Basketball Season Ends, Wrestling Postseason Begins
Squaring off against top-seeded Penn State Brandywine in the PSUAC quarterfinals on Tuesday, eighth-seeded Penn College saw its season come to an end with an 80-62 loss. The Wildcats, who reached the playoffs for the first time in three seasons under coach Matt Wilt, finished 12-13 overall and 7-8 in the conference.
Against Brandywine, Jamie Steer, of South Williamsport, scored 22 points to end her freshman season with a team-high 452 points, third on the school’s all-time women’s single-season scoring list. Meanwhile, her senior sister, Kierstin, added 13 points and ends her career as the college’s all-time leading career scorer with 1,246 points. Jamie averaged 19.6 points per game in 23 games and Kierstin averaged 11.4 in 25 games.
Also for the Wildcats during this season, Jenna Matzinger, of Coudersport, scored 277 points, an average of 12 per game, and Mackenzie Brown, of Lititz, scored 261, an average of 10.4. Both are sophomores. Overall, the team averaged 65.9 points per game on offense and allowed 68.8.
“We put in a whole new offense. … We were struggling at the beginning, but after half of the season we started playing a lot better, scoring a lot of points and pushing the ball up the floor. We came a long way from the beginning of the year,” Wilt said.
Going forward, Wilt loses Kierstin Steer and Brown, two offensive keys. Wilt said the team also needs to cut down on turnovers and be more consistent on defense.
“We’d get down and then we’d start to panic and then we’d really bust our butts on defense. That’s what we have to do all of the time,” the coach said.
In a dual meet matchup of two conference unbeatens on Tuesday, the Wildcats dropped a 46-10 decision to Penn State DuBois. Ryan Hart, of Wyalusing, at 133; Tyler Myers, of Centre Hall, at 157; and Dan Frankenfield, of Dushore, posted wins for Penn College but the Wildcats gave away 18 points via forfeits due to injuries as they dropped to 5-1 in the PSUAC and 13-8 overall.
On Saturday, two Penn College wrestlers claimed individual championships and two others finished second Saturday during the PSUAC/United States Collegiate Athletic Association Invitational at Penn State’s Rec Hall.
While the results of Sunday’s season opener at the Penn State Invitational won’t be available until Monday, second-year coach Brian Parker said he saw some good things.
“I think we did very well. I would say we are in contention. I’m happy with the way everybody shot. It was a nice warm-up for our team,” Parker said. “We had some who were rusty and some who shot very well. It was the first event for our new people, so there were some nerves.”
The Penn College men ended their season a week ago Saturday, finishing 4-21 overall and 3-13 in the PSUAC. Scott Fenton, of Dickson City, topped the team in scoring with 308 points and a 12.3-per-game average while Jesse Newman, of Waterfall, added 269 points and averaged 11.2. In two seasons, Fenton has scored 666 points. Both are sophomores. Teamwise, Penn College averaged 62.1 points on offense and gave up 78.1.
“I knew going in that we were going to be a young team. … Out of our initial 17 guys that we had on the team we finished with only 10 of them, and of the seven who weren’t on the team (at the end) four were starters,” coach Chris Lemasters said at the conclusion of his first full season as coach. “When you know you’re going to be a young team, it’s going to be difficult in general, let alone when you have that much turnover.”
On the upside, Lemasters said that experience gained by his younger players who were forced into more playing time than they might have gotten otherwise will be invaluable heading into next season.
“The hope is, next year, if we can get 15, 16 guys that are there from Oct. 15 until the middle of February, I’ll feel a lot better about our chances,” the coach added.
Overall record: 13-8
PSUAC record: 5-1
Tuesday, Feb. 12 – host PSU DuBois, L, 46-10
Saturday, Feb. 16 – at PSUAC/USCAA Invitational at Penn State’s Rec Hall, Penn College finished second in the PSUAC and third in the USCAA
Thursday, Feb. 21 – preliminary bouts at Bloomsburg University, 5 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 22 – preliminary bouts at Bucknell University, 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 2 – host NCWA Mid-East Conference Championships at Bardo Gym, TBA
Sunday, Feb. 17 – at Penn State Invitational
Friday-Sunday, March 1-3 – U.S. Indoor East Regional at Cape May, N.J., TBA
Final overall record: 4-21
Final PSUAC record: 3-13
Final overall record: 12-13
Final PSUAC record: 7-8
Tuesday, Feb. 12 – PSUAC quarterfinal at Penn State Brandywine, L, 80-62