Panama is starting to like the idea of winning championships.
The Panthers (19-4) won their second straight Class D girls basketball title, downing Franklinville, 70-44, at Jamestown Community College on Saturday afternoon. For a team that hadn’t won a Section VI title before last year, two in a row sounds mighty good.
“I don’t know if you ever get used to it,” coach Jeff Angeletti of Panama said about the back-to-back wins. “The crowd and the atmosphere were terrific. We travel well. It’s a very supportive community.”
If you like a balanced attack, the Panthers are your team. All five starters were in double figures. Madalyn Bowen and Natalie Angeletti had 15 points each, Nicole Johnson had 13, Emilee Speery had 12 and Taylor Bowen had 11. They passed the ball in the lane for layups, and they shot the ball well from the outside.
“We moved the ball around well,” Jeff Angeletti said. “This was a total team effort.”
The game started out rather evenly, thanks in part to the work of Franklinville’s Danielle Haskell. She had the first 10 points for her team, as Franklinville took a 10-7 lead. But Panama hung around for the rest of the first quarter, and took the lead late in the period with a couple of mid-range jumpers.
That set the stage for the second period. Panama opened the period with nine straight points. Then Bowen hit a pair of three-pointers, and suddenly the No. 1 seed had opened up a 30-17 margin.
Panama simply increased the pressure from there. It was 40-22, Panama, at halftime, and almost didn’t feel that close. Franklinville (20-3) never threatened in the second half.
Allyson Haskell had 26 points and Danielle Haskell had 16, but the rest of the team combined for only two points.
“That’s amazing,” Angeletti said. “They’re going to get their points, but we worked really hard on defense.”
Next stop for Panama is the Far West Regionals against the Section V champion on Saturday at Rush-Henrietta High School.