Penn College Basketball Teams Look to Second Half

Published 01.07.2018

Wildcat Weekly

After season starts that produced just one win each for the Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s and women’s basketball teams, both coaches are hopeful of better results this half. The women’s team returns to action on Monday at Misericordia University and the men’s squad plays on Tuesday at Penn State DuBois. North Eastern Athletic Conference action resumes Saturday.

Women’s Basketball
“We started off really well with the first win (season opener against Thiel College), especially because it was a team we played last (season) and they handled us pretty well,” said coach Lauren Healy, in her second season.

“But then, we’re still a young team so I think that mentally we’re still trying to adapt to the new changes with college and the system. There were certain moments where our defense was doing a great job … but then on the flip side for us, offensively it really wasn’t coming to life for us and we were struggling to get the ball in the basket,” Healy said of a nine-game slide that followed the win.

“We’re trying to stress that you have to play each of the four quarters. You’ve got to play solid defense, you’ve got to make sure that we’re scoring points so that we can tie them or be within a couple so that when we get to the end of late games it’s not a 20-point deficit (to have to overcome),” the coach said.

Through 10 games, the Wildcats are averaging 49 points per game on offense and allowing 66.5. Guard Gwendolyn Lavelle, of Pocono Summit, leads the team in scoring with 10.5 points per game and Jane Herman, of Greencastle, is next with a 9.8 per game average.

“We’re still very young, we’re still learning, but I’m a firm believer in second-half surges. We still have a ton of basketball to play,” Healy said. “… I’m hopeful that we can be competitive, play good basketball, that’s really what I’m looking for, just to prove that we’ve made significant differences from last year, and I think we have in terms of the depth and the solid group that we have right now.”

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week: At Lancaster Bible College (6-6 overall, 4-0 NEAC through Sunday), 3 p.m. Saturday; at Wilson College (5-6 overall, 1-2 NEAC through Sunday), 2 p.m. Sunday.

Last meeting vs. Lancaster Bible College: Lost, 86-47, Jan. 10.

Last meeting vs. Wilson College: Won, 63-61, Jan. 14.

Men’s Basketball
“The first two games of the year, we were missing three starters, so we’ve been struggling to find ourselves. We haven’t had all of our guys together, it’s just been a little out of whack,” third-year coach Ryan Callahan said of his team’s 1-10 start.

However, Callahan expects that the recent additions of guard James Bullock, of Philadelphia, and forward Mike Wenner, of Williamsport, will help significantly in coming games. In two contests just before Christmas, Bullock averaged 18 points per game.

During the first 11 games, Robert Young Jr., of Abington, averaged 13.6 points per game and Ben Sosa, of Loyalsock Township, averaged 12.7. As a team, the Wildcats are averaging 62 points per game and allowing 78 per game.

“I don’t like the hole we dug ourselves in (the first semester), but I do like our team. I think the new additions, and with people understanding what we’re trying to do, we’re going to have a much better second semester.

“When it comes down to the end of the year, I expect us to be in contention for a (NEAC) playoff spot. Even being 0-3 in the league, we’re only one game behind the last playoff spot, so there is plenty of opportunity there for us if we can just take advantage and win the winnable games in front of us,” Callahan added.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week: At Lancaster Bible College (8-4 overall, 4-0 NEAC through Sunday), 1 p.m. Saturday; at Wilson College (6-5 overall, 1-2 NEAC through Sunday), noon Sunday.

Last meeting vs. Lancaster Bible College: Lost, 70-54, Jan. 10.

Last meeting vs. Wilson College: Won, 73-67, Jan. 14.

Returning to the mats on Saturday for the first time in 2018, Penn College went 0-4 in the North/South Duals at Ursinus College, but first-year coach Jamie Miller saw plenty of bright spots, saying, “From an effort standpoint, we wrestled very well.

"Individually, (Joe) Swank, of Friedens (at 141 pounds), and (Dylan) Otis, of Wyalusing (at 285), wrestled their best days of the year, so far. They came alive and put the team on their back in a couple of the matches.” Both Swank and Otis ended the day 4-0 and each recorded two falls.

Also for the Wildcats, Chris Bashaw, of Jersey Shore, at 149; Dan Bergeron, of Jackson, New Jersey, at 157; and Nick Bruce, of Troy, at 174, all went 2-2; Jared Mooney, of Palmerton, went 1-2 at 197; Christian Fox, of Boyertown, went 1-3 at 133; and Pat Ostrowsky, of Lewisburg, went 0-1 at 197.

In team competition, Penn College fell to 2-9 after losing to Camden County College, 33-15; Ursinus College, 28-25; Elizabethtown College, 35-21; and Rhode Island College, 33-21.

While Wildcats wrestlers recorded eight wins by fall during the event, they lost 10 by fall and were forced to forfeit three weights in each of the four matches.

“The thing we talked about most at the end was cleaning up our technical work. We just need to clean some things up because we’re winning (in) matches that we get pinned and now that we’re getting competitive as a team we can’t let that happen,” Miller said. “That’s what killed us today was getting pinned. We can’t give up bonus points.”

Women’s Basketball
Overall: 1-9
NEAC: 0-3
Monday, Jan. 8 – at Misericordia University, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 13 – at Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), 3 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 14 – at Wilson College (NEAC), 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 17 – host Cazenovia College (NEAC), 8 p.m.

Men’s Basketball
Overall: 1-10
NEAC: 0-3
Tuesday, Jan. 9 – at Penn State DuBois, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 13 – at Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 14 – at Wilson College (NEAC), noon
Wednesday, Jan. 17 – host Cazenovia College (NEAC), 6 p.m.

Overall: 2-9
Saturday, Jan. 6 – North/South Duals at Ursinus College: vs. Camden County College, L, 33-15; vs. Ursinus College, L, 28-25; vs. Elizabethtown College, L, 35-21; vs. Rhode Island College, L, 33-21
Thursday, Jan. 11 – triangular at Wilkes University, vs. Centenary University, 7 p.m.; vs. Wilkes, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 13 – triangular with Gettysburg College and King’s College, noon
Sunday, Jan. 14 – triangular at Johns Hopkins University with Washington & Lee University, 11 a.m.

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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