Saturday the Lady Panthers faced Bennett in the final round of the district tournament. In February they lost by 20 points to Bennett in a very physical contest, this time the Panthers dominated from the tip to the buzzer. They took control with a total team effort, letting their defense drive their offense. The game once again was physical but the Lady Panthers were up to the challenge and never backed down. At the end of the first quarter the score was 17-8. Senior captain Joanna Eaton put together her best performance of the season scoring 27 with 5 assists and pulling down 5 rebounds. Kelly Allen was also strong under the boards with 10 rebounds and scoring 20 points. She was impressive at the foul line scoring 11 free throws. In the third quarter Bennett made a run at the Panthers but junior Hailley Pedersen's timely basket stopped Bennett and swung the momentum back to the Panthers. She added 7 points to the effort and 2 assists. Ellis Linke grabbed 10 rebounds a season high performance. Junior captain Erin O'Connor was in early foul trouble but managed to keep her head in the game scoring 6 points along with 3 steals. Senior Kayleigh Busse had three assists and lead the defensive attack stopping Bennett's star player in her tracks and holding her to 3 points. Jessica Sanchez, Mary Acord, Marisa Simone, Simona Senovaityte, Maria Piceno forced Bennett to throw the ball away under solid pressure defense. Final score 65-53.
Next the Panthers travel to Craig to play Kent Denver in the first round of the state tournament. This is the third consecutive year they have qualified for the state tournament setting a school record. This will also be the first year that both the boys and girls teams have advanced to this level in the same season. It should be an excellent game. Kent Denver is ranked 12th and our Lady Panthers are 21. Our Panthers are ready to leave it all on the court and work as a team every step of the way. They are determined to make Middle Park history. The game tips off at 5:00 @ Moffat County High School in Craig. Come support the Lady Panthers in their quest for the "Sweet Sixteen". Congratulations ladies!!