Penn College wrestlers romp

Published 01.08.2023

Wildcat Weekly

Pennsylvania College of Technology wrestlers had one of their best outings while the men’s and women’s basketball teams resumed United East play.

Competing Saturday in the Waynesburg University Invitational, six Wildcats reached the podium with one first-place finish, two thirds, one fifth and two sixths. In all, seven of 13 Penn College matmen earned points that contributed to the team’s fourth-place finish in an 11-team field.

Freshman Mason Leshock, of Shamokin, led the way by going 3-0 with three first-period pins to claim gold in the 165-pound weight class. In the title bout, he decked his opponent in 1:08.

Claiming third-place finishes were Noah Hunt, of Muncy, who went 5-1 with three pins at 141, and Cullen Van Rooyen, of Dresden, Ohio, who went 5-1 at 157. Battling back through the consolation bracket, Van Rooyen recorded five falls, including his last of the day against his Defiance College opponent who handed him his opening loss.

Liam Goodrich, a freshman from Cogan Station, went 4-2 on the day to finish fifth at 149, while placing sixth was Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni, of Blairsville, who went 3-2 at 197, and Zach Miller, of Lock Haven, who went 2-3 at 157.

Also earning team points for the Wildcats was Ryan Berstler, of Middletown, at 125, while Brett Patton, of West Chester, at 141, won two bouts, and Nick Semon, of Norristown, at 157, and Billy Bumbarger, of Morrisdale, at 285, each won one.

“This was the highest tournament team finish and most medalists we’ve ever had in a tournament,” coach Pankil Chander observed.

“We had a slow start to the day and met as a team after the second round to refocus and revisit our approach to competing. We talked about trusting in our preparation and staying disciplined when executing on the mat. The guys responded well after that, and we finished much better than we started. (I’m) proud of our wrestlers’ ability to handle adversity throughout the day and come out better on the other side,” the coach said.

“Goodrich, Van Rooyen, Miller and Kennedy-Citeroni all medaled for the first time in their careers. Hunt now has 21 wins midway through our season, which surpassed the 16 he had all of last season. Van Rooyen has 13 wins so far this season, which exceeds the eight wins he had all of last year,” Chander said.

“This was the start of a tough stretch. We are more than two months into the season and still have two months of wrestling left,” the coach continued. “January is a gut-check month. Between frequent weigh-ins, consistent rigor in training, managing mind injuries, and trying to navigate the stressors of performing at your best, it becomes challenging, and our guys meet that challenge head-on.

“We’re a young group and are learning and applying what it takes to be a great college wrestler every day. Our guys have bought in and put the work in, and it’s paying off now, and the experience they’re currently having will prepare them for greatness in the future.”

Men’s basketball
An 11-point advantage in the first half and solid free-throw shooting at the finish (13 points over the last three minutes) paid off as the Wildcats edged Centenary (N.J.) College, 73-70, in nonconference play on Monday.

Max Jackowsky, of Garnet Valley, led Penn College with a double-double (19 points and 10 rebounds). Gavin Barrett, of Roselle, New Jersey, added 14 points to the cause, while Rees Watkins, of Loyalsock Township, and Michael Woolridge, of Hollidaysburg, each contributed 10 points in the team’s first road win of the season.

Hosting Penn State Harrisburg in UE play on Friday, Penn College saw a five-point halftime lead evaporate in an 88-73 loss that dropped it to 0-2 in the conference and 5-6 overall.

Barrett led the Wildcats with 20 points, while Watkins added 15 points and Jackowsky 11 points. Barrett and Jackowsky each pulled down 11 rebounds.

Women’s basketball
In its lone game of the week, Penn College lost, 77-57, to Penn State Harrisburg in UE action on Friday. Penn College now is 0-2 in the conference and 1-10 overall.

Penn State Harrisburg led from start to finish, although the Wildcats overcame an early eight-point deficit to trail by one and later battled back from a 21-point deficit to pull within six.

Lexi Troup, of Huntingdon, and Maddie Adams, of Montoursville, each scored 13 points for Penn College, while Emily Pardee, of Williamsport, recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Overall: 2-2
ECWC: 0-0
Saturday, Jan. 7 – at 11th Waynesburg University Invitational, 4 of 11
Friday-Saturday, Jan. 13-14 – Budd Whitehill Duals at Lycoming College, 9 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21 – Dr. Si Ostrach Duals at Case Western Reserve University, 9 a.m.

Men’s basketball
Overall: 5-6
UE: 0-2
Monday, Jan. 2 – at Centenary University, W, 73-70
Friday, Jan. 6 – host Penn State Harrisburg (UE), L, 88-73
Wednesday, Jan. 11 – host Penn State Berks (UE), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 14 – host SUNY Morrisville (UE), 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 17 – at Wells College (UE), 7 p.m.

Women’s basketball
Overall: 1-10
UE: 0-2
Friday, Jan. 6 – host Penn State Harrisburg (UE), L, 77-57
Wednesday, Jan. 11 – host Penn State Berks (UE), 5 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 14 – host SUNY Morrisville (UE), 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 17 – at Wells College (UE), 5 p.m.

For more about the United East, visit the conference website.

For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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