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‘New’ Bardo Gym Court Levels Penn College Playing Field


One interesting facet of life is how many times things come full circle. A small example was the Dec. 14 Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s and women’s home basketball games against Lycoming College.

During the 2010-11 season, word came from Lycoming College, whose athletic director at the time was Scott Kennell, that its teams no longer would play at Bardo Gymnasium because the court, originally built in 1939 as part of the Williamsport High School campus, wasn’t regulation size for NCAA Division III schools such as Lycoming.

However, Kennell moved from Lycoming to Penn College and, under his leadership, the Wildcats now are in their first year as provisional members of NCAA Division III, which meant some changes were in order.

“Two years ago, we had this court changed. It was a high school-sized court and now that we’re at the NCAA level we had to expand the court,” Kennell said between games as Lycoming was making its first appearance at Bardo Gym since Jan. 26, 2010.

“Actually, all we had to do was (widen) the court a little, put pads on the walls and just expand (the court length) 5 feet on each (end),” Kennell continued.

Because of the design of the brackets holding the main baskets, that change was easy, just by sliding them; then curtains at each end of the court had to be moved back and, when the floor was resurfaced, new lines painted on.

“We’re at the exact level of every NCAA institution now. In the past, schools didn’t like playing here just because of the size of the court, but now we don’t have that issue any longer,” Kennell said.

Initially, at the start of last season, it was a change for players returning from the previous year.

“When the guys came in last year, the majority of those starting were first-year players so they never had played on our court before, although some of our guys who were returners, when we had to do sprints the first couple days, they certainly noticed it,” said men’s coach Chris Lemasters, who added, “it was an adjustment, but now it’s just one of those things that is normal to us.”

Noted Penn College women’s coach Matt Wilt: “The only transition for us was in conditioning during practice in our own gym in different drills and such. … Most of the schools we play when we go on the road already had regulation-sized courts, so (it was) no major change in anything, really, other than I think it might have helped us get in better shape.”

Men’s Basketball
In action against its crosstown rival, Penn College built an early 4-0 lead, but Lycoming scored the next 13 points and went on to win 86-71. Bryce Lonsway, of Tiffin, Ohio, led the Wildcats with 13 points while Ezra Adams, of Muncy; Nathaniel Brown, of Philadelphia; and Cass Wisniewski, of Bethel Park, each scored 11. Adams also grabbed 14 rebounds. Lycoming scored 32 points off turnovers and limited Kevin Laurence-El, Penn College’s leading scorer who was in foul trouble much of the game, to seven points.

Now on a semester break, the 2-7 Wildcats are idle until Jan. 7 when they go to Lancaster Bible College.

Women’s Basketball
Visiting Lycoming College jumped to an early 9-0 lead en route to an 83-61 victory that dropped Penn College to 3-4 at the semester break. Jamie Steer, of South Williamsport, led the Wildcats with 13 points; Hannah Schoenly, of Hamburg, added 11 points; and Charese Bova, of Beech Creek, scored 10 points and hauled down 18 rebounds. It was Bova’s sixth consecutive game with a double-double. In uniform for her final game, Penn College senior Nicole Reyes-Molina, of Lancaster, scored eight points and had five rebounds. Lycoming scored 42 points off turnovers. Steer now has 755 career points for the Wildcats.

Also during the week, it was announced that Bova, a sophomore, was named the North Eastern Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the period of Dec. 8-14. The center posted a double-double in both of the Wildcats’ contests, beginning with 20 points and a game-high 21 rebounds in 28 minutes of action during a conference win over Penn State Berks on Dec. 12 and then her performance against Lycoming College, giving her with two-game averages of 15 points and 19.5 rebounds while shooting 62 percent (13 of 21) from the field. Bova is averaging a conference-best 17 rebounds per game to go along with 14.7 points per game on 51 percent shooting from the field.

Penn College returns to action Jan. 7 at Lancaster Bible College.

Odds ’n’ Ends
Also on Dec. 14, several current and former Penn College cross-country runners competed in the DuBoistown Frostbite 5-miler, according to interim and former head coach Mike Paulhamus. Jeff Faherty (2010) finished second with a time of 30:04, Dan Flynn (current) was fourth in 30:53, Mike Womelsdorf (2006) was eighth in 33:53, Logan Ault (current) finished in 34:52 and his father finished with a time of 44:28, Hollie Schuster (2010) was the third female and 20th overall in 36:37 and Tracey Womelsdorf (2008) finished in 41:01.

PENN COLLEGE SCHEDULES/RECORDS
Men’s Basketball
Overall record: 2-7
NEAC record: 1-2
Sunday, Dec. 14 – host Lycoming College, L, 86-71
(Idle until Jan. 7)

Women’s Basketball
Overall record: 3-4
NEAC record: 2-1
Sunday, Dec. 14 – host Lycoming College, L, 83-61
(Idle until Jan. 7)

Wrestling
Overall dual record: 1-7
(Idle until Jan. 17)

No. 19

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