Posted: 5:36 pm Friday, January 29th, 2010
By Post Staff
First off, a big shout out to the crowd at Thursday night’s girls basketball game between Palm Beach Gardens and Dwyer. It’s a rivalry game and the crowd, that about filled one side of the gym at Gardens, was split and that was one of the loudest games I’ve been to in a long time (Nothing will ever top Trinity at Lake Worth Christian in last year’s region finals). It’s an atmosphere not seen at girls basketball games often enough, especially in this area where there is so much talent.
Gardens and Dwyer sure gave those fans a treat as the Gators beat the Panthers 79-68 in what was probably the highest-scoring girls game I’ve ever seen, and both teams saw something positive to take away from that thriller.
Palm Beach Gardens obviously felt good about winning. It was even better considering the Gators’ performance on Saturday. They beat Boca Raton but unraveled toward the end, letting the Bobcats back in the game late. It was about as frustrating a win as a team can have and coach Charlie Reppel said after the game that the Gators needed to work on “everything.”
Cut to a few days later and the Gators played much more inspired on their senior night and final regular season game against a high-flying, deep Dwyer team.
“We had a really hard couple practices and the girls got focused again and (Thursday night) was the result,” Reppel said. “Dwyer’s a great team and they’ll go far in regionals. I give my girls a lot of credit. They just didn’t quit all. Our bench came in a did a great job.”
The Panthers posed a tricky match up for the Gators, as they do with everyone else. Dwyer has a lot of height, athleticism, and depth but Palm Beach Gardens did a good job keeping up.
“We matched them tonight,” Reppel said. “Everyone doesn’t think we have the talent to match up against a high-tempo team but we really do and we’re confident when we play them. We just have to make our shots and finish because that’s part of our game.”
Dwyer, on the losing end, wasn’t too concerned about the loss. A win would have been the Panthers’ 10th straight but breaking that streak might have proved to be a good shot in the arm before districts. Overall, the Panthers had an off-night shooting but Akins said they were out-hustled by the Gators.
“After winning all those games in a row, we were a little laid back but this could help,” Dwyer coach Jeryl Akins said. “We’ll turn this into a positive.”