Setback to section leader puts Franklin Regional girls in must-win situation
Friday’s 57-29 loss to Section 2-AAAA leader Penn Hills put the Franklin Regional varsity girls basketball team on the cusp of WPIAL playoff elimination.
The Panthers fell to 3-7 in section with the setback to the Indians.
Franklin Regional was to host Gateway on Tuesday in a matchup that was to be completed past the deadline for this week’s edition.
The Gators entered the week 6-4 in section and in fourth place in the standings.
The top four from the section advance to WPIALs.
The Panthers conclude their section slate at McKeesport on Friday, at home against Woodland Hills on Feb. 2 and at Plum on Feb. 5.
Franklin Regional played close with Penn Hills in the first half Friday as it bounced back from a 13-5 deficit at the end of the first quarter and pulled to within two, 19-17, at halftime.
Sam Hlozek had four of her team-best eight points in the second, while Kassidy Hubert, Jordan Yaniga and Kassidy Hubert each tallied three in the quarter.
But Penn Hills clamped down on the Panthers in the third quarter.
Franklin Regional scored just four points in the frame, and the Indians tallied 16.
Penn Hills continued to pull away in the fourth en route to the 28-point victory.
Things turned out better for Franklin Regional at Armstrong on Jan. 19.
Natalie Palmer scored nine of her team-best 11 points in the fourth. Six of those points came on a pair of 3-pointers.
The Panthers hit six total shots from beyond the arc.
Kassidy Hubert scored 10 points, all in the second half. Paige Verona added eight points, while Hannah Turacy drilled two 3-pointers for six total points.
Franklin Regional will step away from section action Thursday at Butler.
Last year, the Panthers scored a 62-47 victory at home against Butler in the season finale. Coupled with a triumph over Laurel Highlands, the mini two-game win streak was a positive end to a tough 2014-15 campaign.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review sports reporter. You can contact Michael at 412-856-7400 x8632, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .