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Panther girls ready for weekend’s elite tourney at Trinity

Vanessa Wilton elevates and completes a 1-and-1 play in the 3rd quarter of action vs CHSS. Alexia Cochrane photo

The PECI Panthers senior girls basketball team faces a tough test in Port Hope this weekend at the Trinity College Tournament.

“This is an elite tournament attended by both private and public school teams,” said coach Rob Garden. And the goal is a title.

“We want to win the tournament. We’ve won a lot over the past few years, but a tournament title remains elusive, so this group is ready to go and get one.”

The first game Friday is against Appleby College from Oakville.

Hannah Goad completes a fast break layup for one of her game-high 16 points. Alexia Cochrane photo

The team has recently come off two big league wins versus Nicholson and Centre Hastings secondary schools.

In a possible A COSSA matchup, the Panthers traveled to Belleville to take on the Crusaders last week.

“Our season got off to a rough start in Kingston in September, but we learned a lot from those early losses and our girls have shown great grit and toughness over the past few weeks”, said coach Garden. “The girls left no doubt as to who was the better team and defeated Nicholson 61 – 27.

The girls used their full-court pressure and tenacious rebounding to build an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Our mantra all season has been to throw the first punch in the opening quarter and I thought our girls came out and were the aggressors. We missed a ton of easy looks, but our defense was very good and NCC looked overwhelmed with our pressure”, said Garden.

Vanessa Wilton had her best game of the season scoring 20 points, and shooting 4/6 from behind the arc.

“Vanessa is an elite player, and unfortunately for her, she suffered an early-season ankle injury. It was great to see her have a good game and get her confidence back”, said Garden.

Sydney Davies and Madalynn Snider did an excellent job defensively for the Panthers in the win.

After the Thanksgiving weekend, the girls hosted last year’s Bay of Quinte Silver Medal-winning Centre Hastings Centurians Tuesday night at PECI. Once again, the girls had a fantastic start and built a 19 – 0 lead in the first quarter.

“Once again, our defense was outstanding. Mikayla Leavitt and Hannah Goad really set the tone for us on our press, and our bench had great energy.”

The girls continued to score at a decent clip and won the game 56 – 16 behind Goad’s game-high 16 points. Vanessa Wilton had 14 and Chloe Marshall had 10.

Despite the strong play of late, the coach knows that the girls can’t get ahead of themselves.

“It’s a long season. Our goal every time we step on the court is to become the most prepared team that we can be for playoffs. We have made a lot of improvements over the past few weeks, however, I know that the girls aren’t satisfied and I don’t think that this team has reached it’s full potential yet.”

Also up next up in Bay of Quinte action is a pivotal battle vs. St. Theresa on Tuesday, Oct. 22nd at 4 pm at PECI.

“We have a lot of respect for the Titans. They are a very good team and this could be a preview of the Bay of Quinte final. Our girls feel confident and are excited about the challenge,” said Garden.

Grade 11 player Ella Coates is quickly becoming a strong defender for the Panthers. Alexia Cochrane photo

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesHastings & Prince Edward District School BoardPECI - It's a Panther ThingSports & Recreation

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