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Wildcat Men to Face PSU Wilkes-Barre in Basketball Semifinal

For the second year in a row, the Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s basketball team is in the Penn State University Athletic Conference Final Four. The Wildcats will face Penn State Wilkes-Barre at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center. The winner of that game plays for the championship at 9 a.m. Wednesday, also at the Jordan Center. Penn College is 13-3 in the PSUAC and 14-12 overall. Penn State Wilkes-Barre is 11-5 in the conference and 16-9 overall. The two teams split during the regular season, with Penn College losing on the road, 64-62 on Jan. 22, and winning at home, 85-80 on Feb. 3.

FLASHBACK Men’s Basketball The Wildcats wrapped up the PSUAC North Division title and earned a No. 2 seed in the postseason tournament with an 86-73 win over Penn State Schuylkill on Tuesday. Leroy Joiner (Williamsport) led the offense with 26 points and Greg Solyak (Lititz) added 24.

Thursday at Penn State Hazleton, Joiner scored 23 points and Solyak had 22 in a 79-69 win that competed the best regular conference season ever for the Wildcats at 12-3.

Saturday at home in the PSUAC quarterfinals against Penn State Brandywine, Penn College struggled offensively during much of the first half, but got things going in the second half and led by as many as 20 points before winning, 79-62. Jordan finished with 22 points and Solyak had 18.

“We came out kind of flat. We were overexcited about the game,” Joiner said after Saturday’s win. “But our defense was there the whole game and that kept us going. Without defense, you can’t win games. Offense only sells tickets.”

“The thing that really caused us problems were the easy shots in the paint that we missed early,” Wildcats coach Gene Bruno assessed. “I was pleased with the way we played defense.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s conference semifinal game, Joiner said, “We’re excited. We’re trying to get back to the championship like last year. With our team this year, we might have the missing link to pull it off.” The missing link he was referring to is what he described as a “full defensive package.”

Said Bruno, “Like I’ve been saying from day one, we respect everybody we play. We know, if we don’t put our game together offensively and defensively, it’s one and done. Our Achilles’ heel is our size. We have to do a lot of other things to compensate for that and try to keep the ball at our end of the court.

“Between 2009 and this year, in the conference we are 39-13 (all games) and we are excited to go there (Bryce Jordan Center),” the coach added.

In Saturday’s other quarterfinals, Penn State Wilkes-Barre topped Penn State Mont Alto, 86-69, and Penn State DuBois topped Penn StateYork, 72-62. In Tuesday’s other semifinal, top-seeded, two-time defending champ Penn State Beaver (15-1, 15-10) will meet Penn State DuBois (11-6, 14-12) at 11 a.m.

Women’s BasketballTosha Stover (Bellefonte) scored 13 points and Kierstin Steer (South Williamsport) had 12 in a 77-52 loss to Penn State Schuylkill on Tuesday that put the team in a must-win situation against Penn State Hazleton to reach the playoffs.

On Thursday, with their playoff hopes riding on the outcome, the Wildcats fought to the finish in a 56-54 loss at Penn State Hazleton to end 8-15 overall and 6-8 in the conference during coach Matt Wilt’s first season. Steer scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds, while Keiosha Cooksey (Harrisburg) tallied 17 points and had 18 rebounds.

For the season, Steer led the team in scoring with 300 points, a 16.6-per-game average. In two seasons, she scored 601 points.

ArcheryZachary Plannick (Coraopolis) took first place in the men’s compound competition during the World Archery Festival in Las Vegas, Nev., last weekend. The recurve team of Glen Thomas (Mercer), Tyler Gale (Kennedyville, Md.) and Hilary Fisher (Temple) placed first in team recurve competition. Also for Penn College, Thomas was second in men’s individual recurve and Gale was third. Clint Hinton (Lock Haven) was seventh in men’s compound and Fisher placed ninth in women’s recurve.

BowlingCompeting in the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference championships Wednesday at Summit Lanes in Pocono Summit, Brianne Burkland (Danville), Rebecca Rudy (Lancaster) and Evelyn Furman (Montoursville) captured the women’s Gold Division by 155 pins over Lehigh Carbon Community College. Burkland rolled a high 699 series.

Penn College’s No. 1 men’s team of Aaron Smith (Waynesboro), Peter Stuut (Williamsport), Tyler Weaver (Catawissa), Paul Bouchard (Montoursville) and Eric Kennedy (Lewistown), the latter subbing one game after an injury to a starter, combined for a 2,453 in the Blue Division, but fell by 97 pins to Northampton Community College’s black team. Smith had a high 279 game on the day.

SCHEDULE/RESULTS Men’s Basketball Overall record: 14-12 PSUAC record: 13-3 Tuesday, Feb. 15 host Penn State Schuylkill, W, 86-73 Thursday, Feb. 17 at Penn State Hazleton, W, 79-69 Saturday, Feb. 19 host Penn State Brandywine in PSUAC quarterfinal, W, 79-62 Tuesday, Feb. 22 vs. Penn State Wilkes-Barre in PSUAC semifinal at Bryce Jordan Center, 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 PSUAC championship at Bryce Jordan Center, 9 a.m .

Women’s Basketball Overall record: 8-15 PSUAC record: 6-8 Tuesday, Feb. 15 host Penn State Schuylkill, L, 77-52 Thursday, Feb. 17 at Penn State Hazleton, L, 56-54

Men’s Volleyball Overall record: 4-3 MACVC record: 3-1 Thursday, Feb. 24 at Messiah College, 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26 at Messiah College Invitational, to be announced

(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. 27

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