Sweet 16: KU men stay hot to cap reg­u­lar sea­son

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - SPORTS -

Men’s Bas­ket­ball

The No. 6 Kutz­town Univer­sity men’s bas­ket­ball team closed out its reg­u­lar sea­son by clinch­ing the out­right Penn­syl­va­nia State Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (PSAC) East ti­tle with its 16th straight win over West Ch­ester Univer­sity, 91-85, on Satur­day af­ter­noon in­side of Hollinger Field House.

This is KU’s (24-2, 20-2 PSAC) sec­ond straight out­right PSAC East ti­tle and the fourth in pro­gram his­tory.

The 16-game win­ning streak marks the sec­ond long­est in the his­tory of the pro­gram, while the 24 wins are the third-most in school his­tory.

Kutz­town, who re­ceives a bye in the first round of the PSAC Tour­na­ment as the No. 1 seed, will host a Quar­ter­fi­nal against the win­ner of fourth-seeded Bloomsburg and fifth­seeded West Ch­ester on March 1 at 7 p.m.

Ryan Con­nolly (Har­leysville, Pa./ Soud­er­ton Area) knocked down seven 3-point­ers in the vic­tory, fin­ish­ing the con­test with a team-high 24 points, one shy of his sea­son­high. Not only was the red­shirt-se­nior one 3-pointer shy of the sin­glegame school record, he also be­came the pro­gram’s all-time leader in ca­reer 3-point­ers with 220.

Mean­while, Ethan Ridge­way (West Ch­ester, Pa./Ba­yard Rustin), who pre­vi­ously broke the school record for sin­gle-game as­sists with 14 just two weeks ago on Feb. 11 at Cheyney, matched his own record with yet an­other 14-as­sist per­for­mance on Satur­day.

With the 14 as­sists, Ridge­way moved into sec­ond in pro­gram his­tory with 434 for his ca­reer. His sin­gle-sea­son as­sist to­tal of 229 is also tied for 11th-most in PSAC his­tory.

Women’s Bas­ket­ball

The Kutz­town Univer­sity women’s bas­ket­ball team se­cured a first round home play­off game in the up­com­ing Penn­syl­va­nia State Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (PSAC) Tour­na­ment with a 72-59 road vic­tory at West Ch­ester in its fi­nal reg­u­lar sea­son con­test on Feb. 25.

The Golden Bears (10-12 PSAC, 13-17) clinched the No. 3 seed in the PSAC East and will face Millersville in round one of the PSAC Tour­na­ment on Feb. 27, be­gin­ning at 7 p.m. in Key­stone Arena. KU and Millersville split the 2016-17 sea­son se­ries with each team win­ning at home.

Kutz­town build a game­high 20-point lead, 36-16, on an Alex Leader (Hum­mel­stown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) free throw with 3:56 re­main­ing in the first half and would lead 38-24 head­ing into the locker room.

Se­nior Jenna Al­tomare (Penn­syl­va­nia Fur­nace, Pa./ State Col­lege Area) ended her reg­u­lar sea­son ca­reer on a high note, no­tably go­ing 6-for-9 from the 3-point range to match her sea­son­high with a game-high 23 points for the Golden Bears. Only need­ing three triples on the af­ter­noon to set the pro­gram’s all-time record, she ended the con­test with 195 for her ca­reer. She also moved into third all-time with 68 3-point­ers this sea­son. She was later named PSAC East Player of the Week.

Fel­low se­nior Kelsey Wat­son (Col­legeville, Pa./Methac­ton) also moved up the pro­gram an­nals, scor­ing 14 points to move into sixth place all-time with 1,298 for her ca­reer.

Wrestling

The Kutz­town Univer­sity wrestling team worked its way through the con­so­la­tion brack­ets Satur­day as five placewin­ners led KU to a sixth-place fin­ish at the 2017 Su­per Re­gion I Cham­pi­onships at Mer­cy­hurst Univer­sity, high­lighted by four Golden Bears fin­ish­ing in the top-four of their weight class to qual­ify for na­tion­als.

It marks the ninth straight year - and 11th of the last 12 - that KU has fin­ished in the top-six of 15 at re­gion­als.

125-pounder Austin Petril (Clifton Heights, Pa./ Up­per Darby (Ursi­nus)), 165-pounder T.C. Warner (Me­chan­ics­burg, Pa./Cum­ber­land Val­ley (Bloomsburg)), 197-pounder Jeff Reimel (Lans­dale, Pa./North Penn) and heavy­weight Ryan Ap­pleby (Belvidere, N.J./Belvidere) will rep­re­sent Kutz­town at the NCAA Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Birm­ing­ham, Alabama in two weeks on March 10-11.

Reimel put to­gether one of the big­gest up­sets of the 197-pound bracket and the tour­na­ment, fin­ish­ing in third place as the No. 7 seed. He went 3-0 on Satur­day - all in the con­so­la­tion bracket - with wins by pin­fall and two nar­row de­ci­sions to punch his ticket to na­tion­als and earn KU’s top fin­ish of the day at third.

Petril, ranked 11th in Divi­sion II at 125, fin­ished a ca­reer-best fourth at 125 for his first na­tional berth. He won his 20th match of the sea­son on Satur­day. His only losses Satur­day were to wrestlers ranked in the top 10 in Divi­sion II.

Warner fin­ished fourth at 165 to qual­ify for his first na­tional tour­na­ment at KU. He won a ma­jor de­ci­sion on the day and dropped a pair of close de­ci­sions to the first- and third-ranked wrestlers in the coun­try.

Ap­pleby will travel to na­tion­als for the sec­ond­straight year af­ter fin­ish­ing in fourth at heavy­weight. Af­ter fall­ing in his first match of the day in the cham­pi­onship semi­fi­nal, Ap­pleby re­bounded with a 3-1 de­ci­sion over D.J. Sims of Pitt-John­stown be­fore fall­ing in the third-place match.

Men’s Track & Field

An­thony Bullaro (Mor­risville, Pa./Penns­bury) broke his own school record in the 60m hur­dles, while Steve Maine (Lau­rel Springs, N.J./High­land Re­gional) and Jared Luck­anitz (Shilling­ton, Pa./Gov­er­nor Mif­flin) each placed in the top-five and im­proved their po­si­tion in the pro­gram’s record book, to help the Kutz­town Univer­sity men’s track and field team fin­ish the 2017 Penn­syl­va­nia State Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (PSAC) Cham­pi­onships in sev­enth place with 38 points.

Ship­pens­burg won the team ti­tle for the sev­enth straight year with 143 points, hold­ing off sec­ond place Slip­pery Rock by just 1.5 points.

Bullaro was .01 sec­onds bet­ter than his pre­vi­ous school record, which he set last year, as he crossed in 8.26 to place fifth and just .04 sec­onds off the podium.

The red­shirt-ju­nior was one of three Golden Bears to run in the fi­nal as KU earned seven points in the event, its high­est of any event in the Cham­pi­onships. Mike Bur­ton (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville Area) and Obi Og­bonna (Bris­tol, Pa./Harry S Tru­man) fin­ished sev­enth and eight, re­spec­tively, in 9.02 and 9.45.

Maine ran the fastest 3000m in the pro­gram since Brian Har­ris crossed in 8:36.10 to break the school record in 1998. Pre­vi­ously sev­enth in the pro­gram an­nals, the ju­nior moved into third all-time with a time of 8:37.82 to place fifth and earn Kutz­town four points.

KU’s top point-earner on the day, and for the week­end, was Luck­anitz, who crossed fourth in the 800m in 1:56.31 to add five points to the team’s to­tal a day af­ter earn­ing four as part of the dis­tance med­ley re­lay on Satur­day. The sopho­more im­proved his po­si­tion in the pro­gram an­nals two po­si­tions from 10th to 8th, as he was less than a sec­ond be­hind the sec­ond­place fin­isher.

Women’s Track & Field

McKen­zie Fa­gan (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) won a con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship in the high jump, and Ash­ley Ste­wart (Lake Hopat­cong, N.J./Jef­fer­son Town­ship) broke the school record in the 400m Sun­day af­ter­noon as the Kutz­town Univer­sity women’s track & field team posted its best fin­ish at the Penn­syl­va­nia State Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (PSAC) In­door Cham­pi­onship since 2013, com­ing home sixth from Ed­in­boro Univer­sity’s Mike S. Zafirovski Sports and Re­cre­ation Dome.

One day af­ter fin­ish­ing fourth in the pen­tathlon with a ca­reer-best leap in the high jump, Fa­gan won her first ca­reer PSAC cham­pi­onship with an­other ca­reer-best jump. She cleared 5-7.25 to im­prove upon her sec­ond-best mark in school his­tory. She earned KU 10 team points and is KU’s first in­door high jump cham­pion since 2004.

Na­tion­ally, her mark moves her up to ninth in Divi­sion II as she very well could have punched her ticket to this year’s NCAA Cham­pi­onships in Birm­ing­ham, Ala.

An­other Golden Bear also made his­tory Sun­day. Ste­wart earned KU five team points with a fourth­place run in the fi­nal of the 400m. Her time of 57.73 broke the school record, pre­vi­ously held by Monica Shel­len­berger from 2001.

DEN­NIS KRUMANOCKER - FOR DFM

Kutz­town’s An­thony Lee el­e­vates to the rim against the de­fense of West Ch­ester’s Matt Penecale dur­ing their game last week.

Kutz­town’s Josh John­son scores a layup against West Ch­ester last week. (Den­nis Krumanocker - For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.