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Midland Park

Lady Panthers Win Quarterfinals, But Boonton Player Steals The Show

03/06/2014 01:06PM ● By Rebecca K. Abma

Boonton's Gabby Gilio scored against the Lady Panthers in the quarterfinals.

When the crowd roared as Boonton's Gabby Gilio scored in the final minutes of NJSIAA North 1, Group 1 Quarterfinals last night, you would have thought she just won the game. But that was not the case: Midland Park won 59-34, with Rebecca Rabeiro and Nicole Cartaino scoring 26 and 17 points, respectively, but the fifth-year senior with Down Syndrome, stole the spotlight.

When Bomber Coach Jim Drury put Gilio in the game during its final minutes and she scored, the crowd in Midland Park High School went wild.

"There was an explosion in the gym," Drury said. "You would have thought it was the game-winning shot."

The highlight of the game for many was when Gilio "stole" the ball from Rabeiro. "Rebecca literally gave Gabby the ball to go down and take her shot to score," Drury said. "I wanted to run down the court and hug her!"

The night marked Gilio's last official organized game as a Bomber. After three-years on the junior-varsity squad, her promotion to varsity took some finagling with the state for approval due to her age. This is 11th game she's played in this season.

"Everybody gets caught up in the winning and losing of games and sometimes a lot of people lose reality," Drury told Midland Park Press. "I try to remember that there's a lot more involved than just that."

The Lady Panthers continue their trek Friday night at 7pm at home as they host #4 seed Belvidere from Warren County. Please come out and support the Lady Panthers as the continue their run through the States.  Please wear Green or White to the game!

Did you witness the game? Tell us in the comments!
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