The Newberry Panthers girls basketball team looks to be a competitor in regionals after an impressive 21-5 regular season. They’ll begin their regionals run against Hillard High School Thursday in the 1A region semifinals at 7 p.m. Hillard finished with a regular season record of 19-8.
The Panthers look to bounce back and make noise in it’s journey through regionals after coming up short in the Class 1A District 6 Title game. Newberry’s playoff run started Feb. 1 after dominating Bell High School 73-19, but the team was defeated by the Hawthorne Hornets 64-48 on Feb. 3.
Panthers’ Key Factors
Freshman Brandy Whitfield has played a major role for the team. Offensively, she averages 15.7 points per game and on the defensive side, she’s recorded 3.8 steals per game. Additionally, other notable players include senior Deasia Bryant and sophomore Sara Beaulieu. Bryant is averaging 10.7 points per game to go along with 7.2 rebounds per game. Beaulieu leads the team in assists per game, averaging 3.2.
The Panthers had their best season since 2012. According to head coach Dameon Hughes, until halfway through the season, he didn’t realize the talent the team possessed. With a combination of returning and new players, this team has found its missing piece of the puzzle.
The Panthers didn’t face Hillard High School in the regular season and they’re gearing up for this matchup by focusing on themselves and what they’re good at. Hughes said he doesn’t focus on his opponent as much when preparing for games, even though the method may seem untraditional.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Newberry High School.