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Former Ringgold standout Schartner's move to Point Park pays off

| Saturday, March 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Emily Schartner

Emily Schartner transferred to Point Park University from The New Jersey Institute of Technology two years ago and has helped the Lady Pioneers enjoy the best two seasons in program history.

A 5-foot-11-inch senior guard from Finleyville who was a two-sport scholastic career at Ringgold High School, Schartner was the only Point Park player to play and start in all 32 the team's games in 2012-13.

She was Point Park's second leading scorer and third leading rebounder, averaging 12 points and 5.8 rebounds per game respectively. Schartner also led the team in blocks (43), three-point baskets (61), and foul-shooting with 99 conversions on 121 attempts (81.8%). Along with scoring the transfer was also second among all Lady Pioneers in made field goals (112), assists (69) and third in minutes-per-game (32), and steals (54).

Point Park joined the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference of the NAIA this season after the American Mideast Conference, an NAIA-affiliated conference for 63 years, was dissolved by the league's Council of Presidents effective June 30, 2012.

The Lady Pioneers compiled a 22-6 overall regular season record and finished first in the KIAC with an 11-4 conference mark.

In the conference playoffs Point Park reeled off three straight victories to earn a second consecutive appearance in the NAIA Division II national tournament. Schartner averaged more than 11 points and seven rebounds during the conference tournament.

During Point Park's 67-58 victory over Asbury (Ky.) in the title game, Schartner made six of seven free throws and scored 11 points.

Point Park's banner season ended with a loss to eventual national semifinalist Indiana Wesleyan in the first round.

Schartner received KIAC Player of the Week honors in early December after averaging 21.5 points and eight rebounds per game in victories over Indiana Southeast and Brescia University.

“Emily has the height and skills to play inside and out on both ends of the floor and is also one of the top three-point shooters in the conference,” said Point Park second-year head coach Tony Grenek. “We could not have asked for more from Emily these past two years.”

The transfer helped Point Park compile a 48-14 cumulative record and achieve the first two 20-win seasons in program history.

In 2011-12 Schartner helped Point Park compile a 23-7 overall record and win the AMC regular season co-championship with a 12-2 conference mark. The Pioneers made the NAIA Division II national tournament for the first time ever after winning their first conference tournament title in program history.

Schartner scored 19 big points in the 2012 AMC championship game, a 60-48 home win over Daemen (N.Y.).That season ended with a two-point loss to Corban (Ore.) in the opening round of the NAIA national tourney.

Also, Point Park gained a national ranking for the first time ever and ended the year ranked 21st in the NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll.

The 23 wins were the most since the program was created in 1978-79.

Schartner averaged 9.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game with a team-high 63 blocks and 69 made free throws. She also added 44 three-point baskets, 34 assists and 52 steals.

She was selected as the AMC Newcomer of the Year.

During her two years at NJIT she played in 55 of the Highlanders' 57 games with eight starts. Schartner compiled 102 points, 71 rebounds, 37 steals, 35 assists and 19 blocks.

Schartner finished her high school career with 1,271 career points, which at the time was fourth in school history. She was a two-time All-Section player and four-year starter for the Lady Rams.

Also at Ringgold, she was a Highest Honor Student in the National Honor Society and a four-year starter in soccer.

Schartner is a dean's list student at Point Park and is majoring in biology. When she joined the program in the summer of 2011 Grenek said getting a student-athlete of her caliber was a feather in the cap of the Point Park women's program. He has hardly changed his thoughts nearly two years later.

“She works hard, loves the game and she is able to press and defend,” he said.

“Academically, she's fantastic. She had a 4.0 all through high school and had a very high college GPA at a premiere academic in-stitution while playing a Division I sport. Then Emily came here and did a tremendous job for us.”

Bruce Wald is a freelance writer