Lady Panthers upset in quarters


The Providence Country Day girls basketball team traveled to Johnston and upset the Panthers 58-53 in the Division IV Quarterfinals on Monday night.
PCD jumped out to a big lead in the first half and would enter the break up 33-23. Although the Panthers fought back and got within three points late in the fourth quarter, it would not be enough as the Knights held on for the win.
Freshman Bella Gesualdi led Johnston with 22 points while Hannah Calabro added 21 points, all coming from 3-point shots. Ava Waterman also scored seven points.
It was the third meeting between the two teams this winter, and the Panthers took home wins in the first two contests. Things were different on Monday, though, and Johnston coach Meg Reall felt that PCD’s shooting was the difference.
“I tell the girls all the time that whenever we see these teams the second, third time around, we’re going to be a better team but so are they. The second time we played (PCD) they didn’t have (Vyannis Moranta), so that was a difference. They shot the ball really well tonight, (we adjusted a little late to it) which probably hurt us in the first quarter. When they shoot the ball that well, it’s tough to defend against,” Reall said.
The Panthers had a bounce back season this winter after missing the playoffs last year when they co-opped with North Providence. Although their journey was cut short, Reall was happy with the progress that the program made as a whole.
“It was challenging coming off a co-op year, so to come back this year and have a home playoff game, it’s a huge accomplishment for the team and a step in the right direction,” said Reall. “I’m really proud of them for getting here. It was not the result that we wanted, but I’m extremely proud of the girls for fighting through the adversity tonight and the whole season.”
The Panthers will be returning a large portion of their roster next season, including Gesualdi, and are looking to return to the postseason.
“We have a good core coming back, we had a few young players get in the game tonight so having that experience is huge in getting them used to those situations,” said Reall. “They’ll be even more prepared moving forward and hopefully we’ll be back next season.”
Johnston finished the season with a 10-5 league record.


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