With its victory over Lowell on Jan. 29, Methuen earned its first playoff berth since the 2009-10 season.
Amanda Petrow, who scored 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in that game, is a huge reason why the Rangers made the playoffs, have an 11-7 record and won three games against MVC Large teams this year.
In their first two seasons in the MVC Large, they had never won a division game.
Petrow has scored 13.7 points per game this winter. She has had some huge performances, including a career-best 30 points to go along with 18 rebounds against Dracut in early January. She also had an eye-popping 25-point, 19-rebound performance in a win against perennial power Lowell on Feb. 12.
Co-captains Petrow and Abby Galloway-Burke, a pair of 5-10 senior forwards, have been a force in the paint.
“Me and Abby always clean up the boards underneath,” Petrow said. “People around the outside are not afraid to shoot because me and Abby are always there to rebound. And we just put it back up. If I miss it, Abby will probably get my rebound because she’s on the other side. And if she misses it, I’ll get it.”
Methuen, which won just six games two years ago and eight games last year, had to post at least two victories in MVC Large games to make the playoffs.
“We’ve worked a lot harder,” Petrow said. “Everyone on the team wants it — not just one person like, ‘Oh, I really want to make it to the tournament.’ We just really wanted to win as much as possible and get better as a team as much as possible.”
One of Petrow’s few off games this year was against North Andover in the quarterfinals of the Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament when she scored just two points. Rangers coach Karen McLaughlin didn’t play Petrow much of the second half because she just didn’t have it that game.