Site last updated: Saturday, March 25, 2023

Log In

Reset Password
Butler County's great daily newspaper

Beautiful team in the neighborhood

Butler County Community College women’s basketball coach Lydia Roth runs a practice from earlier this season. Justin Guido/ Butler Eagle 11/11/22
BC3 women’s basketball using Butler County talent to make run at nationals

BUTLER TWP — Members of the 2022-23 Butler County Community College women’s basketball team don’t have to travel far to get to practice.

They hope to travel a lot farther to play games before this season is over.

The Pioneers are 15-4 entering Saturday’s home game with Lorain CCC with high expectations for the postseason.

“We came within a game (of NJCAA nationals) last year and we only had six players,” Pioneer sophomore guard and Butler graduate Emma Monteleone said. “The additions this year are making a big difference.

“There’s a dynamic with this team that feels pretty good.”

Every player on BC3’s roster — along with first-year head coach and Slippery Rock resident Lydia Roth — is from Butler County.

Moniteau graduate and BC3 sophomore forward Aslyn Pry recognizes the camaraderie that exists on the roster.

“It is fun that we’re all from around here,” she said. “Our new players have made us better, deeper. There’s a lot of pride among us. I played with and against some of these players in high school. Now we’ve all meshed as teammates here.”

Moniteau graduate Aslyn Pry advances down the court for Butler County Community College. Pry is amonmg the NJCAA leaders in a few categories this season. Butler Eagle File Photo

“Pry’s high school teammate at Moniteau, Zoey Hillwig, is a sophomore guard with the Pioneers. Karns City graduates Emma Johns and Brooke Manuel are BC3 freshmen. Sophomore guards Emma Monteleone and Hailey Metzger, along with freshman guard Megan Pennington, are from Butler.

Sophomore forward Taylor Yost from Seneca Valley, freshman guard Sara Soltis from Mars and freshman forward Zoe Morley from Portersville Christian round out the roster.

“I think this speaks well for the kind of talent our local high schools are producing,” Roth said. “We’re just tapping into it.”

Pry is eighth in all of NJCAA Division III with 19.9 points per game and leads the country with 15.6 rebounds per game. Her 75 blocked shots are second in the nation and her 92 offensive rebounds rank second. Monteleone ranks fifth nationally with 5.1 assists per game.

“”I’m not thinking about my individual goals right now,“ Pry said of where she may wind up in BC3’s all-time record book. ”All I’m worried about are team goals.“

Johns is averaging 15.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Her 61 3-point field goals rank third nationwide. Metzger is averaging 11.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists, draining 32 treys. Monteleone has hit 23 3-pointers.

Johns said the biggest adjustments in coming from Karns City to BC3 is the speed of play and the shot clock.

“I like the shot clock,” she said. “It keeps the game moving. There’s not a foul every few seconds because a team needs to get the ball back. The play here is much more wide open.

“It didn’t take long for our team to mesh. There’s a lot of familiar faces. Knowing that we’re all from around here adds to the enjoyment of what we’re doing. It feels more comfortable.”

BC3 and Westmoreland CCC are the only NJCAA Division III women’s basketball teams in the region. The Pioneers play a number of Division II junior college teams along with the Penn State schools.

“Most of the teams we play against recruit out of state and offer scholarship money,” Roth said. “Penn State Beaver has only one girl from that area on its roster. Our team is totally local ... It just worked out that way and I’m proud of what these girls have been able to accomplish so far.

“I think we’re only going to get better. We can definitely compete for the Region 20 title this year.”

Manuel admitted she wasn’t sure what to expect when she joined the Pioneers as a freshman forward this year.

“It’s really different and the play is physical,” she said. “We’re all neighbors and we’re playing for each other. We all get along and that’s a big part of this.”


Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required