Gettysburg's Bengel enjoys a happy new year on court



January 08, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Talk about a holiday rush.

Gettysburg College freshman basketball forward Jen Bengel had an impressive six-day holiday run last week for the Bullets women's team.

The 5-foot-10 Bengel (Roland Park) helped lead the Bullets (8-3) to two tournament championships by scoring 57 points and grabbing 29 rebounds in four games, and walking away with the Most Valuable Player trophy in the prestigious Marymount tournament Dec. 30.

Marymount went to the NCAA Division III final four last year, but last week the Saints were beaten on their home floor by the Bullets, 70-59, behind Bengel's 20 points and 10 rebounds.

The Marymount title game show by Bengel gave her 35 points and 17 rebounds in the tournament.

"That Marymount game was something else for me," Bengel said. "Everybody on the team played well for us. I just had a good feeling all night and decided to shoot my first two three-pointers of the season [making both to ignite a second-half rally]."

Bengel's surge has raised her team-leading scoring average to 13.5 points, and her 9.0 rebounding average is second on the team to that of 5-11 senior forward Jay Hodge (12.0).

"It helps me so much to play against Jay every day in practice," Bengel said. "She is so strong and physical."

Hodge is second to Bengel in scoring on the team (11.8 average).

For Bengel, the transition from high school to college basketball has not only been smooth but also very simple.

"Everyone here has the same goals," she said. "Playing in college is easier than high school for me. The players are more talented and work harder."

Bengel said she gets a lot of her baskets on put-backs but has the approval of coach Michael Kirkpatrick to shoot three-pointers any time.

"I'm a four or a five [forward/center], so I won't be out there gunning threes too often," said Bengel, who wound up being named to three all-tournament teams in the past six weeks.

Fanjoy key for Shepherd

Shepherd College senior center Keith Fanjoy (Hammond) played a major role Saturday night in an 83-77 basketball victory over Davis & Elkins, scoring 18 points, getting 11 rebounds and blocking three shots.

The 6-10 Fanjoy hit eight of 16 field goals and both of his free throws for the Rams (4-4).

Fanjoy, who has started all eight games, is averaging 8.9 points and 6.0 rebounds, has blocked eight shots and has five steals and five assists.

Fanjoy was named co-Player of the Week in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference last week.

Fanjoy is far from the tallest player on the Shepherd team. Former University of Maryland reserve center Matt Slaninka, a sophomore from DeMatha, is 7-4.

Slaninka has played in three games for the Rams, averaging 14.3 minutes, 5.3 points, and 3.0 rebounds.

Falcone on boards

Pitt-Johnstown junior forward Marc Falcone (Liberty) is second on the team in rebounding (6.7), although he has started just four games for the Division II Mountain Cats (5-6).

Falcone, 6-7, is averaging 5.3 points, shooting 57.1 percent from the field and has hit 13 of 14 free throws.

He also has eight blocks, four assists and three steals this season, and in an 83-75 December victory over Shepherd he had two dunks, 10 points and seven rebounds.

Have a Postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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