COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Local teams set to tip off their seasonsThe Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. — Scott Walsh The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.
Nov. 08-- Nov. 8--While most fall collegiate sports are holding their conference championships this weekend, local college basketball teams are tipping off their seasons.
The University of Scranton men host Stevenson University on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the John Long Center.
With all five starters returning from last year's 20-6 team, the Royals are picked to win the Landmark Conference title in the preseason coaches poll. Senior co-captains Kyle DeVerna and Matt Mancuso and sophomores Jackson Danzig (Abington Heights), Logan Bailey (Scranton Prep) and Jack Brockett lead the way for coach Carl Danzig's squad.
Marywood University faces the host school at the Penn State-Harrisburg Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday at 5 p.m. Widener and Mount Aloysius are the other schools in the tournament. Seniors Tom DeFilippo and Zach Tinkham and juniors Jack DeGroot, Adam Boussatta and Donovan Catchings are among the top returnees for coach Enrico Mastroianni. The Pacers are tabbed sixth in the Atlantic East Conference coaches preseason poll.
Keystone College opens at Emory and Henry College in Virginia on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Giants are rated sixth in the Colonial States Athletic Conference coaches preseason poll. Coach Brad Cooper has his two leading scorers from last season, seniors Ray Mills and Jalen Flynn, back this season.
Clarks Summit University is eighth in the CSAC preseason coaches poll. The Defenders, who open Saturday at 4 p.m. at SUNY-Cobleskill, have lost 49 straight games and 71 of their last 72. Four returning starters -- seniors Marcus Dixon, Reed Plantz, Khari Dickson and junior Donovan McCrae -- will try to help turn things around for coach Brian Deschaine.
In the MAC Freedom Conference coaches preseason poll, Wilkes University is fourth, Misericordia University fifth and King's College seventh.
Wilkes opens tonight at 8 against Penn State-Scranton (1-1). Senior and leading scorer Rob Pecorelli is among the returnees for the Colonels and coach Izzi Metz.
King's entertains Penn State-Hazleton tonight at 8. All five starters are back for Monarchs coach J.P. Andrejko, including MAC Freedom Rookie of the Year Jake Pawilczak.
After facing Seton Hall in an exhibition Oct. 29, Misericordia kicks off its regular season Tuesday at 7 p.m. against The College of New Jersey. Senior and Lakeland graduate Tony Harding headlines the returnees for the Cougars and coach Willie Chandler.
Lackawanna College, coached by Brian Coyle, begins its season Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Essex County College in a NJCAA Region 19 game.
New head coach Jennifer Carleton makes her debut with Marywood University on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Elizabethtown College. The Pacers, tied for third in the Atlantic East coaches preseason poll, have three returning starters in juniors Aryah Aungst, Emily Theobald (Honesdale) and sophomore Kilie Wyers.
Led by sophomore Mac Oribello and junior Khaliah Gordon, Keystone is favored to win the CSAC in the coaches preseason poll. Oribello was Rookie of the Year and a first-team all-star last season, while Gordon was a second-team all-star. The Lady Giants, coached by Kristina Danella, host Penn State-Berks Sunday at noon.
Junior starters Randie Traxler and Dani Mansberger return for Clarks Summit University and coach Rick Harrison. The Lady Defenders, picked eighth in the CSAC preseason coaches poll, open Saturday at 1 p.m. at Penn State-Scranton, looking to halt a 32-game losing streak.
Misericordia is second in the MAC Freedom coaches preseason poll. Senior Jordan Barth and juniors Tessa Zamolyi and Erica Haefele (Mid Valley) are coach for coach Jason Rhine's Lady Cougars, who play at Valley Forge University tonight at 8.
Ranked fourth in the MAC Freedom coaches poll, King's hosts Wesley College today at 5 p.m. Seniors Mackenzie Yori and Rebecca Prociak lead the Lady Monarchs of coach Caitlin Hadzimichalis.
Coach Tara Macciocco starts her second season at Wilkes tonight at 6 against Penn State-Scranton. The Lady Colonels, eighth in MAC Freedom coaches preseason poll, boast junior Maddie Kelley and senior Alyssa Alfano (Holy Cross) among their returning starters.
Scranton is the last local women's team to open. With new coach Nick DiPillo, it plays Ursinus College on Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. in the Gwynedd Mercy Tipoff Tournament semifinals. Pitt-Bradford is also in the field.
Six of the top eight scorers return from last year's team that went 29-3 and reached the NCAA Division III Final Four, led by seniors Mackenzie Mason, Sofia Recupero, Lily Warhaftig and Emily Sheehan (Dunmore). The Lady Royals, No. 3 in the d3hoops.com preseason Top 25 and No.5 in the WBCA preseason Top 25, are favored to win the Landmark Conference.
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