The 2018 season started with eight intense league games, leaving the Panthers with a 3-5 league record so far.
After a grabbing a 9-3 preseason record, the first league game against Sequoia High School knocked the Panthers out of the loop with a narrow 44-41 loss. They entered a brief losing streak for two more games, playing nail biters against Mills and Hillsdale high schools.
The Jan. 12 quad game against Mills was particularly painful for the team, after shooting guard and senior co-captain Nicole Brunicardi tore her ACL with two minutes left in the game. The injury has ended her season.
After gradually narrowing the points gap against their opponents, the Panthers triumphed over Woodside and Capuchino high schools under the offensive leadership of senior co-captains Michala O'Donoghue and Madison Gaines as well as the efforts of younger standouts like sophomore Katerina Rally and junior Izadora De Oliveira. After the season’s rocky start, the team seems to agree that passion is their biggest asset.
“We really stepped up when we needed to,” said Brunicardi, who now watches each game from the sidelines. “We fought back ten times harder than Mills.”
According to co-captain Amber Moss, the team’s uphill battle will only make them stronger.
“We’re really coming into our own,” Moss said after an early game. “We’re a younger team, but we have the technical skills necessary to make it far this year. All we need to do if keep our mentality positive.”
The team suffered a loss 38-64 to the Aragon Dons on Wednesday, Jan. 31. It was a hard-fought game though and they played tough until the buzzer. Their next game is at home against San Mateo High on Jan. 9th.