Royal Review: February 12-18

Senior Katie Feehery and the Lady Royals are the top seed in this week's Landmark Conference playoffs.
Senior Katie Feehery and the Lady Royals are the top seed in this week's Landmark Conference playoffs.

Women's Basketball (22-1, 11-1)

With the top seed in the Landmark Conference playoffs already clinched, The University of Scranton women's basketball team rolled into postseason play with two more victories last week to push its win streak to 19 games.

The Lady Royals outscored visiting Susquehanna 14-3 in the second quarter of Wednesday night's game in the Long Center to erase an early deficit before putting the game out of reach with a 12-4 run in the third quarter. Bridgette Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) paced a balanced attack with 16 points while Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) (13), Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) (10), and Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) (10) also reached double-figures in the win over the River Hawks.

The Lady Royals closed out the regular season with a 72-24 thumping of Goucher on Saturday, never looking back after racing out to a 25-2 advantage at the end of the opening quarter. Taylor Rodriguez (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) scored a team-high 12 points for Scranton, which had 12 of 14 players net points including nine players with six or more points.

The women's basketball team will host Moravian on Wednesday night in a Landmark Conference semifinal game starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Long Center. With a win over the Greyhounds, the Lady Royals would host the Landmark Conference championship on Saturday.

Men's Basketball (13-12, 9-5 Landmark)

The University of Scranton men's basketball team won twice to wrap up the regular season, but missed out on a playoff spot in a three-way tiebreaker for the final two spots.

The Royals opened the week with a thrilling 83-82 victory at Susquehanna on Wednesday, Feb. 14, that kept the team's playoff hopes alive. Sophomore guard Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) hit a leaning 15-footer at the buzzer to win it.

Senior guard Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) had a team high 23 points in the win. Senior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds, DeVerna had 13 points and senior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) added 12.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the Royals completed their season with a 77-60 win at Goucher. Schankweiler finished with a flourish, scoring a career-high 24 points and matching his career high in rebounds with 17. He finished the season with a 69.0 field goal percentage, a single-season Royals record.

Senior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) finished with 16 points and six assists, Danzig had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Cross added 11 points.

Scranton (13-12, 9-5 Landmark) finished in a three-way tie for third with Drew (16-9, 9-5) and Catholic (15-10, 9-5). The three times were all 2-2 against each other, which sent the tiebreaker to record against the rest of the conference teams in descending order of finish. The Royals went 0-2 against first-place Juniata while Drew and Catholic were 1-1, which left the Royals out of the playoffs.

The Royals have now posted a winning record in each of the past 14 seasons and 16 out of 17 under head coach Carl Danzig. This is also the first time in the Landmark Conference's 11-year history in which a team finished with nine conference victories and did not advance to the postseason.

Women's Swimming & Diving

The University of Scranton women's swimming & diving team finished third at the Landmark Conference Championships over the weekend. The Royals totaled 541 points with four gold medals while establishing four new school records and two Landmark Conference records.

Freshman Lauren Byrne (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) enjoyed an outstanding meet, earning Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year honors after winning three individual championships, setting two conference meet records, and recording an NCAA B-Cut qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke. Byrne set conference records in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke and also a set a Royals' record in the 100 backstroke to claim gold in all three events.

Junior Claire Mason (Livingston, N.J./Mt. St. Dominic Academy) brought home gold in the 200 breaststroke, winning the race with a time of 2:25.87.

Scranton also broke a school record in the 200 medley relay as Byrne, freshman Marycate O'Sullivan (Nanuet, N.Y./Nanuet), sophomore Elizabeth Howlin (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West), and senior Raquel Wasserman (Pound Ridge, N.Y./The Fox Lane) finished third in the event.

Men's Swimming & Diving

The University of Scranton men's swimming & diving team placed third overall at the Landmark Conference Championships over the weekend. The Royals amassed 585 points while collecting three gold medals and breaking nine school records during the meet.

Sophomore Michael Diana (Somerset, N.J./Immaculata-Somerville) was honored as the Landmark Conference Diver of the Year for the second year in a row after winning the 3-meter diving competition with a school record mark.

Sophomore Timothy Quigley (Hatboro, Pa./Archbishop Wood) won two gold medals with a pair of school record times, taking first place in the 100 butterfly and in the 100 breaststroke.

Freshman John Fimmano (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) (200 butterfly), freshman Matthew Mills (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township) (200 backstroke), senior Patrick Blaser (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) (100 breaststroke), and junior Michael Ramsthaler (Florham Park, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) (100 backstroke) also set new individual program records.

Blaser, Ramsthaler, Quigley, and Mills led the Royals to a new school records in the 400 medley relay while Ramsthaler, Blaser, Quigley, and junior Brayan Winiarz (Long Pond, Pa./Evergreen Community) posted the fastest time ever for Scranton in the 200 medley relay.

Women's Indoor Track & Field

Sophomore Caroline Banas (Dallas, Pa./Holy Redeemer) continued her impressive season for The University of Scranton women's track & field team on Saturday, setting a Landmark Conference record while winning the high jump at the Marc Deneault Invitational at Cornell University.

Banas cleared 1.71 meters (5 feet, 7.25 inches) for her best jump of the season and the third-best in all of NCAA Division III. She broke the previous Landmark Conference record of 1.68 meters, set by Moravian's Melissa Cheong on Jan. 30, 2016. Banas easily won the event, besting second-place Aviana Goode of Syracuse, who cleared 1.65 meters (5 feet, 5 inches).

Banas has now won the long jump in three of the four events the Royals have competed in during the indoor season.

The Royals will now spend a week preparing for the Landmark Conference Indoor Championships on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.

Men's Indoor Track & Field

ITHACA, N.Y. – The University of Scranton men's track & field team was in action on Saturday at the Marc Denault Invitational at Cornell University.

Freshman Matt Kinback (Factoryville, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) had the top performance for the Royals, finishing eighth in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:59.56.

The Royals will now prepare for the Landmark Conference Indoor Championships on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.

Wrestling (10-4)

The wrestling team wrapped up its regular season with a pair of victories in the Cross-County Duals on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, Feb. 16, the Royals upset nationally ranked Wilkes by winning the final three bouts to pull out a 23-21 victory. They won it when sophomore Keegan Connelly (Schnecksville, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) won at 285 pounds with a third-period pin. His victory capped a rally from a 21-9 deficit with three bouts left.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, Scranton rolled to a 39-6 win over King's on Senior Day in the Long Center. The Royals (10-4) won eight of the 10 bouts, including the final seven in a row. Juniors Andrew Gombas (Warren, N.J./Bound Brook)Kevin Merle (Stroudsburg, Pa./Belvidere) and Daniel D'Agostini (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic), and sophomore T.J. Conlon (Long Branch, N.J./Long Branch) each had pins in the victory.

The wrestling team will now prepare for the NCAA East Regionals on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24-25, at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.

Men's Lacrosse (2-0)

The men's lacrosse team got the spring season started with a pair of victories last week.

The Royals opened their season on Wednesday, Feb. 14, by defeating Wilkes, 14-5, on the road. Sophomore attackman Connor Kirkwood (Millburn, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) and sophomore midfielder Joe Hill (South Hempstead, N.Y./South Side) had three goals each to lead the Royals. Senior Jeff Sabatini (Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield) made nine saves between the pipes to earn the win, and senior Adam Drury (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) went 17-for-20 in the faceoff circle.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the men's lacrosse team defeated Marywood, 16-5, in the home opener at Fitzpatrick Field. Senior midfielder Conor Carey (Long Beach, N.Y./Chaminade) led the attack with four goals and two assists for a career-high six points. Sophomore midfielder Michael Elefonte (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) also had a career high with four points on three goals and an assist. Drury also had another strong game, going 15-for-19 on faceoffs and tying Carey for the team lead in ground balls with seven.

The men's lacrosse team will be back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 21, when the Royals host DeSales at 4 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field.

This Week in University of Scranton Athletics

Wednesday, Feb. 21
Men's lacrosse – vs. DeSales (4 p.m.)
Women's basketball – vs. Moravian, Landmark Conference semifinal (7 p.m.) 

Saturday, Feb. 24
Men's track & field – at Landmark Conference Indoor Championships, Susquehanna University (TBA)
Women's track & field – at Landmark Conference Indoor Championships, Susquehanna University (TBA)
Wrestling – at NCAA Mideast Regional, Ithaca College (11 a.m.)
Men's lacrosse – at Muhlenberg (1 p.m.)
Women's lacrosse – at Farmingdale State (1 p.m.)
Women's basketball – Landmark Conference championship (TBA)

Sunday, Feb. 25
Wrestling – NCAA Mideast Regional, Ithaca College (10 a.m.) 

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