The Polytech Panthers and Dover Senators girls basketball squads will faceoff this Friday night in an important early season divisional matchup.

While it’s still early in the season, divisional match ups can be extremely important especially to teams like Polytech and Dover whose tournament hopes will depend upon how they do within the Henlopen North.

The Panthers will enter the game on Friday night well rested, having last been in action at the Pat Borowski Tournament to end the month of December. Currently at 3-3 on the season, the Panthers have been riding the seesaw so far this year. At times, like in double-digit wins over Glasgow and Laurel, the Panthers have looked like a much improved team. Though, they’ve also looked over matched especially in losses against Sussex Central and Caravel.

So far, Polytech has leaned heavily on seniors Sarah Hillman and Lonnica Jenkins on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court. Aside from fellow seniors Victoria Hanhauser and Vanessa Hatton, the Panthers must find more offensive output from their underclassmen.

Kyra Black, Cherise Castello, Tamia Mathias and Kelly Winters have supplied some support this season and might just be a factor Friday against Dover.

For the Senators, the only way the season could be off to a worse start is if they still had a zero in the win column. Aside from a three-point win over Sussex Tech, the Senators have dropped their other five contests  by a combined score of 291-131 in losses to Ursuline, Caesar Rodney, Seaford, and Sussex Central twice.

While Louella Cooper, Iyana Casey, and Reeva Jackson have done their best to keep Dover in games, the team’s overall offensive outputs are not their only troubles. Defense is an area where the Senators must improve if they hope to turn things around. Especially against a Polytech team that has strong personal in both the front and back courts.

While it’s been a tough go for the Senators, they have nowhere to go but up. If they have any hopes of qualifying for the playoffs, they’ll have to kick things into to gear starting Friday night.

As for the Panthers, they have an opportunity to go above .500 and even up their divisional record with a win over Dover Friday night.