The Blue Panthers cruise past Voorheesville in the Class C state semifinals and will take on Harpursville in the finals today.

The Gananda Lady Blue Panthers basketball team continued to make school history as they advanced to the NYSPHSAA, Class C finals with a 66-52 win over Section 2 Voorheesville Saturday afternoon at Hudson Valley Community College.


The Panthers (24-0) never trailed as they opened up a 17-2 lead over the Blackbirds(16-7) in the first quarter paced by Shannon McGinnis who knocked in 15 of her game high 33 points in the first period, along with teammate Melissa Reeves who chipped in  seven of her 19 points in the quarter. Voorheesville finally scored their second bucket of the game with 2:11 left in the first frame, but only scored two points before the period ended. the Panthers led at the end of the first 24-6.


In the second quarter the Panthers defense broke down a bit allowing the Blackbirds to score 13 points, and with 6:04 left to play in the first half Voorheesville came as close as 27-14. But with 3:30 left to play in the first half  the Panthers went on a 10-5 scoring run  and took a 37-19 into the locker room at the half.


As the third quarter opened the Blackbirds  went on a scoring run of their own as they out scored the Panthers 10-3 in the first three minutes as they flew back within 11 points, trailing 40-29.


“I think we started with a lot of  adrenalin and we knew that  we had to pull away in the beginning and take the lead.” said Gananda senior Julia Pagano. “But I think once we had our lead we kind of laid back a little and didn’t play with as much pressure.”


The Blackbirds continued to force some turnovers in the third period, and with 1:25 left in the third period Brittanie Denman hit her second 3-pointer of the period from the top of the key, cutting the Panthers’ lead to 51-38.


Voorheesville then ran off five unanswered points and cut the Panther’s lead to seven 51-44. With 2.6 seconds left in the third quarter Reeves took a great pass under the  bucket from Julia Pagano and  banked the ball in off the right side of the glass and was fouled but failed to make the three point play. The Panthers led at the end of the period 53-44.


In the fourth period Pagano and McGinnis collected  some key steals inside the last two minutes , producing  insurance points as the Panthers took a 63-49 lead with 53.2 left to play.


Gananda was led on the afternoon by Shannon McGinnis with 33 points (2-3-pointers), 19 rebounds and nine steals, along with Melissa Reeves who added 19 points and 13 rebounds. Voorheesville  was paced by Sarah Madden and Brittanie Denman each had three, 3-pointers and totaled 17 and 14 points respectively.


“I think we have some unfinished business to take care of Sunday.” Said Gananda senior Audrey Allen. “ I think we didn’t play up to our potential in the sectional final game  last year against Marion, and this is what we have been playing for all year.”


The Panthers move on to play Section 4, Harpursville (Section 4) at 2:15 p.m. Sunday for NYSPHSAA Class C title.