Penn State Mont Alto Women's Basketball team fell to Penn State Schuylkill in a close game, 50-45. Mont Alto also honored their only senior last night, Helena DeShong.
Mont Alto was down by 10 points at halftime, 25-15. They knew they had to come out stronger in the second half to stay in the game. They did just that. But Schuylkill held strong and did not give up the lead. Mont Alto pushed until the end, coming within one point of gaining the lead when DeShong hit a three-pointer with two minutes remaining. Then Schuylkill responded with a lay-up with one minute remaining and two more free throws to secure the win.
"We would like to congratulate Helena on a great performance on her last game on Mont Alto's home court, she came through with several key shots tonight," Head Coach Donna Davis comments. "We started out sluggish and at one point of the game we down by over 20 points but our team never gave up. We were able to close the gap and had a chance to take the lead but just couldn't make it happen."
Comments from the Mont Alto Women's Basketball Coaches on Helena…
Helena DeShong has been a part of the Penn State Mont Alto Women's Basketball Program for three years. During her first two years with the basketball program, she stuck through the trying times of a rebuilding program, always keeping a positive attitude and being a leader on and off the court. The work ethic she brought to the team was an example that the younger players could emulate and her drive to be a better player transcended to her teammates.
During the 2012-13 basketball season, which will be her final season with the team, Helena helped guide her young teammates to the first win the Women's Basketball Program had during her tenure. That first win came against Schuylkill, one of the toughest venues to play at in the entire conference. She led them to another victory against York at home, hitting a three pointer near the end of regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime, which Mont Alto ended up winning.
Though these were huge wins for the young program, Helena's influence on this team spreads further than the win/loss column. She also shows the younger players that though she is short in stature, she plays with a huge heart. If she makes a mistake, she makes up for that mistake by making a crucial shot or diving on the floor for every loose ball that hits the ground. She also has a
penchant for hitting clutch shots, even in losses, that can change momentum back into the team's favor and keep it close.
Though Helena will be moving on from the program at the conclusion of this year, her teammates will remember everything she brought to them when they suit up for the 2013-14 basketball season. Those teammates will look at the example that was set for them by Helena and they will use that to lead the team next season. Everything that Helena brought to the basketball program over the past three years can't be summed up in a few comments and they were barely touched upon with these words. But it is good to know that those actions will be emulated by those who knew her, both on and off the court.
Helena is a two time USCAA Academic All-American for her success in the classroom.
Penn State Mont Alto will travel to Penn State Worthington-Scranton on Saturday, January 26th for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.