Girls basketball team develops winning formula

After years of tough times, the hard-working Panthers have dominated teams at home and are seeking a playoff berth.
Posted on 01/17/2023
Carolyn Sipprell is the team's leading scorer and rebounder.

By Gary Weckselblatt

The Quakertown Community High School girls basketball team has not been welcoming hosts this season. Visitors entering the Panthers den during this 2022-23 campaign more often than not have come out on the short side of the scoreboard.

Quakertown’s 8-6 record, the first winning mark for senior captains Carolyn Sipprell, Katie Catalano, and Kayla Sicher, includes a five-game home victory streak over Wissahickon, 54-44; Hatboro-Horsham, 46-24; Lower Moreland, 42-32; Pope John Paul II, 42-31; and William Tennent, 46-41.

“We’re drastically improved,” Coach Brittany Bamford said. “We have a large senior group of kids who have made the commitment to basketball and to Quakertown. I’m very proud of them. They have worked hard.”

“Everyone takes us seriously now,” point guard Katie Catalano said.

This year’s seniors have had a rough go of it since their freshman year, going 5-17, 4-14 and 8-14 a year ago to begin the turnaround. Now, led by Carolyn’s 18 points and 12 rebounds per game and Katie’s play-making, 11.5 ppg and 38 percent 3-point shooting, the Panthers may be on their way to a Suburban One League playoff berth.

“I hope we can make the playoffs,” Carolyn said. “That’s would be a great thing for the senior class.”

Katie agreed. “Winning definitely feels better, and getting to the playoffs is what we’re after.”

The team’s center and point guard have been playing together since seventh grade, and the impact they have on game’s can’t be overestimated. Coach Bamford said “The game goes as Carolyn goes,” and Katie said “I can always get her the ball.”

The team’s success has not gone unnoticed. More fans are attending games, and players say a positive vibe in class and hallways is a by-product of the winning record.

“There are more people here for games and that makes me want to play better,” Carolyn said. “Teachers are reaching out, saying ‘great game.’ Players on the boys team have been wishing us good luck. It’s been real positive.”

Said Coach Bamford, “They’re starting to receive recognition. Proud to wear the jersey and let people know they play girls basketball for Quakertown.”

The coach refuses to take any credit for the team’s turnaround, tossing accolades to her players. But in 10 years leading the Panthers, the competition has taken notice of her

“She’s one of those coaches you want to see succeed,” said Matt Carroll, head coach of the Upper Moreland girls basketball team. “She works so hard and is always upbeat, even during the hard times. You can’t tell with Brittany if they’re undefeated or having a tough year. Her teams reflect her personality. They always work hard and are relentless until the final buzzer sounds. That hard work, mixed with the talent they have this year, it’s no shock that they are having as good of a year as they are having and that’s all due to Brittany. She’s a great coach but an even better person.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].

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