By SARAH VERRASTRO & CALLEIGH COTTER
Masuk girls basketball ended their Senior Night and final home game with a tough loss 55 – 40 against Kolbe-Cathedral School from Bridgeport. Masuk senior captains Lauren Breyan (13), Maia Ventresca (10), and Jenna Smith (23) were honored for their commitment alongside their families prior to the start of the game.
Quick and aggressive, Kolbe grabbed an 18 – 9 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Masuk offense struggled against the defenders, scoring only two field goals in the quarter by freshman Bailey Bajda.
The Panthers settled into the game in the second quarter, outshooting Kolbe 15 – 6. Kolbe only scored twice from the floor due to a balanced defensive effort. Masuk saw baskets from freshman Grace Kearney, Ventresca, Breyan, Bajda, and sophomore Samantha Dube, tying the game by the end 24 – 24.
Kolbe returned to dominance after halftime behind aggressive play, leaving Masuk in the dust with only two scores by Kearney and junior Natalie Lieto. The period ended with the score 34 – 29, once again in favor of Kolbe.
In the fourth quarter, Kearney attempted to redeem the score, putting in two shots, however, Kolbe was too far ahead. Putting in 13 points, they secured their spot. All efforts by Masuk were not enough, as Kolbe held strong, holding back the ball in the last seconds of the game to secure the win.
The top Panther score was 11 points by Bailey Bajda, followed by 9 from Kearney, 6 from Breyan, 5 from Ventresca, 4 from Fagan, 3 from Lieto, and 2 from Dube.
Following the game, family members and friends gathered on the court to congratulate the seniors in a great final season. Confetti poppers were set off to congratulate the seniors on their last home game. The girls finished this season 10 – 9, but have one game left to play. Although SWCs are now out of the question, the senior captains have one more chance to take on the court, Tuesday against Brookfield.