Varsity Lady Panthers end successful basketball season through teamwork, dedication


The girls’ varsity basketball team ended their first season back from virtual learning with a 17-4 record.

The Parkdale girls basketball team has been on the rise for many years, going to regionals almost every year and dominating their basketball season. This year’s girls basketball team was 13-0 at the beginning of their season. 

For their opening season game the girls  played  against College Park Academy. They ended up taking the win with a score of 83-0. 

Senior Melanie Aguilar-Dominguez was one of few veteran players on the team this year. (photo courtesy of Parkdale Athletics Info)

With only five veteran senior players on a team of mainly sophomores and freshmen, the team dynamic did need some work.

“I feel like my team’s biggest challenge was adjusting to each other and to the chemistry,” said senior  Melanie Aguilar-Dominguez. “Although it was difficult we somehow at the end managed to overcome it and become a whole.”  

Being on a team with new people that you have never seen before can be something that any team needs to adapt too. Even when the team lost some players they were still going strong.

“The biggest challenge was definitely when we had a few players that couldn’t play in the middle of the season that really affected us,” said Layla Burton freshman player “but the way we overcame it was we played for them all those wins was for the team but it was mostly for them as well.”

Playing any sport takes a lot of time, focus and dedication.

Aguilar-Dominguez has been playing for Parkdale’s girls team all throughout her high school career. However, her junior year was cut short due to the pandemic. 

“That gap year during my junior year really affected me. I became unmotivated and wasn’t looking forward to anything.” she says. “I feel like I learned a valuable lesson there to not take anything for granted. It also gave me a lot of time to work on my conditioning and shooting as well.” 

As the basketball season went on some of the girls on the team were highlighted as “player of the game,” which is considered a big achievement for them. 

Despite being new to the team, freshman Layla Burton contributed greatly throughout the season.

With winning almost all games and ending their season with a 17-4 overall record. The girls season was definitely one for the books.

“I feel really happy about that, because before the season even started I didn’t think I would get all of these achievements since I’m just a freshman and it’s my first year of high school,” said Layla Burton.  “But now that I know I can I plan to just keep doing the same thing next season, and I feel like my best game of the year was states even though we lost, I feel like I still gave it my all.”

Although this is her first year playing at the high school level and getting used to the pace was difficult at first, she claims she will be coming back next year to dominate once again. 

“I feel like high school is way different than middle school and AAU definitely because of the pace and how fast they move,” Burton explained. “But I did finally get used to the pace.”

With focus and teamwork, the Lady Panthers were able to accomplish an admirable season record, despite so many new players on the team. (photo courtesy of Parkdale Athletics Info)

As for Aguilar-Dominguez, she will be headed to college in the fall and plans to always keep basketball close to her heart. 

“Basketball will continue to be a big part of my life after high school,” he explained. “Although I haven’t committed yet, I plan on playing college basketball.” 

While she has spent her four years here. Aguilar has made many memories but her biggest achievement will be playing with a team that won regional championship banners. 

Towards the end of the season the girls formed strong bonds and potentially life long friendships. They plan to come next season stronger and ready for the win.