Reilly Center on the campus of St. Bonaventure University in December, Haskell poured in 45 to lead her team to a 58-52 come-from-behind victory. … McCoy was the other double-digit scorer on Saturday for Franklinville with 14. … Panama closes out the regular season at Southwestern on Wednesday and at Fredonia on Friday. … Franklinville will entertain Allegany-Limestone in its final regular-season game Tuesday.

FRANKLINVILLE (67)

Milligan 0 0 0, Hoeckn 0 0 0, Jackson 1 0 2, Brennan 0 0 0, Burrell 1 0 3, Haskell 17 5 48, McCoy 3 6 14, Herman 0 0 0. Totals 22 11 67.

PANAMA (72)

Brink 8 4 21, Lyon 0 0 0, Odell 2 1 5, Angeletti 8 3 20, Bailey 0 0 0, Watson 0 0 0, Lisciandro 2 0 4, Schnars 7 7 22, Harvey 0 0 0. Totals 27 14 72.

3-point goals–Burrell, Haskell 9, McCoy 2, Brink, Angeletti 2, Schnars.

Franklinville 21 11 21 14 — 67

Panama 16 20 18 18 — 72

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