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Men’s basketball, wrestling postseasons set; archery opening 


Playoff basketball is making a comeback, wrestlers are set for NCAA Division III regional actionthe archery team is ready for its season opener and baseball is underwayTimes are busy for Pennsylvania College of Technology athletes. 

Men’s basketball
With a 92-60 win over Gallaudet University on Tuesday, the Wildcats nailed down what will be their first-ever playoff appearance as a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference and their first postseason contest since 2010-11 when they finished second in the Penn State University Athletic Conference. The victory also gave them their first seven-win season since 2016-17. 

Against Gallaudet, Penn College bolted to a 43-29 halftime lead and continued to pull away in the second half.  Ben Sosa, of Loyalsock Township, led five Wildcats scoring in double digits with 25 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds. Elijah Vazquez, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, chipped in with 21 points; Ryan Lockman, of White Salmon, Washington, scored 15; Fred Young, of Waterbury, Connecticut, had 11 points; and Carson Garvis, of Taneytown, Maryland, added 10 points. Penn College connected on 52% of its shots from the floor, including 44% from the 3-point line, while limiting Gallaudet to 29% shooting. 

Penn College wrapped up its regular season with games Friday, a 95-88 loss at Keuka College, and Saturday, an 84-80 loss at Wells College after leading by 12 in the second half, to end 7-18 overall and 5-11 in all conference games. Wildcat leaders against Keuka were Vazquez with 18 points and Sosa with 18 rebounds. Sosa had 23 points and Vazquez 22 points against Wells. 

Penn College, which finished third in the NEAC South Division with a 5-5 record, will travel to second-seeded Lancaster Bible College (12-13 overall, 7-3 South) for a 7 p.m. game Tuesday while, in the North Division, No. 3 Morrisville State College (15-10 overall, 8-2 North) will host Cazenovia College (10-15 overall, 5-5 North), also Tuesday.  

Penn State Harrisburg, the South’s top seed (18-7 overall, 9-1 South), and SUNY Poly, the North’s top seed (16-9 overall, 8-2 North), received first-round byes with Harrisburg, the No. 1 overall seed, hosting the Final Four Friday and Saturday. Poly will play the Penn College/Lancaster Bible winner at 6 p.m. Friday and Harrisburg will face the Morrisville State/Cazenovia winner at 8 p.m. Friday. The championship game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday. 

During the regular season, Lancaster Bible beat Penn College twice, by scores of 85-63 in Lancaster on Jan. 29 and 71-52 in Williamsport on Feb. 12. 

“I am very proud of this team for their effort, sacrifice and commitment to the program this season,” second-year coach Geoff Hensley said. “We have a special group of young men who have spent countless hours in the classroom and the gym to elevate this basketball program. 

“We took some earlyseason bumps in the road, which was expected with a brand-new team, but they stayed the course and stuck together to become very good basketball team. We, as a team, knew we had something special, and we really saw it take place as the team came together in early January to start the second half of the season where we really hit our stride in conference play. Even though we had some tough conference losses, we were battling with the best teams in the conference but just came up a basket or two short in the final minutes.” 

Commenting on keys to reaching the postseason, Hensley continued,  “Advancing to the playoffs this year is a huge milestone for our program. Our seniors have been through a lot during their time here and it’s great to see their commitment to the program pay off.  

“Sosa has been a dominant player and leader for our team this year. He really has stepped up on and off the court, which has led to a lot of our team success. Vazquez, Garvis and Lockman have made significant impacts on this program and their legacies will carry on for years after they graduate. Trey McCullough, of Stuart, Florida, and Frank Tuason, of Tuckahoe, New York, may not have shown up in the box score as much as the others, but their contributions in daily practices and game energy is just as important as the rest. 

“The support from the Penn College administration, faculty and staff, students and community has been phenomenal this year. We appreciate everything and anything our Wildcat fans and families have done to help our team.” 

Looking ahead to Tuesday, the coach added, “This has been a great season and we have every intention to keep playing as long as possible. Lancaster Bible College is a very good team that has had a tremendous amount of program success for a very long time. They will be a tough test, but we are excited for the opportunity to continue our season and we are more than ready for this opportunity.” 

Final NEAC South standings (through Sunday): Penn State Harrisburg 14-2, Lancaster Bible College 10-6, Penn College 5-11, Gallaudet University 5-11, Penn State Abington 7-9, Penn State Berks 2-14. 

Final NEAC North standings (through Sunday): SUNY Poly 13-3, Morrisville State College 12-4, SUNY Cobleskill 10-6, Cazenovia College 8-8, Keuka College 6-10, Wells College 4-12. 

Statistically speaking in the NEAC Top 20 (through Sunday):  

  • Lockman is No. 1, hitting 68.1% of his field goal attempts.  
  • Sosa is sixth in scoring with 424 points; seventh, averaging 17 points per game; eighth, with 7.7 rebounds per game; and 10th, hitting 50.5% of his field goal attempts. 
  • Vazquez is sixth in 3-point shooting percentage at 40.9; tied for 12th in scoring with 352 points; tied for 13th, averaging 14.1 points per game; and tied for 16th, averaging 2.6 assists per game
  • Garvis is ninth, with seven rebounds per game; tied for 15th, hitting 37.4% of his 3-point shots; 16th, hitting 48.5% of his field goal attempts; 18th in scoring with 294 points; and tied for 19th, averaging 11.8 points per game.  

Wrestling
In its final tuneup before this Saturday and Sunday’s NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championships at Ithaca College, Penn College competed Sunday at the Northeast/Mideast Futures Tournament at Muhlenberg College with Jason Penton, of Littlestown, Maryland, at 165 pounds and Jalen Edwards, of Horsham, at 197 both finishing 2-2. 

This is a difficult year to assess. Our win-loss totals (6-20) will paint the picture of a step backward. However, if you look a little closer at the competitiveness of our matches – even matches like Brockport, which is No. 23 in the country (in Division III)you’ll see a lot of close individual matches, and a lot of close team scores against teams that were beating us handily in years past,” third-year coach Jamie Miller saidWe’ve wrestled through more injuries this year than in the past two years, which is a huge testament to some of our freshmen who stepped in and delivered in some really big situations. 

Similarly, from an individual basis, you won’t see a lot of records that stand out. Jared Mooney, of Palmerton, has had one of his best seasons yet. Dylan Gettys, of Etters, has wrestled some really tough kids all year, which isn’t reflected in his record. Ryan Bauer, of Denton, Maryland, has also wrestled a really tough schedule and continues to be a tough match weekin and weekout. I don’t think that the record of Luke O’Connor, of Wyalusing, reflects how well he’s wrestled this season. We have a lot of young guys that will see a lot of success the longer they stick with the program. 

Expected to wrestle at regionals in their respective weight classes are: 

133 – Bauer 
141 – O’Connor 
149 – Jesse Walker, of Ridgefield, Connecticut
157 – Erik Schreck, of Northampton
165 – Gettys 
174 – Dan Bergeron, of Jackson, New Jersey 
184 – Mooney
197 – Edwards 

285 – Brendan McGinley, of Glenmoore, or Ty Stahli, of Mt. Jewett

Looking ahead to regionals, Miller said, “Seeding and matchups play more of a role at this tournament than any other throughout the year. We are going to need a little luck this year to get someone through, so other than the traditional ‘We have to be tougher for one day than they are,’ we need to find ourselves on the right side of some brackets. 

This year, Penn College was moved from the Southeast to the Mideast Region and Miller said it will make a difference for his wrestlers. 

Without doing an in-depth review, I would venture to say there are more ranked guys in the Mideast than the Southeast. (At) 165, for example, four kids in our region (are) ranked in the top 10 nationally, wrestling in a bracket where only the top three make it to nationals,” the coach said, adding, “According to Intermat.com, there are four teams in the Mideast ranked in the top 25 in the country (The College of New Jersey, at six; Ithaca, 16; RIT, 20; and Brockport 23), as well as Muhlenberg, which is probably just outside that. I believe the Southeast has two ranked teams – Stevens Tech, eight, and Messiah, 17. 

Top three in each weight class go to nationals. I don’t want to jinx anyone – of course, some guys have a better shot than others based on past performance and the depth of talent in each individual weight class, but a lot of factors come into play at this tournament – particularly who can overcome injuries and separating who wants to keep wrestling and who wants the season to be over.  

Sometimes the difference in this tournament is purely skill, but sometimes it just comes down to who wants to win more and we hope to win all those matches. 

Archery
In 1997, Chad Karstetter and Brian Parker were among the first Penn College archers to earn All-American status, under then-coach Danny Chappell. And from 2001 through last season, they were the team’s only coaches as 41 other Wildcat archers have earned that coveted status a total of 86 times. 

But this year sees a change at the helm as Dustin Bartron, who served as an assistant under Karstetter the past three years, becomes the program’s interim head coach following the retirement of Karstetter, who held the position from 2001-11 and 2014-19. Parker served as the coach during 2012 and 2013 when Karstetter stepped away for two seasons. 

The Wildcats are scheduled to open Feb. 28 at the USA Archery Indoor Nationals at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Other events on their schedule include the Adam Wheatcroft Memorial on April 25-26, also in Harrisonburg, and the USA Archery Outdoor Nationals in Chula Vista, California, May 14-17. 

Under the influence of his father, Bartron said he was raised in an archery family. Before joining the Penn College program, he coached in USA Archery and S3DA youth archery programs. 

What he brings to the program, he said, are “technical knowledge, experience, passion, drive and personality.” 

Bartron’s philosophy is to “develop the archers using the style they already have – do not try to change, try to adapt their style,” he said. 

The new coach inherits a program that has had great success on the national level over the years, including numerous individual and team-event national champions, and season-ending squads that have been ranked in the top four nationally nine times. 

Although last year’s team failed to produce any All-Americans for the first time since 1997, Bartron said, “The team had several (previous) All-Americans on it but they did not compete in the national championship due to conflicting dates with commencement. Last years team was much stronger than the end-of-the-season statistics showed due to many of the seniors not shooting in the outdoor competitions. I plan on building from the strengths we have had in the past and also have added some great talent for this season.” 

The 2020 squad is built around seniors Sapphire Naugle, of Jersey Shore, and David Fox, of Coburn; and sophomores Ryan McCrickerd, of Bethlehem; Sidney Alpaugh, of Pennsdale; Trevor Quarry, of Lebanon; and Jessica Duke, of Allentown. Naugle will compete in the women’s compound event, Fox in men’s compound, McCrickerd and Alpaugh in men’s bowhunter, Quarry in men’s recurve and Duke in women’s bowhunter. 

Along with these returners, some of the first-year (archers) come in with loads of talent and experience that I expect will show much leadership at this first competition of the year,” the coach said. 

“(Our) male teams will be strong – mixed compound and bowhunter will be strong – (and we) expect to have multiple All-Americans and expect a few podiums at the outdoor collegiate championship,” Bartron said. 

“We have a good mix this year (veterans and newcomers). (Our) work ethic is better than any team we have had in the past overall.We have some great talent (and) desire to succeed,” he said. 

Presently, Bartron said, “we have a few in slumps. We will have the bugs worked out by indoor nationals at the end of February.” 

The key to success, the coach continued, will be “hard work and dedication.” 

Women’s basketball
Tuesday at Gallaudet University, Penn College posted an 85-80 win as they battled back from an eight point thirdquarter deficit, taking the lead for good on a 3-point shot by Madison Klock, of Elysburg, with 1:56 to play and holding on down the stretch. Klock led five Wildcats scoring in double figures with 20 points while Lydia Albert, of Trout Run, scored 16; Cassi Kuhns, of Loyalsock Township, had 15; Keyona Shoff, of Shamokin, had 11; and Tori Wolfe, of Dalmatia, had 10. Ja’Quela Dyer, of Dover, Delaware, led the team with 12 rebounds. Penn College shot 55% from the floor, including 78% (7 of 9) from the 3-point line. 

Ending their first season under coach Britni Mohney with back-to-back games Friday and Saturday, the Wildcats lost 62-52 Friday at Keuka College and won 71-43 Saturday to complete a 7-17 overall record, 4-12 in the NEAC. Both the overall and NEAC win marks were season-bests since 2014-15. 

Friday against Keuka College, Dyer led the way with 19 points and 13 reboundsUnlike in their Tuesday win, the Wildcats shot 37% from the floor and only 8% (1 of 13) from 3-point range. Keuka led in points off turnovers 29-2. Saturday against Wells College, Albert topped the offense with 17 points and Kuhns added 15 points while Dyer had 10 rebounds. 

Final NEAC South standings (through Sunday): Lancaster Bible College 10-6, Penn State Berks 11-5, Penn State Harrisburg 10-6, Gallaudet University 7-9, Penn State Abington 7-9, Penn College 4-12. 

Final NEAC North standings (through Sunday): SUNY Poly 16-0, Morrisville State College 13-3, SUNY Cobleskill 7-9, Keuka College 6-10, Cazenovia College 5-11, Wells College 0-16. 

Statistically speaking in the NEAC Top 20 (through Sunday):  

  • Dyer tied for No. 2, averaging 9.2 rebounds per game; No. 3 with 212 rebounds; tied for No. 5, with 1.2 blocks per game; and No. 16, hitting 41.3% of her field goal shots. 
  • Kuhns is tied for No. 4, averaging eight rebounds per game; tied for No. 7 with 193 rebounds; No. 9 with 0.8 blocks per game; No. 11, hitting 42.1% of her field goal shots; No. 19 in scoring with 293 points; and No. 20, averaging 12.2 points per game. 
  • Klock is seventh, averaging 3.7 assists per game, and tied for 10th, averaging two steals per game. 
  • Lydia Albert, of Trout Run, is eighth, hitting 36.3% of her 3-point shots. 
  • Wolfe is No. 8 with one block per game; No. 13 with 168 rebounds; and No. 16, averaging 7 rebounds per game.
  • Keyona Shoff, of Shamokin, is tied for No. 19, averaging 2.6 assists per game. 

Baseball
In its earliest season start ever, Penn College dropped both ends of a nonconference doubleheader Saturday at Stockton University, by scores of 5-2 and 9-4. Stockton limited the Wildcats to three singles and used a four-run fifth inning to pull away in the first game. Colton Riley, of Danville, plated both Penn College runs. In the second game, four Wildcats had two hits each and Sam Zeigler, of Palmyra, homered and drove in two runs, but Penn College stranded 10 base runners while falling to 0-2 overall.  

SCHEDULE/RECORDS/RESULTS 
Men’s basketball 
Overall: 7-18 
NEAC: 511 
Tuesday, Feb. 18 – at Gallaudet University (NEAC), W, 92-60 
Friday, Feb. 21 – at Keuka College (NEAC), L, 95-88 
Saturday, Feb. 22 – at Wells College (NEAC), L, 84-80 
Tuesday, Feb. 25 – at Lancaster Bible College (NEAC first-round playoff), 7 p.m. 

Women’s basketball 
Final overall 7-17 
Final NEAC: 4-12 
Tuesday, Feb. 18 – at Gallaudet University (NEAC), W, 85-80 
Friday, Feb. 21 – at Keuka College (NEAC), L, 62-52 
Saturday, Feb. 22 – at Wells College (NEAC), W, 71-43 
End of season

Wrestling 
Overall: 6-20 
Sunday, Feb. 23 – Northeast/Mideast Futures Tournament at Muhlenberg College, 9 a.m. 
Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 29-March 1 – NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championships at Ithaca N.Y. College, 11 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday (Penn College moves from the Southeast to the Mideast region this year) 
Friday-Saturday, March 13-14 – NCAA Division III Championships at Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

Baseball 
Overall: 0-2 
NEAC: 0-0 
Saturday, Feb. 22 – at Stockton University (2)L, 5-2; L, 9-4

Spring Break Tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C. 
Sunday, March 8 – vs. Bethany College (2), 3 and 6 p.m. 

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 28

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