Seniors key in final stretch – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup

As frustrating as the season has been at times for the Point Park women’s basketball team, the Pioneers still have a shot at hosting a playoff game and making a run at the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) tournament championship.

Fifth-year head coach Tony Grenek told our Co-Sports Editor Michael Richter in last week’s Globe that his team doesn’t have what it takes to be successful.

“I don’t think we have the heart to succeed, to be honest with you,” Grenek said. “They’re a great bunch of kids. They’re nice. But they don’t want to be successful. They’re happy with the status quo, and it’s been frustrating. It’s been this way all season long.”

Those are harsh words, but Grenek is not one to downplay errors. He sets the bar high and doesn’t like to settle for average.

That’s what you want and need out of a head coach – someone who holds players accountable and doesn’t accept less than their best.

The season has been frustrating at times. In Grenek’s five years at Point Park, the team hasn’t lost more games than as it has this year.

But when one takes into consideration what he had to work with entering the season, any normal observer would consider an 18-9, 11-4 KAIC record acceptable.

The starting five for Point Park at the beginning of the year consisted of mostly role players with no stars or standouts.

Last week, we saw what this team really can do when all cylinders are clicking.

After a rough 75-57 loss against Rio Grande, Point Park bounced back with two wins over subpar conference opponents in Carlow and Midway (Ky.).

Now, the two weren’t the best teams Point Park has played this season. But the 11-11 Carlow Celtics and 0-26 Midway Eagles gave Point Park a chance to relax, have fun and shoot the lights out of the gym.

The Pioneers jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter against Carlow and won by 20 points. They then routed the winless Eagles 88-46 on senior night.

Senior night was fun to watch.

Again, Midway was 0-26. But the game still needed played and the players still had to make their shots.

Seniors Carly Corcoran, Alexa Xenakis, Leah Hurst and Briauna Brownfield all were in the starting lineup for Point Park.

The seniors shot out of the gate with back-to-back 3-pointers from Xenakis and Corcoran who, along with Hurst, camped out beyond the arc all night.

Xenakis and Corcoran finished with five triples each, and Hurst connected on three of her long-range attempts.

Point Park totaled 17 3-pointers on the night, the most in one game since Grenek took over as head coach.

To put that number in perspective, the Pioneers made 20 3-pointers in their last five conference games combined.

Those three seniors – Xenakis, Corcoran and Hurst – need to step up the most in the final two regular season games and into postseason play.

They know what it takes to win, they know the amount of effort required to survive and advance in the KIAC tournament and they know they only have a few games left together.

“They’re nice,” Grenek said about his team. “But they don’t want to be successful.”

Now it’s time for these seniors to lead the way and prove that they want to, and can be, successful.