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Three Penn College Wrestlers PSUAC Champs

Three Pennsylvania College of Technology wrestlers won individual Penn State University Athletic Conference Championships and the team placed third during action Feb. 9 at Penn State’s Rec Hall. Also last week, the men’s and women’s basketball teams closed out their seasons.

Wrestling
Aaron Doll, of Glen Rock, at 125 pounds; Joe Champluvier, of Laceyville, at 157; and Patrick Fitzgerald, of Port Royal, at 197, captured individual titles. Also for the Wildcats, Kyle Sunseri, of Athens, placed second at 149; Cesar Gonzalez, of Woodbridge, Va., was third at 149; Dan Frankenfield, of Dushore, was third at 174; Troy Leid, of Terre Hill, was fourth at 157; and Mike Failla, of Beach Lake, was fourth at 197.

Teamwise in the PSUAC, Penn State Mont Alto took the crown with 97.5 points, Penn State DuBois was second with 82.5 and Penn College third with 60 points. Following were Penn State Fayette, 33.5; Penn State Greater Allegheny, 13.5; and Penn State Beaver, 6.

Held in conjunction with the PSUAC Championships was the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Invitational, with an additional seven colleges competing. The Apprentice School, of Newport News, Va., claimed that team title with 188.5 points, followed by Alfred (N.Y.) State, 146.5; West Virginia University Tech, 122; Penn State Mont Alto, 97.5; Penn State DuBois, 82.5; and Penn College, 60.

Overall, individually, for Penn College, Fitzgerald placed third; Doll and Champluvier finished fourth; and Sunseri, Frankenfield and Failla placed sixth in their respective weight classes.

Saturday’s match at West Chester University was canceled due to a snowstorm.

Men’s Basketball
Penn College closed out its season with a 93-64 loss at Penn State Wilkes-Barre on Monday. David Ware Jr., of Philadelphia, led the Wildcats with 16 points as they finished 4-21 overall and 3-13 in the PSUAC. For the season, freshman Thomas Ross, of Williamsport, led the team in both scoring and rebounding with 246 points and 150 rebounds. Another freshman, Marquis Delgado, of Mansfield, was second in scoring with 201 points.

“We found out in the spring semester that the more we relaxed the reins and focused on trying to tell them what areas to be in and what cuts to make and, really, just allow them to play basketball, rather than being a strict group … that really helped them to pull together because I think they felt more comfortable,” noted second-year coach Chris Lemasters, whose team won two of its last three games.

Looking ahead, Lemasters said that, despite the season-ending loss, “there was a positive vibe in the locker room. I think it was because we got those back-to-back wins and we were close in a lot of games.

“My biggest thing going forward is getting the guys in the weight room … and spending more time playing together this spring. The hope is that, if they continue to play together this spring, we come into the fall and add some strong recruits, then we’re ready to jump into the (Division III) NEAC (North Eastern Athletic Conference).

“This year we had a couple of DIII games and a D-II game and I think next year we have one game that isn’t DIII and the rest are last least DIII or DII, so the level of competition is going to jump up. To know I have a group of guys who, even when they were 1-20, were still battling for me, that’s huge.”

Women’s Basketball
Jamie Steer, of South Williamsport, scored 21 points and Alicia Ross, of Williamsport, added 15 points and 10 steals, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Lady Wildcats from falling at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, 65-55, on Monday. Penn College fell behind 13-0 and 15-1 at the start and never fully recovered.

In its season finale at home against NCAA Division III Elmira (N.Y.) College on Wednesday, Penn College again put up a great fight, only to lose, 70-64. Ross finished the game with 24 points, Steer scored 19 and Charese Bova, of Beech Creek, grabbed 10 rebounds as the Lady Wildcats finished 7-18 overall. They ended 5-10 in the PSUAC.

Bova led the team in scoring and rebounding with 243 points and 222 rebounds. Her per-game scoring average of 11.6 (she played in 21 games) was exceeded, however, by Steer, who scored 196 points and averaged 15.1 points in 13 games after joining at midseason, and Ross, who scored 199 points and averaged 12.4 in 16 games.

“Once we got everybody into place and everybody started playing together, we really came together as a team. I don’t think at the end of the year many of the teams in the league wanted to play us (because of the team’s improvement),” said coach Matt Wilt.

“The girls really came together and really played well. Everybody stepped up. As a coach, it was really fun to watch them because we scored a lot of points and played good defense. Nobody was worrying about who scores; they were just worried about winning. That’s the whole key,” Wilt continued. “It’s just too bad we didn’t have this team intact the whole year.

“Now they know each other and how each other play, with the girls that I have, hopefully, coming in next year, I’m already excited. … I think they’re (players) excited and I know I am. I’m ready for next year already,” the fourth-year coach added.

PENN COLLEGE SCHEDULES/RECORDS
Men’s Basketball
Final overall record: 4-21
Final PSUAC record: 3-13
Monday, Feb. 10 – at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, L, 93-64

Women’s Basketball
Final overall record: 7-18
Final PSUAC record: 5-10
Monday, Feb. 10 – at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, L, 65-55
Wednesday, Feb. 12 – host Elmira (N.Y.) College, L, 70-64

Wrestling
Overall record: 1-8
PSUAC record: 0-2
Saturday, Feb. 15 – at West Chester University, canceled
Saturday, March 1 – MEC Championships, TBA

Archery
Friday-Sunday, Feb. 28-March 2 – Indoor Regional Championships at Lancaster

No. 27

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