Any team scouting Eastbrook’s Lady Panthers realizes that priority number one is stopping Abbie Gressley and Courtney Haynes on the offensive end. However, the Taylor Titans underestimated the sharp-shooting of junior Hannah Smith who nailed three consecutive jumpers from the right corner to lead the Lady Panthers to a 11-3 first quarter lead and helping Eastbrook to a Sectional Championship Saturday night on their home court.
The Lady Panthers defeated Taylor 49-36, capturing their 6th Sectional championship and first since 2008. Gressley led the Panthers with 17 points and Smith followed with 14. Eastbrook maintained a six to eight point lead throughout most of the game, however, midway through the fourth quarter momentum started to change and the Titans fought back cutting the lead to two. At that point senior Mariah Drake entered the game. Drake’s perimeter defense pressuring the ball and defending the three point shot re-energized the Lady Panthers who responded by finishing the game on a 16-5 run to secure the victory.
Eastbrook has won 7 games in a row and 14 of their last 15. On Saturday they travel to Eastern High School to take on #2 ranked Rochester in the Regional Semi-Finals.