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Penn College Hoops Teams Returning to Action

After the semester and holiday break, Pennsylvania College of Technology athletes in two sports are ready to return this week. On Thursday, the men’s basketball team is in nonconference play at Alvernia University while, on Saturday, women’s basketball players see North Eastern Athletic Conference action at Gallaudet University.

The college’s wrestling team originally was scheduled to return Saturday in the Waynesburg University tournament, but now won’t hit the mats again until Jan. 14.

Men’s Basketball
Reflecting on the first semester, when his team went 2-5 overall and 0-3 in the NEAC, coach Ryan Callahan said, “We’ve had our ups and downs. We’re playing a lot of young guys … and, with that, you’re going to have some highs and some lows.

“We had three (league) games in five days and we just couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean during those five days, which really hurt us. … Our biggest issue has been getting stagnant offensively. … We’re slowing down or taking bad shots. We’re not continuing our motion-based offense, which hurts.”

Freshman Tyree Vidal, of Williamsport, led the team in scoring with 11.3 points per game in the early going while freshman Erik Perry Jr., of Waldorf, Maryland, is averaging 11.1 ppg and sophomore Ben Sosa, of Loyalsock Township, is averaging 11.0 ppg. Senior Thomas Ross, of Williamsport, leads the Wildcats in rebounding with a 7.3-per-game average while freshman Jesse White, of Harrisburg, is averaging 5.7 rebounds per game and Sosa 5.6 rebounds per game.

Looking ahead, Callahan said, “We have 18 games, 17 league games, and I really think we can be very competitive in the second semester in our league. … We have seniors, all I know (who) can play better and will play better. … If they play to their potential, we will be a much better team the second semester.

“We can be competitive. I don’t know how many wins that translates to … we’ll see, but I think we’ll be a much more competitive team.”

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week: at Gallaudet University (6-3 overall through Sunday, 4-0 NEAC through Sunday), 2 p.m. Saturday; at Wilson College (1-6,1-2), noon Sunday.

Last meeting vs. Gallaudet University: Lost last Jan. 9, 78-55. Ross scored 13 points and had 12 rebounds while Delgado scored 10 points.

Last meeting vs. Wilson College: Lost last Jan. 10, 75-70. Delgado scored 19 points while Ross scored 13 points and hauled in 14 rebounds.

Statistically speaking through Sunday: Erik Eichinger, of Villanova, is seventh in the NEAC in 3-point percentage, 44.0, and Ben Hoffman, of St. Marys, eighth at 41.2, while Ross is seventh in steals per game with 2.0.

NEAC South Division standings through Sunday: Gallaudet University 4-0, Penn State Abington 2-1, Bryn Athyn College 2-2, Lancaster Bible College 2-2, Penn State Berks 2-2, St. Elizabeth College 1-2, Wilson College 1-2, Penn College 0-3.

Women’s Basketball
The Wildcats are winless after seven games and 0-3 in the conference, yet first-year coach Lauren Healy has seen some bright spots.

“I believe that the first part of the season went pretty well for us, but we still have a lot of things we need to work on,” she said.

“Our record does not reflect all the hard work that the team has put in. We are playing well against very good competition, but struggling to put four quarters together. It’s pretty remarkable what we have accomplished so far as a new team with basically all first-time college basketball players. We are continuing to get better each day and making progress.

“I think we need to continue to make practice competitive, so that the girls feel confident going into games. The team needs to work on being consistent, so that we can put a full game together. We dig ourselves in a hole in certain quarters and that really affects the outcome of the games. We talked about working on our conditioning and skill work over the break, so that we can come back ready to go next semester.”

Senior Alicia Ross, of Williamsport, tops Penn College in scoring, with a 15-points-per-game average, and rebounds, with 6.4 per game. Sophomore Maddie Wenk, of Biglerville, is second in scoring with 10 points per game.

Heading into the second semester, Healy said, “My outlook … is very hopeful that we will be coming back determined and ready to go. We learned a lot this first semester about how we function as a team. I think, collectively, we know now what we have to do to be better for next semester.”

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week: at Gallaudet University (1-7 overall through Sunday, 1-3 NEAC through Sunday), 2 p.m. Saturday; at Wilson College (2-5, 0-3), noon Sunday.

Last meeting vs. Gallaudet University: Lost last Jan. 9, 60-49. Ross scored 11 points.

Last meeting vs. Wilson College: Won last Jan. 10, 93-69, as Ross had a breakout game with 41 points and 10 rebounds.

Statistically speaking through Sunday: Ross is tied for 15th in the NEAC in scoring average, 15.0, and eighth in steals per game, 3.1.

NEAC South Division standings through Sunday: Bryn Athyn College 4-0, Lancaster Bible College 4-0, St. Elizabeth College 2-1, Penn State Abington 2-1, Gallaudet University 1-3, Penn State Berks 1-3, Penn College 0-3, Wilson College 0-3.

Wrestling
Of the college’s three winter sports teams, the wrestling squad has had the most time off as it last saw action on Nov. 12, with its other five outings postponed or canceled due to injuries, three of them season-ending.

“The guys that were wrestling are really getting after it. Right now, my goal is to try to build around those guys,” coach Schuyler Frey said. “We’re going to try and be as competitive as we can be.”

Frey said he hopes the long layoff keeps his wrestlers “hungry, in that they want to compete.”

“The guys that we have joining us in the second semester, we’re looking to knock some rust off them and go out and have some fun. … We’re anxious to get back at it and get some competitions in,” the coach added.

SCHEDULES/RECORDS/RESULTS
Men’s Basketball
Overall record: 2-5
NEAC record: 0-3
Thursday, Jan. 5 – at Alvernia University, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 7 – at Gallaudet University (NEAC), 3 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 8 – at Wilson College (NEAC), 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 10 – at Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), 7 p.m.

Women’s Basketball
Overall record: 0-7
NEAC record: 0-3
Saturday, Jan. 7 – at Gallaudet University (NEAC), 2 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 8 – at Wilson College (NEAC), noon
Tuesday, Jan. 10 – at Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), 5 p.m.

Wrestling
Overall record: 0-4
Saturday, Jan. 7 at Waynesburg University Tournament, canceled
Saturday, Jan. 14 – at Gettysburg Duals, 1 p.m.

For more, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 20

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