Fifth-grade team caps 25-6 season
The Washington Panthers fifth-grade girls travel basketball team defended their Lincoln Trojan basketball tournament championship Saturday and Sunday at Lincoln High School.
The girls won their four-team pool with a hard-fought win over Plainfield-based Illinois Lady Raptors and decisive victories over the Clinton Blaze and Bloomington Shockers.
Those decisions took the girls to the championship game for the second straight season where they faced a talented and powerful St. Louis Cougars team, which the 25-2 Morton Potters in
In the championship game, the Panthers were outsized significantly by the St. Louis team, but fought hard and used their speed to prevail with a 19-12 victory.
The Panthers received scoring from seven of their eight available players in the game, exemplifying their balanced attack.
Washington trailed 9-8 at halftime, but revved up its man-to-man defense in the second half, holding the Cougars scoreless in the third quarter and to just three points in the second half.
The tournament championship culminated another successful season for the group of girls, who finished with a 25-6 record.
Playing true team basketball and hard-nosed man-to-man defense, the girls played in five tournaments, bringing home hardware every time.
The Panthers’ accomplishments also included a title at Lincoln and Illini Bluffs, a second in the season-opening El Paso tournament, a third at Galesburg and the consolation championship at East Peoria.