Playoffs nearing for capable Lady Cats

Playoffs+nearing+for+capable+Lady+Cats

Mara Schall

Freshman Jasmine Harper sets up at the free throw line as she lines up her shot in a game Jan. 31.

Trevor Leard, Staff Writer

Pitt-Johnstown women’s basketball players have turned their season around since winter break, winning nine of their last 12 games.

Last Thursday the Lady Cats opened their game against Alderson-Broaddus College with a 28-point lead before their opponents could score at all.

The Lady Cats went onto win 77-39, giving them a 12-7 record and 10-6 (fourth of 15 teams) in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Conference.

But, Monday’s game against Glenville State College, ranked No. 20 nationally, proved to be too much as the team lost the game 93-87.

After giving up a 12-point lead at halftime, the loss dropped the Lady Cats to 12-8, 10-7 in the conference.

Head coach Sasha Palmer said their winning streak is advantageous now that conference playoffs begin late this month.

“I think we could have done that all year, but we’re starting to gel right now.”

Palmer said Grace Highland has provided good defensive contribution since healing from an injury.

Palmer said the goal now is to keep momentum heading into their last five regular-season games and into the playoffs.

Sophomore sharpshooter Kaitlynn Fratz has led the team in scoring. She is currently ranked sixth in the country in scoring, according to the NCAA Women’s weekly basketball statistics.

Fratz said being tanked nationally is motivation for her and the team to do better.

“It gives me an edge to keep working, and do what I do best,” she said.

She said she feels that she brings more to the table than just her shooting ability.

“I contribute a lot by shooting, but I have also worked on improving my defense and leadership skills.”

Fratz was also named conference co-player of the week Feb. 4. Fratz is the only Pitt-Johnstown player who has earned the honor this season.

Fratz said, with playoffs approaching, she believes the team has a shot at doing well.

“I see us winning the rest of the regular season. We’re playing our best basketball right now,” she said.

But, the Lady Cats are to face teams they have lost to earlier this season.

They did not lose by much with only one of them being more than 10 points, which was their game at West Liberty University. They play West Liberty Feb. 21 at home.

The team also is to take on Seton Hill University, a team the Lady Cats previously beat in Janruary, senior night Feb. 23 at the Sports Center.

The team is to start the conference tournament Feb. 25.

“Playoffs will be exciting and tough, but we all have one goal in mind, and that’s to win conference and advance,” Fratz said.