Squad finish season strong on senior night leading into first playoff game

Samir Patakar
sports editor

The Patriots have finished this regular season at 10-10, improving greatly from last year’s record of 1-19.

After a close loss to Seneca Valley, the girls bounced back beating Damascus 55-47 on their home floor on Feb. 11. Freshman Kaitin Mariani stole the show scoring 17 points with three steals and assists. Senior Sivan Bennaim was unstoppable in the paint recording a whopping 18 boards with 10 on the offensive side. There was great ball movement and everyone showed lots of hustle, as the girls hoped to continue this great play against Northwood.

Bennaim thinks that leading into Northwood and eventually the playoffs, that the way the team keeps growing each game is essential to their success. “Each game we get better at working together as our team chemistry and energy keep going up. We want to keep winning and hopefully this strong performance will carry us through Northwood,” Bennaim said.

The strong performance against Damascus carried over as the Patriots dominated Northwood 72-49 on Feb. 14 at home. Junior Iman Idrissa and Mariani both had 17 points each, as Mariani facilitated the floor once again, leading with seven assists.

Freshman Amaris Palanga led the team with nine rebounds. The Patriots were all over the floor hustling, grabbing a total of 44 rebounds but played a little more sloppy, as the girls ended with 18 turnovers, much more than their average.

Even with their momentum, the Patriots lost their next game at Gaithersburg on Feb. 18, 38-45. Idrissa shined, scoring almost half of the girls’ points with 15. Mariani was relatively shut down with only nine points and two assists. The girls played hard on defense recording five steals and three blocks.

This was a hard loss heading into senior night, the last game of the regular season. Senior Miranda Wright said she was excited to end the regular season off strong, especially on senior night. “I hope we can win on our senior night after these strong performances in our recent games. I know it would mean a lot to the seniors and help us in our playoff seeding,” Wright said.

Senior night was on Feb. 21 against Quince Orchard, which ended in a close defeat 61-54. The starting lineup consisted of three seniors, Anna Baldwin, Wright, and Bennaim. These three seniors had a ceremony before the game where they were presented flowers and took pictures with their family. “We had a lot of support and taking pictures with my family out on the floor was a great experience,” Bennaim said.

Sophomore Caitlyn Kwan led the Patriots with 17 points while Mariani led with seven assists. The girls were all over the floor again, finishing with 42 rebounds.
The girls had their first playoff game on Feb. 28 against Walter Johnson at home, which was too late to be included in this issue.

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