GRANVILLE — James Barnett said it all started five years ago for the Lady Panthers basketball program when he took over as coach at Putnam Junior High School and met his future high school players for the first time.
“We had a camp five years ago, and I walked into the gym the first time with them, and that’s where it all started and it progressed from there. What they’ve done the last two years is tremendous,” said Barnett, who took over as the PCHS varsity coach in 2012-13.
“They’ve gotten the younger levels excited now, numbers have started to come up and we have girls in the junior high talking about basketball now, which is something that hasn’t happened at PC before, so it’s a very exciting future we have here.”
The PC five seniors — Carly Gonet, Daniela Pavlovich, Taylor Pettit, Venessa Voss and Stephanie Wilson — are responsible for putting PC girls basketball back on the map.
Before they entered the halls of PCHS, the Lady Panthers had endured a 1-25 season. The senior class will walk out with a 46-11 combined record over the past two years with two regional championships and a sectional title game appearance. They ended a 29-year regional drought.
It all ended where it started with 80-50 loss to No. 1 ranked Annawan in Thursday’s sectional finals at R.M. Germano Gymnasium.