Montrose leads Saint Vincent to PAC crown

April 10, 2019 Cranberry Local Sports

Seneca Valley graduate and Saint Vincent College junior Paige Montrose, left, played a pivotal role in the Bearcats' women's basketball team winning its first-ever Presidents' Athletic Conference title this season.

LATROBE — Seneca Valley graduate and Saint Vincent women's junior basketball forward Paige Montrose has proven to be one of the most dynamic players in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.

She helped the Bearcats to their first-ever conference championship this past season.

“Paige has been a true blessing. She's the exact kind of player you want in your program,” Saint Vincent head coach Jimmy Petruska said. “She always strives to get better, great with her academics. There are only a few players who fight like she does.”

The Bearcats defeated Washington & Jefferson, 70-48, to earn their first PAC title, which also earned the team a spot in the NCAA national tournament for the first time since 2011 and just the third time in school history.

“It was one of the best moments of my basketball career,” Montrose said of winning the conference championship.

St. Vincent entered the national tourney riding a 7-game winning streak, but saw its season end with a 79-54 loss to Thomas More in the NCAA's first round in Crestview Hills, Ky. The defeat, however, does not diminish the team's effort, which included an overall record of 23-5 record and 15-1 performance in the conference.

“One of our season goals was to get into the national tourney and a chance to compete with 63 other teams,” said Petruska.

Montrose led the team in rebounds with 5.4 per game during the season. She added 7.9 points and a total of 69 steals and 40 assists while spending a team-leading 630 minutes on the court.

The junior is three years removed from Seneca Valley, where she was a three-sport athlete in basketball, soccer, and track. Montrose earned second team All-Section honors in basketball.

“My first year was rough, new system, new players,” Montrose said of her transition to college play. “In high school, I was used to who I was playing with, then I had new teammates and the girls were bigger and better.”