Portlethen Panthers U16 girls were among basketball players from all over the north- east who headed to Aberdeen recently, to play in the U17 Regional Development League.
There were some great individual skills and teamwork on display at the Beach Leisure Centre, but most rewarding of all was the confirmation that girls’ basketball is gaining in popularity.
Panthers Basketball Club is leading the way, with numbers increasing both at club and school sessions.
There are now approximately 80 girls and women from five years to 55 years of age attending Panthers sessions every week.
The Panthers U16 girls have been invited to play in the last round of the BasketballScotland organised Nat-ional Development League, which will take place in Perth this Saturday.
The girls and coach Jamie Leese are delighted to have been given this opportunity and have been working hard over the past two weeks to ensure that they give a great account of themselves.
If you are interested in playing basketball, male or female, please get in touch via the website www.panthers-basketball.com
On the senior men front, the Panthers lost 86-77 in the Chairman’s Cup semi- final to Banchory Stags, who came out with all guns blazing and got off to a great start with their 3-2 zone defensive press. The offence rained in threes, and the Stags led 26-17 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Stags were dominant, but the Panthers hung in there and just as seemed as if the Stags would have an 11-point lead, the Panthers hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer and clawed their way back into the game, only eight points down at 41-33 at half-time.
In the third quarter the Panthers went on a 19-0 run, taking the Stags 3-2 zone defence apart, and led 60-52 at the end of the third quarter.
As the fourth quarter progressed both teams traded baskets but the Stags began to look the more likely as the Panthers began to tire.
Despite this, the Panthers looked like they were going to hold on to win, when with only seconds to go the Stags were awarded two free throws – both had to be made to take the game into overtime.
Damian Kus made both shots and an overtime five minutes were required to separate the teams.
The Stags came straight out of the blocks and nullified the Panthers offence; at the other end the forwards scored regularly and the Stags won the overtime period by 12-3.
The Panthers take on East Warriors in the first leg of the Division 1 play-off quarter- final at the Beach Leisure Centre on Sunday (6pm), with the return leg taking place the following Sunday at the same venue.
Stonehaven Jaguars lost their Division 2 play-off match against Aberdeen Masters 76-51 while Pumas overturned a 26-point first-leg deficit in the quarter-final against Alford Bears to win 69-33 and progress on aggregate.
Pumas take on Banchory Bucks in the semi-finals later this month.
Panthers women lost 51-30 to Aberdeen in their league match recently.