The remarkable run by Pittsfield’s Peyton Steinman and Grace Guachione and the St. Anselm College women’s basketball team continued Monday into the quarter-finals of the NCAA Division II tournament.
The Hawks defeated LeMoyne College, 63-61, to advance to next Tuesday’s Elite Eight games in Columbus, Ohio.
Steinman played every minute of the Sweet 16 contest, scoring 19 points, including a 3-pointer and 12-for-12 shooting at the free throw line.
“It’s surreal,” Steinman said in the post-game press conference. “I’m going to use the word again, it’s electric down there. We got knocked out early in the NE-10, and we didn’t even know if we’d be here. The fact that we won is unbelievable.”
The Pittsfield High graduate hit eight free throws in the final three minutes, including a pair with six seconds on the clock to provide the final margin of victory. She also had an assist and blocked a shot in the fourth quarter.
St. Anselm (22-9) received an at-large tournament bid after falling to Bentley in the Northeast-10 tournament semi-finals.
It was the Hawks’ third loss this season to Bentley, which ended up as St. Anselm’s first-round NCAA opponent eight days after that NE-10 tourney loss.
The Hawks came back to beat Bentley, 59-40, as Steinman scored 21 and grabbed seven rebounds. They then topped Stonehill in the second round to earn a shot at fourth-seeded LeMoyne.
Miss Hall’s School alumna Guachione played 19 minutes off the bench in Monday’s win, scoring six points and grabbing five rebounds.
While Peyton and Guachione continue their march in Division II, Westfield State senior and Mount Greylock graduate Lucy Barrett saw their season come to an end in the first round of the NCAA Division III tourney, their fourth straight trip to that tourney after winning the fourth MASCAC title in Barrett’s time on campus.
After the season, she was named the MASCAC Player of the Year. Barrett led the conference in scoring (19.1 points per game), steals (3.0 per game) and free throw percentage (88 percent). She was the third-leading free throw shooter in the nation at season’s end.
“I’ve never had a player who transformed as much from year one to year four as Lucy Barrett,” Westfield State coach Andrea Bertini said. “ She came back better each season and improved in so many parts of her game, and the way she maximized her ability. Individually, she’s one of the best scorers in program history. She’s not the most athletic player we’ve had, but she’s physically strong and finishes at the hoop, and she worked for that.”
Among Barrett’s teammates on the Owls is freshman Bella Aitken (Pittsfield), who played in 26 of Westfield State’s 28 games, averaging 7.7 minutes and 3.1 points per game.
Another Mount Greylock alumna, Lauren Howard, helped Haverford’s women win their conference title and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Howard, a freshman, averaged 5.1 minutes per game, making 16 appearances for 22-7 Haverford. She averaged 1.7 points and .9 rebounds per game. Howard played four minutes, hitting a 3-pointer, in Haverford’s first-round NCAA tournament win over Rosemont.
The Division I NCAA tournaments are just getting started, and Lenox graduate Bailey Patella and the University of Vermont Catamounts open March Madness on Thursday in Hartford, Conn., against No. 4 seed Florida State.
UVM took care of business in its America East tournament finale, beating Maryland-Baltimore County, 66-49 to win the Cats’ seventh league crown all-time.
Patella has appeared in 20 games this winter for UVM, averaging eight minutes and 1.9 points per game as a sophomore.
Thursday’s 2 p.m. game against Florida State is set to be telecast on TBS.
While Patella, Steinman and Guachione keep their winter seasons going, the calendar has turned to spring in the college sports world, and University of Hartford sophomore Drew DeMartino (Taconic) and the Hawks opened America East play over the weekend with a 2-1 split against Kevin Donati (Pittsfield) and the University at Albany.
DeMartino doubled in Hartford’s first win of the season, a 6-5 decision on Saturday. For the season, the Hartford (2-10) second baseman is hitting .167 while posting a .958 fielding percentage in 12 starts.
Donati is hitting .250 for UAlbany (10-9) and has started nine games as a junior. He went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in Albany’s 8-6 win over Hartford over the weekend.
University of New Haven sophomore Izaiya Mestre (Taconic) has posted a 4.11 ERA and a 2-1 record in three appearances on the mound this spring. Mestre has a team-best 17 strikeouts while allowing five walks in 15 innings pitched.
Wahconah graduate Matt Schneider has a team-best .389 batting average with a home run, a double and four RBIs for Assumption College (10-6).
Trinity College junior Matt Koperniak (Hoosac Valley) is hitting .182 with an RBI and a pair of stolen bases in five games for the 3-2 Bantams, who were scheduled to continue their spring training trip in South Carolina on Tuesday night.
At MCLA, the baseball team is off to a 3-5 start, and, once again, Berkshire County alums figure prominently into the Trailblazers’ success. Taconic’s Austin Rachiele (.207 with a double), Hoosac Valley’s Dahndray Sistrunk (2-for-3 at the plate), Drury’s Logan Rumbolt (.174 with a pair of RBIs) and Pittsfield’s Marco DiNicola (four at-bats) are contributing in the field and at the plate.
Monument Mountain’s Tyler Wade (2.1 innings pitched), Lee’s Ryan Ruef (2.2 ip, no earned runs) and Pittsfield’s Bobby New (1.64 ERA) are on the MCLA pitching staff. New has a 2-1 record and has struck out 22 in 22 innings pitched.
Allie Hunt (Pittsfield) and the Rensselaer softball team are off to a torrid start, going 11-2. Hunt is a big part of the reason why, going .375 at the plate with two doubles and 12 RBIs while starting all 13 games.
On the track, Lenox graduate Shannon Meisberger ran a leg on the University of Arizona’s winning 4-by-400 relay quartet (3 minutes, 39.14 seconds) at last weekend’s outdoor season-opening Willie Williams Classic in Tuscon.
The indoor season ended on a high note for the Xavier University men’s track and field team, which set three school records at the Big East Championships. Connor Meehan (Drury) was part for that record-setting performance, running a leg on the school’s fourth-place 4-by-800 relay team (7:38.14).
At the Northeast-10 indoor championships, Merrimack College senior Trevor Ciempa (Hoosac Valley) won his second straight league title in the high jump, clearing 2.04 meters. Ciempa helped Merrimack place fourth in the league for the second straight year.
Perhaps no local high school program has more alumni competing for their respective colleges this spring than the Mount Greylock boys lacrosse team.
At Oberlin College, the Yeoman are 3-2 this season, and junior keeper Cal Filson has started all five games, stopping 55 percent of the shots he has faced and allowing 9.5 goals per game. He had a season-high 14 saves in Oberlin’s most recent outing, a 13-6 win over Mount Union.
Sophomore Thomas Astle has appeared in four games and recorded five shots for 4-1 Nichols College.
Three former Mounties have helped New England College to a 1-4 start this spring. Sophomore Patrick Storie has two goals and two assists, sophomore Reilly Parker has a goal and an assist and junior Liam Chenail has recorded an assist for the Pilgrims. Chenail’s assist helped NEC get its first win of the season, a 7-5 victory over Norwich University.
Senior defenseman Matt Hogan has appeared in one game so far this spring for the Williams College men’s lacrosse team, which is 3-1 going into Wednesday’s game at RPI.
More from the winter….
Simmons College sophomore Elizabeth Bartlett (Mount Greylock) continues to excel in and out of the pool for the Sharks. In January, she was one of 26 swimmers at the school to earn a grade point average of 3.0 or higher as the school achieved the seventh-highest GPA in the nation, bolstered by Bartlett’s 4.0 GPA. In the water, Bartlett posted two top-eight finishes at the season-ending New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships, helping Simmons earn a second-straight team title. Bartlett placed seventh in the 100-yard individual medley (1:04.61) and sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.16).
Hoosac Valley graduate Ellie Field, a freshman at Roger Williams, finished first in the 100 freestyle at the NEISDA Championships, touching the wall in 52.61 seconds. She also swam on the team’s third-place 400 free relay quartet.
Jesse Tobin (St. Joseph) had an outstanding sophomore campaign for the University of Tampa swim team. Tobin placed in the top three in four events at the Sunshine Conference Championships, helping Tampa win the league title. She finished the 500 freestyle in 4 minutes, 57 seconds, the 400 IM in 4:30, the 1,000 free in 10:05 and the 1,650 in 17:00. At last weekend’s NCAA Division II National Championships in Indianapolis, Tobin placed 19th in the 1,650, 28th in the 500 and 31st in the 1,000. Tampa placed fifth in the nation.
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