By Matt Leon
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – Women’s basketball success at West Chester University is not unusual at all. Under the tutelage of head coach Deirdre Kane, the Golden Rams have been a consistent winner for years in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. However, what is unusual this year, is the age of the team doing the winning this season.
“It is the youngest team I’ve ever had in my tenure at West Chester,” Kane tells KYW Newsradio. “We start four sophomores and a junior.”
That group has put together a 17-7 record and sits at the top of the PSAC East with a 12-2 league mark. That’s good for a half-game lead over second place Bloomsburg, with those two teams readying for a showdown on Wednesday night on the Huskies home floor.
Despite the youth of this group, Kane says it didn’t take long for her to realize they had something special:
“I think it was early on, when we were playing some local rivals very tough,” she says. “Although losing to Philly U, Philly U is having a great year and it was a three-point loss and we missed a shot at the buzzer. And then going to Holy Family and winning. I mean those are always tough, local rivals, and I thought, ‘Hmmm, we might be on to something here’.”
Hear Matt’s full interview with Deirdre Kane…
Sophomore Dallas Ely is leading the way for this team, despite taking on some extra responsibility at the beginning of the season.
“Very unselfishly, Dallas offered to play the point for us, because that’s what’s even more amazing about this team,” Kane says. “We had two point guards got out of the picture for different reasons the last week of October. We were basically point guard-less. Dallas stepped up and said, ‘I’ll play the point.’ My staff was worried about her scoring when she did move to the point, and it shows you how much we know because this is the first time in my 27 seasons at West Chester, (that) we have someone that is leading the PSAC, not just the East, but the West also, in scoring. Dallas is averaging (19.6) points a game, and is number one in the entire in the PSAC, which is very unusual for us.”
Kane says another young guard is also putting together an outstanding campaign:
“We also have a sophomore named Brittany Sicinski, a local product out of Downingtown West High School,” Kane says. “(She) is averaging (15.3) points a game and pretty much does everything else for us from the guard spot, as far as assists and rebounds. So those two sophomores – both sophomores – are leading the way for us.”
As they get ready for that showdown with Bloomsburg, the Golden Rams will be looking to shake off a loss to Shippensburg from Saturday. Kane says match-ups like this are really what it’s all about.
“Absolutely,” Kane says. “That’s the point I’m trying to make this week. This is why we were in the pool at 6:45am in September, this is why we were on the track, this is why we were in the weight room. We’re playing for a championship on Wednesday and that’s pretty much why we play.”
Bloomsburg won the first match-up between the two teams, grabbing an 88-80 decision, on January 18th.
Wednesday’s game at Bloomsburg will tip-off at 5:30pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.