Tag Archives: womens basketball

Women’s basketball GA Grisillo earns promotion to assistant coach

By Harrison Taylor, Staff Writer

What do you do when the thing you love the most is suddenly out of your reach? Do you give up? Or do you find another way to channel that love in a different way?

Most athletes who tear their ACL probably wouldn’t go the route that Katelyn Grisillo, Wingate’s new women’s assistant basketball coach, decided to go.

katelyn-grisillo

Grisillo, a graduate assistant coach here for the past two years, recently earned a promotion to the full-time staff after assistant coach Celeste Stewart left to take a new job at East Carolina University.

As she comes in to tell me about the career she had before coming to Wingate, Grisillo beams with level-headed energy with a positive, headstrong attitude pressing on the front of her words. She apologizes for being late, as she’s been out all day preparing for the camp her team is about to endure, and apparently, I’m lucky I caught her before it started.

Grisillo quickly goes through a decade and a half worth of athletic history with me; starting to play when she was a young in Charleston, S.C., her transfer to USC-Aiken, and her eventual ACL tear during her junior year that changed things for her.

“You know, two years on the bench…it kind of gave me a different perspective. I wanted to know the ins and outs of what we were doing. And honestly what brings me back is the relationships…those coaches and the relationships, they formed with me, they still valued me as a person,” Grisillo says, speaking passionately of her experiences that led her to pursue coaching as a potential career path.

In addition to loving the game of basketball, Grisillo loves to play racquetball, has a dog named Jessie (a retriever/husky mix), and clearly has a strong connection with her players, as one walks in to get a room key from her while she continues to explain her love for the game.

Grisillo was a graduate assistant coach and a student in Wingate’s Master’s in Sports Management program before getting hired. She’s worked with the team and Coach Ann Hancock as they won two South Atlantic Conference championships.

“We’ve done pretty well…we would all like to see us get a step further. We made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament two years in a row…we need to get across that hump and get that Elite Eight appearance. That would be a nice place to get to,” she says. 

The topic of winning and getting further as a team brings a new side out of her as she speaks, looking annoyed by having to even mention that a school like Carson-Newman made it further than they did in the NCAA tournament.

“They made it this year and they’re out of our conference. It would be nice if we could be the one to make it out of the SAC.”

But, she reiterates that winning isn’t just about games.

“I think that enhancing our winning culture that we want to create is important. Not just winning games, not just having a fantastic record, but, doing things that winners do…going the extra mile on the court, in the classroom, as people. Coach Hancock teaches a lot of life lessons. [She says]‘Be a giver, not a taker.’”

From turning an injury into a new perspective, and then into a new career, Grisillo has come a long way from playing as a kid in Charleston, and she plans to continue driving those messages of perseverance into her team.

“Whatever we can do to instill those principles in the girls, that matters more than making it past the second round,” Grisillo finishes, before speaking more on the chemistry she and Coach Hancock have and the enjoyment she gets working with her.

Grisillo leaves quickly, seemingly preparing for the camp she’s about to go through with her girls. It’s clear her energy is welcome on the court, and her love for the game is still thriving through the “winning culture” she and Hancock are making sure the team is prescribed to.

Wingate dominates Newberry in Women’s Basketball SAC Tournament Quarterfinals

Rachael Robinson, Staff Writer

The Wingate University Women’s Basketball team, ranked #21, (24-4) took an early lead against the Newberry Wolves (16-12) as Danasia Witherspoon scored for the Bulldogs within the first 30 seconds of play.

The Bulldogs would never relinquish their lead, winning 65-42.

At the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs found their way to a 17-6 lead against Newberry. By the end of the first half they had increased their lead to 30-17. The third quarter was controlled by Wingate again and their lead grew to 43-25 and In the fourth quarter, Newberry try to mount a comeback, but it was too late.

Wingate’s leading scorer on the season, Marta Miscenko, was locked down by the Wolves’ defense and held to four points during the game. Caroline Averette, Danasia WItherspoon, and Courtney Robinson were there to pick up the slack. Each was able to make it into double digits during the game as Averette lead the scoring  for Wingate with 15 points and Witherspoon lead the Bulldogs in rebounds with 13.

Head Coach Ann Hancock said the game was easy on her. She wasn’t worried about the lead possession by possession.  “I think they came out with a sense of urgency.”

Wingate came into this tournament after winning the last two SAC Championship Tournaments. Both teams were playing for a chance to play in the semifinals on Saturday.

“This is what we’ve worked for all season, to advance and go for the championship.” said Hancock.

Wingate ended the game with a total of 53 rebounds. Coach Hancock said, “It’s something we’ve been talking about.” She referred to the old saying and how her team uses it when describing their games, “O sells tickets, D wins games and Rs win championships.”

The next step toward the championship will be Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Furman University against Anderson University.

When asked about what the future holds Hancock said, “Anderson will be ready for us, and we’ll be fired up for them.”

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Miscenko stands out as WU women’s hoops heads for postseason

Ryan J. MacKintosh, Staff Writer

For some Bulldogs the future ending of the season means a break is near, giving time to recover for the next season, but for others, like senior star center Marta Miscenko of Latvia, this is the end of their collegiate career, after a life full of schooling involving basketball.

Miscenko, who was just named the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year in women’s basketball, is having quite a season.

She is averaging 16.9 points and 7 rebounds a game. while shooting a little above 50 percent. She is also no stranger to blocked shots, recording 65 this season.

While being off the court, not much changes for Miscenko, who stays around her teammates, stating “I really enjoy spending time with my teammates off the court. When I am not with them, I enjoy just listening to music, watching movies, and nap every once in a while.”  When asked what has been her driving factor for success this season it is clear how much the sport means to her, “The biggest driving factor for me this season was the fact that as much as I would love to, I will never be able to do this again. So I want to give everything I have and have no regrets later.”  

There is no denying the success of this basketball team or Miscenko individually. “The SAC is a conference with great teams. Every time when its game day, we come prepared because we know that no matter who we play, it will always be a great team and we can’t have any slip ups, especially with tournament time approaching.”

Miscenko had to say on overlooking lower ranked opponents, “With the competitive nature and skill level, there is no telling how far this team could go.” Misckenko described this team as, “Unique, diverse, and a partnership.”

After being asked what her expectations for the remainder of the season were, Miscenko gave a humble answer while remaining confident. “Most importantly, we have to take on one game at a time. We should just play each game like it is our last and move on forward as far as we can. For many teams the season is almost over, I believe that for us, the most interesting part just has begun.”  There is no telling where Miscenko will find herself after graduation, but one thing is for sure, if she works as hard as she does here at Wingate University, the sky’s the limit, much like with her team.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Wingate comes back on Miscenko’s strong second half performance

JT Stokes, Staff Writer

Marta Miscenko’s 28 point effort pushes #21 Wingate (19-3, (13-2 SAC) to a 70-59 SAC victory over LMU (13-10, 9-8 SAC).

Wingate won their eighth straight game thanks to efforts from Wingate University senior center Marta Miscenko, who recorded her 22nd career double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds, helping the Bulldogs in another South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball victory over Lincoln Memorial University Saturday afternoon in Cuddy Arena.

The defending South Atlantic Conference tournament champions are undefeated at home with a 12-0 record during the 2017-18 season. Bulldog juniors Caroline Averette, Danasia Witherspoon, and Courtney Robinson combined for 31 points in the win.

For Lincoln Memorial, junior guard Emily Griffith had 17 points. Freshman center Cameryn DuBose matched Miscenko’s double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Shea Coker contributed 11 points in the loss.

Box Score Notables

LMU lead Wingate 44-43 at the end of the third quarter. Wingate outscored LMU 27-15 in the fourth quarter.

Miscenko had 13 points alone in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs shot 80 percent from the floor in the fourth quarter.

LMU shot 26 percent from the floor in the fourth quarter.

Wingate outrebounded LMU 41-32. Witherspoon had nine rebounds.

The game changed leads eight times.

What happened

First Quarter: LMU led Wingate 16-14 after the first quarter. Wingate went only 4-of 22 from the floor shooting a low 18.2 percent. The first quarter alone had four tie scores and four lead changes.

Second Quarter: Lincoln Memorial gained an eight point advantage in the first minutes in the second quarter, which was LMU’s biggest lead of the afternoon. Wingate outscored LMU 11-2 to end the second quarter putting the Bulldogs up 30-28 at halftime. Miscenko lead the way with 11 points in the first half.

Third Quarter: Wingate added to their halftime lead by scoring the first 6 points of the period. LMU responded immediately scoring eight unanswered points to tie the game 36-36 on a three-point field goal by junior guard Rachel Griffith. LMU outscored the Bulldogs to make the score 44-40 LMU with 1:24 to go but Wingate junior guard Taylor Helms answered with a three-point field goal on the other end to finish the scoring in the third.

Fourth Quarter: A strong fourth quarter ended the game for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs responded went on a 10-0 run, concluded by two Witherspoon free throws with 3:18 left, which gave Wingate its largest lead of the afternoon at 61-47. LMU would not get within seven points in the final stretch and Miscenko made five-of-six field goals and three-of-four free throws in the fourth quarter to help the Bulldogs turn the tide.

“Once again, the second effort was strong. Marta came alive in the second half and gave them some problems. We did a good job of getting her the ball where she could be successful. Winning the boards and getting to the line was big. Every game is important and this one was no different. We know winning at home is crucial,” Wingate Head Coach Ann Hancock said.

“Our team really comes alive in the fourth quarter defensively. We feel like there’s a certain sense of urgency that our team has. We were able to buckle down and get a good win,” Marta Miscenko said.

Wingate will be on the road against the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears (14-11, 8-9 SAC) on Wednesday, February 14th at 6 pm.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

 

Wingate blown out by LMU in Men’s Basketball

Philip Harris, Staff Writer

The Wingate Men’s Basketball team (12-12, 9-7 SAC) was unable to keep up with the high-powered #1 team in the country, falling to the Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters (23-1, 17-0 SAC) 93-65 on Saturday afternoon.

Wingate started the game off hot, jumping out to a 13-10 lead early in the first half of the game. LMU, however, scored the next eight points to take an 18-13 lead on a Dorian Pinson layup with 9:16 left in the half. The Bulldogs were able to pull within three on a Marco Haskin’s three-point play, but the Railspittters went on to score 19 out of the next 21 points and the visitors led 49-29 at halftime.

“We got away from the game plan for a brief moment, but that is all it takes against them,” said coach Brian Good when asked about the first half.     

The second half didn’t get any better for the Bulldogs with the Railsplitters going on a 21-5 run pushing the lead to a game-high of 34 points. Jeremy Williams scored 8 straight points for Wingate to chop the lead down to 26. The closest the Bulldogs got the rest of the way was 22 points.

Trevon Shaw led the Railsplitters with 24 points while shooting eight-of-12 from three-point range. Emanuel Terry also had 22 points and 11 rebounds going eight-for-11 from the field.

Freshman guard Kendrick Tucker had 14 points to lead the Bulldogs offense, and also added three steals and two rebounds. Junior guard Marco Haskins also had 14 points along with five rebounds.

Wingate will look to rebound on Wednesday when they travel to Lenoir-Rhyne (10-13, 8-9 SAC) for an 8pm tip off.

Edited by Brendan Shriver  

Wingate takes on Tusculum to grasp a 77-45 SAC Victory

Rachel Lods, Staff Writer

Wingate, NC- On Saturday, January 2, the Wingate University Women’s Basketball team hosted Tusculum College gaining their fourth consecutive victory. Marta Miscenko (Riga, Latvia), junior center, led the Bulldogs to victory with 16 points, followed closely by Danasia Witherspoon (Hickory, N.C.) who scored 13 points and led the game in rebounds, racking up 8 out of the 43, to help Wingate finish 77-45 over Tusculum.

Senior guard Shelby Tricoli (Waynesville, N.C.)  said, “Without the influence and game changing play of Kristina Rumplasch, it would have been a much different game. She put up a lot of big baskets and fast break lay-ups coming off the bench and inspired the whole team to elevate their level of play.” Rumplasch (Mount Airy, N.C.) scored 13 points in 19 minutes after coming off the bench.

The start of the third quarter was pivotal for Wingate, coming out with a 20-2 lead over Tusculum. When asked about game-changing moments, Wingate’s head Coach Ann Hancock said, “We started a little slowly, but we got it together at the end of the second quarter. I thought our defense tightened up and we got some easy baskets to start the third to keep the momentum going.”

Wingate swept Tusculum in every statistical category with a .509-.395 field goal percentage and 1.000-.375 three-point field goal percentage. Rebounds were also a huge factor Wingate nabbing 43 while Tusculum only managing 17. Coach Hancock said, “Rebounding was key as was taking care of the ball better in the second half.  Tusculum has some talented players who started the game hot. I was glad to see us fight through a rough start.”

Tricoli said, “Despite Tusculum’s record, we knew they would come in and put up a fight and our coach was proud we took care of business.”

Edited by: Brea Childs

Women’s Basketball prepares for upcoming season

Winter Sports Preview: Women’s Basketball

Andrew Elliot, Staff Writer

Fall sports are beginning their descent as the winter sports of Wingate University begin to rise with both Wingate’s men’s and women’s basketball teams starting practice 2 weeks ago.

The SAC women’s basketball champions finished out the season 24-9 after losing to Columbus State in the NCAA Division II Tournament, 79-72.

Senior guard Shelby Tricoli (2016 SAC Tournament MVP), Graduate guard Amber Neely, Sophomore guard Danasia Witherspoon (2016 All-rookie team), Sophomore guard Courtney Robinson (2016 All-rookie team), Junior center Marta Miscenko. Senior forward/center Kristina Rumplasch and Senior guard Alex Tomlinson return this season with two new additions to the 2016 SAC champions roster,  Freshman guard Lindsey Barker and Freshman forward Jordan Quick.

I believe that we will do big things this season.” Said Marta Miscenko, “We have girls with experience and we have a good team chemistry which plays a big role. So, once we get some more into the season and in the groove of things, we should be good.”

 The Triangle was able to catch up with the Women’s basketball head coach, Ann Hancock to talk about the upcoming season. “I’m excited to get the season started but it seems like we don’t get much time for official practice before the season actually starts.” Said Coach Hancock.

“If we can stay healthy, we have a very talented team returning.  Our team is a veteran team with experience. Each returning player brings a different aspect to the game which will make us difficult to defend.”  

According to Coach Hancock, the team only graduated two players: Morgan McGee and Alysia Hudson. “In my opinion, our experience and depth are strong points this season.”

The bulldogs start their season with an exhibition game against Elon University on Oct. 29 at Elon. The first official game is on Nov. 11 vs. Armstrong State in the PBC-SAC Challenge Tournament.

The SAC champs’ first home game is the second game of the season on Nov. 22 against the bears Lenoir Rhyne.

“Our first home game is against a difficult conference opponent so we will have to be ready from the beginning.”

For more information on the season and statistics, go to wingatebulldogs.com.

Edited by: Sara Gunter