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Wrestling, women’s basketball teams set for returns


After the holiday break, the Pennsylvania College of Technology wrestling and women’s basketball teams are scheduled to return to action this week while the men’s basketball team lost its lone game this past week. For the hoop teams, North Eastern Athletic Conference play begins in earnest Saturday.

Wrestling
Saturday, Penn College will compete in the North-South Duals at Collegeville.

Reflecting on the season so far, third-year coach Jamie Miller said, “Overall, we wrestled well over the first half of the year. We performed very well at the McGinley Invitational at King’s early in the year. We took some tough team losses to Scranton and York – both matches we were very competitive in. We ended the year very strong on a long road trip to Cincinnati and Nashville going 3-2 overall and beating some very competitive teams.”

Commenting on areas that still need work, Miller said, “We need to get past the semifinals in our individual tournaments. Ultimately, our trip to (NCAA Division III) nationals is going to depend on winning that match and we just haven’t broken through that ceiling yet. We are close, and I think we will get there by the end of February, but it’s definitely something we are focused on going into the second half.

“Additionally, we are going to wrestle a pretty tough dual meet schedule in the next two months. Wins are going to be tough to come by. We have to stay focused on being competitive in each individual match, winning each period, winning each position, making sure we are getting bonus points when we can and limiting the bonus points we give up.”

Looking at individual performances so far, Miller said, “At the top of our lineup, Ryan Bauer, of Denton, Maryland, at 133 pounds; Luke O’Connor, of Wyalusing, at 141; Colin Jens of Centreville, Maryland, at 141 and Jesse Walker of Ridgefield, Connecticut, at 149 have really performed well and set the tone in dual meets.

“Trevor Crowley of Leonardtown, Maryland, at 157 was wrestling exceptionally well in a tough weight class before suffering an injury in the last few weeks before break. Dylan Gettys, of Etters, at 165 is about where we thought he would be and is one of those guys that we’ll be looking to turn the corner in the second half. Jared Mooney, of Palmerton, at 197 has had some ups and downs but has turned it on late in the previous two years, so he will be another returner we are looking to set the tone in the home stretch.”

The squad loses two wrestlers this semester – Ryan Stilgenbauer at 125 and David Galasso at 184 – but welcomes freshman Jalen Edwards, of Horsham, at 197 and sophomores Ty Stahli, of Mount Jewett, at heavyweight, a transfer from Allegheny College, and Colin Browne, of Wilkes-Barre, at 174, who rejoins the team after taking the fall semester off.

Women’s basketball
The Wildcats are scheduled to return to action Monday at Marywood University in nonconference play. Penn College is 2-5 overall and Marywood is 2-7. In the first meeting between the two teams, Marywood won, 65-52, last Jan. 27.

Statistically, so far, Penn College is averaging 53.6 points per game on offense and allowing 68.3. It has made 33.6 percent of its field goals and 25.4 percent of its 3-point shots while hitting 56.3 percent of its foul shots. The Wildcats are averaging 41.9 rebounds per outing and allowing 43 although they are averaging 24.1 turnovers per g,ame to their opponents’ 18.3 average and are averaging 9.4 steals per game while their opponents are averaging 13.1 per game.

Individually, Cassi Kuhns, of Loyalsock Township, leads the team with a 9.7 point per game scoring average. Lydia Albert, of Trout Run, is averaging 8.3 points per game and Madison Klock, of Elysburg, and Tori Wolfe, of Dalmatia, both are averaging 7.6 ppg.

Kuhns tops the team in rebounding with an 8.3-per-game average and Ja’Quela Dyer of Dover, Delaware, is next at 8.2 per game.

According to first-year coach Britni Mohney, “Our energy and buying into being a family (are pluses). We talked about having one word to define us in the new year, a word that we will work on throughout the entire year of 2020, and the one word they chose was ‘family.’

“When you come together as a family, you don’t want to let each other down, you want to fight for each other to have the best time together. Family is unity, it is a belief in each other, it’s pushing each other to new limits. When you have family, you are capable of doing anything, and that is what went right; the family atmosphere off the floor carried over to our successes on the floor. That is changing the culture of a program; it is the absolute best feeling as a coach to see this change.”

Mohney also is pleased with the coachability of her players.

“There were many games in the first half of the season that we had quick adjustments directly in the game or at halftime. There were also games that came down to the wire where we had to call timeouts (and) draw up plays we have not gone over at practice to try to get us a win,” the coach said. “These are moments that you cannot practice. We can work on special situations to emulate these scenarios but when it comes to game time, the energy and the momentum of the game can change your mindset. So for the girls to listen and adjust to a new coach and then go out and execute what the coaching staff is looking to change is huge.”

Areas that still need work?

“There are three areas that we are focusing on in the new year and these include: increasing our free-throw percentages, limiting our unforced turnovers and scoring within our half-court offense,” Mohney said. “We want to be shooting at least 80% from the free-throw line. We should be keeping our turnovers to under 15 a game. We need to be able to execute a motion or set offense in the half when teams shut down our running game. These are all things we can control, and a lot of it is repetition.”

Assessing individual play thus far, Mohney said,A lot of times we look at the starting five, players want to be in that start position. But I want us to take a look at our constant sixth player – a game-changer – Dyer. Ja’Quela has come off the bench in numerous games and has provided a spark for us offensively, defensively and most importantly on the boards. I also believe our first-year players are really growing and that is from getting ample time in their first season as Penn College Wildcats. It will be exciting to see Kaylin Scott, of Milton, and Lydia Albert grow throughout our program.”

A new roster addition this semester will be 5-foot, 5-inch freshman guard Kassidi Lenhart, of Muncy.

Looking ahead to conference play, Mohney said, “Our first job is to compete. We’ve had a lot of peaks and valley within our games where we go on amazing runs and then we go on a lull. We want to compete for 40 minutes.

“I truly believe that the South Division is wide open, and if we can put our running game and our half-court offense together, we can compete for a spot for the postseason.

“I consider ourselves a veteran team now, with one semester under our belt together, so there are no excuses for the second semester on not knowing our strengths and weaknesses.”

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): Host Cazenovia College (3-7 overall, 1-0 NEAC), 3 p.m. Saturday; host Morrisville State College (4-4 overall, 1-0 NEAC), 2 p.m. Sunday.

Last meeting vs. Cazenovia College: Lost 90-81 on Feb. 10. (1-5 lifetime).

Last meeting vs. Morrisville State College: Lost 81-51 on Feb. 9. (0-6 lifetime).

NEAC South standings (through Sunday): Penn State Harrisburg 1-0, Penn State Abington 1-0, Penn College 0-1, Gallaudet University 0-1, Penn State Berks 0-1, Lancaster Bible College 0-1.

NEAC North standings (through Sunday): SUNY Poly 1-0, Morrisville State College 1-0, SUNY Cobleskill 1-0, Cazenovia College 1-0, Keuka College 0-1, Wells College 0-1.

Men’s basketball
After trailing by a dozen points with 12:51 left in the game, King’s College staged a late comeback that included a 10-0 run over the final 1:40 to pull out a 72-64 nonconference home victory over Penn College on Thursday. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 2-7.

Penn College was 0 for 1 at the foul line during the contest while King’s was 15 of 21. The Wildcats had 52 rebounds to 40 for the Monarchs.

Elijah Vazquez led Penn College with 24 points while Carson Garvis chipped in with 22 points and 14 rebounds and Ben Sosa added 11 points.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): Host Cazenovia College (2-6 overall, 0-1 NEAC), 1 p.m. Saturday; host Morrisville State College (3-6 overall, 1-0 NEAC), noon Sunday.

Last meeting vs. Cazenovia College: Won 93-91 on Feb. 10. (2-4 lifetime).

Last meeting vs. Morrisville State College: Lost 103-82 on Feb. 9. (0-6 lifetime).

NEAC South standings (through Sunday): Penn State Abington 1-0, Penn State Harrisburg 1-0, Gallaudet University 1-0, Penn College 0-1, Lancaster Bible College 0-1, Penn State Berks 0-1.

NEAC North standings (through Sunday): SUNY Cobleskill 1-0, Morrisville State College 1-0, SUNY Poly 1-0, Cazenovia College 0-1, Keuka College 0-1, Wells College 0-1.

SCHEDULE/RECORDS/RESULTS
Men’s basketball
Overall: 2-7
NEAC: 0-1
Thursday, Jan. 2 – at King’s College, L, 72-64
Tuesday, Jan. 7 – at Pitt-Greensburg, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 11 – host Cazenovia College (NEAC), 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 12 – host Morrisville State College (NEAC), noon
Wednesday, Jan. 15 – host Penn State Harrisburg (NEAC), 5 p.m.

Women’s basketball
Overall 2-5
NEAC: 0-1
Monday, Jan. 6 – at Marywood University, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 11 – host Cazenovia College (NEAC), 3 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 12 – host Morrisville State College (NEAC), 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 15 – host Penn State Harrisburg (NEAC), 7 p.m.

Wrestling
Overall: 3-7
Saturday, Jan. 11 – North-South Duals at Collegeville, 10 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 18 – host Mid-Winter Duals with New York University, Hunter College, McDaniel College, Gettysburg College, Muhlenberg College and Johns Hopkins University, 11 a.m.

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 21

 

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