The Florida Tech women’s basketball team struggled on Senior Night, losing 64-50 to Rollins. Senior Tereza Sedlakova led the Panthers with 10 points, while Kailyn Ebb had six points and a team-high nine rebounds.
“That game was won by Rollins on the glass,” said Panthers coach John Reynolds. “They outrebounded us 45-34 and had 17 second-chance points and we had eight.”
“I just think we stopped improving about six weeks ago, and we haven’t found a way to overcome a little adversity here and a little adversity there,” he continued. “Everybody talks about winning, everybody wants to win, but you gotta pursue winning, you gotta prepare to win. I’ve had to say this too many times after a game, we played like we practiced.”
Gracie Doane had seven points and four rebounds, including the first five Points the Panthers scored. Rounding out the seniors, Michaela Gelbaugh did not score in her final home game, going 0-for-2 from the field.
Sophomore guard Fanny Hakanson was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field, including a three-pointer, and 1-for-1 from the free-throw line. She finished with eight points and two rebounds.
The final graduate was Sasha Bush, who came to the team as part of the Team Impact Program. Sasha joined the girls at many of their home and road games, and always brought a smile to the players’ faces when she was on the court or on the sideline with them.
The Panthers (8-19, 4-15 SSC) struggled from the floor again in this game, a continuing theme throughout the season. They were 19-of-52 (36.5 percent), including 5-for-17 behind the arc, (29.4 percent).
Florida Tech’s struggles started early, as Doane’s three with 4:38 remaining in the first quarter were the Panthers first points of the night. They went down 10-3 after Rachel Jablonski hit a three for the Tars. Doane hit a jumper with 2:53 left, to make it a 10-5 game. A three-ball by Amanda Allen with 47 seconds left, to cut the lead to 12-8. A free-throw for Rollins made it 13-8 at the horn.
“We don’t have to start seniors,” Reynolds said. We do that for them,” said Reynolds. “We scripted the first three possessions and they didn’t run one play the way we wanted them to.”
November Morton made it a two-point game when she drilled a three to start the fourth quarter, but Rollins would keep pace. Ebb’s jumper with 6:09 to go in the half, made it a three-point game again, 19-16.
That was as close as the Panthers would get, as Rollins opened up a 12-4 run and led 31-20 before Doane hit two free throws with 45 seconds left, to stop the bleeding. The Panthers went to the locker room down 33-22.
The third quarter was Florida Tech’s best of the night, as they outscored the Tars 19-12. Hakanson’s three with 6:41 to go made it 37-29, and Morton‘s bucket cut it to six. The Tars would get it back up to 10, before the Panthers made a five-point run at the end of the quarter, making it 45-41.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, Rollins started the quarter on a 13-2 run in just under six minutes and stretched their lead to 58-43. Trine Drejer three with 1:27 left in the game accounted for the final Florida Tech points this season on the Clemente Center floor.
For more info: Rollins @ Florida Tech Box Score
“The good thing is I have one more game to coach with this group of kids,” Reynolds said. “Then I can get started on the next group, but I know this… this season has changed my perception of who we need to sign and who we never need to sign. I’ll just leave it at that.”
That final game will take place Saturday, March 2nd at Palm Beach Atlantic. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.