MERIDEN — Platt and Maloney faced off in a crosstown girls’ basketball rivalry game on Monday night and the Panthers spoiled Maloney’s Senior Night with a 61-36 victory.
The win also avenged Platt’s loss to Maloney in the first meeting of the season between the rivals, who are now both off to the postseason — the Panthers at 12-8 and the Spartans at 10-10.
In Monday’s regular-season finale, Platt’s defense was terrific all night. The Panthers seemed to contest every Maloney shot, not allowing the Spartans to get any easy points.
Maloney had a tough time getting in an offensive rhythm. What didn’t help was Platt doing an excellent job on the boards, getting many second-chance looks on the Spartans’ defense.
Madison Chatman was relentless in the first half for Platt. She had a big 12-point second quarter to help the Panthers build a 32-15 lead by halftime.
Melanie Polanco came out and had a big nine-point third quarter for Maloney. The Spartans still only got 12 points in that quarter, and the Panthers kept coming at them.
Platt’s Kiara Lopez dominated down low throughout the third quarter. She had seven points in the frame and seemed to be in on every potential rebound.
Platt led the Spartans 51-27 going into the fourth quarter. With the game out of reach and Platt getting off to a hot start in the fourth quarter, both teams emptied their benches.
Chatman led the way for the Panthers with a game-high 22 points. Lopez finished with 17 and Jayleena Gordils pitched in with 12.
“This is the way we should be playing,” said Platt head coach Tina Gonyea. “Total team effort and we stuck to the game plan. I’m really happy for our kids, especially our seniors. This is the best record we’ve had in a long time.”
For Maloney, Polanco finished with 18 points, running her career total to 1,136. Alexa Papallo hit two treys and finished with six points. Olivia Aitken had five points.
“We didn’t come ready to play,” said Maloney head coach John Vieira. “They played tougher than we did and that’s the bottom line. We played tougher the first night, but Platt was tougher by far tonight.
“We had some emotions involved, but they out-played us in every facet of the game, and practice tomorrow is going to be tough. We played like the Maloney of old and that is unacceptable.”