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Penn College Basketball Teams Set to Return to Action

After a near-monthlong layoff, Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s and women’s basketball teams return to action Wednesday, hosting Misericordia University before resuming their Penn State University Athletic Conference schedule Saturday.

Through the first semester, the men’s team coached by Gene Bruno is 3-5 overall and the women’s squad coached by Matt Wilt is 4-3 overall. Both teams are 2-0 in the PSUAC.

Men In assessing the season’s first half, Bruno said, “I thought things went well. We’re where I thought we would be. “¦ I wanted to be in a position in the conference to stay competitive.”

Although the Wildcats are allowing more points per game, on average, than they are scoring (68points per gameoffensively and 79.2 defensively), Bruno said, “I’m winning games because of my defense. My trapping game is really helping. There’s no question that’s why we won over (Penn State) Mont Alto and (Penn State) Hazleton. Our pressing game is outstanding.”

Starters Wednesday are expected to be Leroy Joiner (Williamsport) and Phil Kaylor (Lebanon) at forward spots, Ethan Kline (Bellefonte) and Nico Italiani (Easton) at guard positions and Greg Solyak (Lititz) at center. Joiner leads the team in scoring and rebounding with averages of 21.4 and 13.0, respectively, while Solyak is averaging 15.6 points on offense.

“Are we going to make the Final Four again? It’s going to be a tall order. I think we have the possibility of making it to the Elite Eight to get into the tournament. A big factor there is the players I have need to stay healthy,” Bruno said.

Women “Looking at the schedules of everybody else (in the PSUAC) and the results of the early games, I think we’re one of the top three teams,” Wilt said.

“We started to really play well, and then we hit the (semester) break. When we come back, we open with Misericordia, and, from everything I hear, they’re very, very good. We’re up for the challenge and hopefully we’ll be ready to go,” he continued.

Kierstin Steer (South Williamsport) leads a Wildcats offense that is averaging just fewer than 64 points per game. Steer is averaging 14.5points per gameand Hilary Rice (Biglerville) is averaging justfewer than 10 points per outing. Defensively, Penn College is allowing 54.3 points per game.

“Offensively, it’s a whole new system, so it took us about a month to understand what we want to do,” Wilt said. “Defensively, we need to work on our press more.”

Starters are expected to be Steer and Keiosha Cooksey (Harrisburg) at forwards, Tosha Stover (Bellefonte) and Rice at guards and Casey Braun (Hughesville) at center.

“We’re nine or 10 deep now, with the addition of Abby MacDonald (Red Lion),” Wilt said. “I’m just hoping that they stayed in a little bit of good shape (over the break) because we’ve got a brutal schedule in January.

“I’m really excited about the second half “¦ We’d love to go into the playoffs at the Bryce Jordan Center and see what happens.”

SCHEDULE/RESULTS Men’s Basketball Overall record: 3-5 PSUAC record: 2-0 Wednesday, Jan. 5 hostMisericordia University,8 p.m. Saturday, Jan.8 at Penn State Fayette,3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan.11 at Penn State Beaver,8 p.m.

Women’s Basketball Overall record: 4-3 PSUAC record: 2-0 Wednesday, Jan. 5 hostMisericordia University,6 p.m. Saturday, Jan.8 at Penn State Fayette,1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan.11 at Penn State Beaver, 6 p.m.

Bowling Monday, Jan. 24 at Johnson College Invitational, 3 p.m.

(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site . For more information on the PSUAC, visit on the Web; more about the USCAA also is available online.)

Wildcat Weekly Vol. 9, No. 20

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