By Cyote Williams | Times Vedette

After an incredible regular season and a thrilling playoff run, the No. 2 Panorama Panthers (25-2) lost in the IGHSAU 2A state championship game against the Dike-New Hartford Wolverines on March 2 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Panorama’s two loses on the season were by a combined 3 points.

Dike-New Hartford star and one of the best players in the state overall, Payton Petersen, was the main factor in Panorama’s loss. Petersen finished her final game with 27 points and 14 rebounds.

On the Panther’s side, the team’s key players spread the wealth on offense and defense. Jaidyn Sellers led Panorama in scoring with 20 points and nearly had an unconventional triple-double, adding 9 rebounds and 9 steals. Tyme Boettcher added 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Mia Waddle nearly hit double figures in points with 8, while adding 3 assists.

Panorama endured some hard-fought battles during the post-season run, pulling out close victories in all three games before the state championship game. They defeated Denver (16-8) in the Class 2A region 2 substate final to qualify for state by 4 in overtime, pulled away late after being down double digits early against Grundy Center (21-3) in the quarterfinals of the state tournament, and survived a late rally from (previously) undefeated Westwood (22-1) in the semifinal to advance to the championship game.

While this dominant Panorama team was no Cinderella story, the past few weeks were not for the faint of heart and made for a post-season run that Panther players, coaches and fans won’t forget.

Photos by Betty Cooper