Hawks women’s b-ball to play Butler 2nd straight year in playoffs


Dan Elson

For the second straight year, The Riverhawks women’s basketball squad will play the Butler County Community College Pioneers. The game is at noon on Saturday at Westmoreland County Community College in Pennsylvania. Shown, forward, Jada Turner.

Dan Elson, Sports Editor

The Riverhawks women’s basketball team will play the Butler County Community College Pioneers on Saturday at noon in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 20 postseason game.

Riverhawks women’s head basketball coach Lionel Makell said the way the Riverhawks knock off the Pioneers is with “toughness.”

“We have to “play AACC basketball [and] play within ourselves,” Makell noted. “We got to box out, we got to rebound.”

The Riverhawks lost to the Pioneers last year 68-59 in the NJCAA Semifinals. This year, the Riverhawks finished 8-16 in the regular season and the Pioneers went 18-5.

Makell said the team has “just as good an opportunity as the rest of them do. We just got to show up and play.”

Forward Syrena Boone agreed.

“We have a really good chance of winning as long as we play together [and] play strong defense,” Boone, a second-year business student, said. “The past couple of games, we played really good defense on other teams. So if we can carry that same defense into this game, I think we’ll be perfectly fine.”

Guard Isabella Papaleonti, who’s playing her first college basketball postseason game, said she’s not nervous.

“I’m more … excited, and like, hopeful that we can win it,” Papaleonti, a second-year psychology student, said.

Makell said he’s excited for the playoffs.

It “gives you an opportunity to go on … and get one of those little plaques.” Makell said. “I feel very good where we are right now.”

Boone added: “Second time is definitely a charm.”