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Wildcat Women’s Basketball Team Has Questions

The 2006-07 Penn College women's basketball team Over the past two years, the Pennsylvania College of Technology women’s basketball team has gone 37-17 and, last season, it captured the Penn State University Athletic Conference championship. But in order for more of the same, it will have to come of age quickly.

When the Lady Wildcats open their season at 2 p.m. Saturday, hosting Penn State Hazleton at Bardo Gymnasium, they will have six freshmen on their 10-player roster and none of the 10 is a returning starter.

“I’ve got a couple of returning players (Erin Mahoney, a 5-foot-7 sophomore guard from Linesville, and Amanda Turner, a 5-10 sophomore forward-center from Brackney), but neither of them were starters,” coach Ron Kodish said. “It’s not back to square one, but there are a lot of question marks this year.”

“They’re young, can they adapt to the college game? They all know how to play, there’s more instinct on the roster than there’s ever been, but I don’t think I have a “go-to” girl from their high school team playing,” he continued.

In addition to his returnees, who also include Janell Thompson, a 5-11 junior center from Westfield who played two years ago but not last season, Kodish is expecting good things from Amanda Ault, a 6-foot forward-center fromMilan who played high school ball at Athens and transferred into the program from East Stroudsburg University. “I think she (Ault) will be a stabilizer on the floor and I look for her to be productive for us.”

Others on the roster all are freshmen: Beth Snoddy (5-9 forward/Allenwood), Fallon Upright (5-10 forward-center/Montoursville), Emily Beiter (5-7 guard/Berwick), Meagan Morris (5-6 guard-forward/Herndon, Va.), Stephanie Rathbun (5-9 guard-forward/Shinglehouse) and Stephanie Pietroski (5-10 forward/Ringoes, N.J).

“We have a good inside presence, but we don’t have a real outside shooter that I can see right now,” Kodish said, noting that he hopes Beiter develops in that area.

“We’d like to run. I like the up-tempo game, but we have to be able to handle the ball and move and be quick enough to get out and fill the lanes,” Kodish said. “We’ll break on advantage. I don’t think we’re going to be a team like last year that is going to be able to force the turnover and get that quick transition down for a basket. I think we’re going to be more of a setup-offense team, looking to go to our strength which is going to be in the post.”

Defensively, the coach said, the Wildcats will use a man-to-man, with presses later on.

Keys, said the sixth-season coach, are how well his ball handlers develop, being able to come together offensively and taking advantage of height and rebounding effectively.

“We play 10 (NCAA) Division III schools this year (but) our goal is to get back to the Bryce Jordan Center and be involved in the playoffs and hopefully bring the trophy back to Penn College again,” said Kodish, who is assisted by Joe Weisser.

“When we went to a four-year program, I said to Joe, the only way that we’re going to build the program is to play better schools, established Division III schools,” Kodish added. “We stepped up and played a pretty nice schedule last year and that continues this year. I look for a really competitive season. I’m anxious to get it started. I’m anxious to see how this team grows.”

( Team photo by Phillip C. Warner, student writer-photographer)

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