Butler grad Cygan aiming for conference title, scoring record at La Roche
College Football Videos
Through two years as a college basketball player, Casie Cygan had established herself as a valuable contributor to the La Roche Redhawks.
For her third season, the Butler High School alumnus became one of the most valuable players in her entire conference.
What can she do for an encore as a senior?
Cygan, a 5-foot-5 guard, was honored as a first-team Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference selection after leading the AMCC in scoring and helping to pace La Roche to a 24-3 record, conference title and NCAA Division III Tournament appearance.
“Casie was definitely that go-to scorer for us this year,” La Roche coach Kam Gissendanner said. “I thought she always found a way to get her nose around the ball. She really runs the floor well, and she finished when she was open. She did a great job for us this year.”
In addition to leading the AMCC in scoring at 18.2 points per game, Cygan finished among the top 15 of the conference in field-goal percentage (46.5 percent), assists (68), free-throw percentage (76.7 percent), steals (58), 3-point percentage (36.4), 3-pointers made (55) and minutes played (977).
Cygan, who surpassed 1,000 career points this past season, was named to the D3Hoops' Great Lakes Regional third team.
The performance followed a freshman campaign in which she averaged 10.3 points per game and a sophomore season in which Cygan was a third-team all-conference honoree after scoring 11.3.
But Cygan wanted to take her game to another level. She knew she had to if the Redhawks were going to defend their AMCC title. Partially because of a coaching change, La Roche experienced significant roster turnover. Cygan wanted to do her part in picking up the slack.
“I knew I had to get to the foul line more and drive more because I knew I would be touching the ball a little more,” Cygan said. “We had fewer players, and I had to do some things other players did last year to make up for losing people.”
“She's always been known as a shooter,” Gissendanner said, “but this past year she got a lot of easy transition buckets. ... Obviously, she's also kind of good at getting to the basket and scoring after getting offensive rebounds. She does a little bit of everything.”
This summer, Cygan is out to continue to refine her game. She's playing in a summer league on Pittsburgh's South Side with several Redhawks teammates. Cygan said Gissendanner told her to focus on developing her pull-up shot more.
If she does that — adding even more offense to her game — Cygan's assault up the charts on the La Roche all-time scoring list figures to continue. Cygan ranks fourth with 1,092 points. That's 543 points behind school record-holder Chantelle Jennings (1,535) — although current teammate Jessica Pitts has 1,102 points. (Stephanie Pencak is second with 1,136 points).
Just as important, Cygan has a chance to graduate as a four-time conference champion.
“We're just out to make sure we win it again — and hopefully win an NCAA game this time — that's the main goal,” Cygan said.
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Expectations high for young Penn State New Kensington soccer team
- Jeannette an ‘important school’ to St. Vincent football coach Dolciato
- Gateway grad Parrish ready to do his part for Panthers
- District college notes: WCCC duo continuing college baseball careers
- Switching roles on defense doesn’t faze Duquesne LB Stone
- D3 football preview: Last year’s impact freshmen look to avoid sophomore jinx
- Freeport grad Turner hard to miss for Washington & Jefferson
- Slippery Rock DE Martin plans to bedevil quarterbacks
- District college notebook: RMU’s Brett nets 2nd 4-goal game of career
- Kellar feels Vulcans can be playoff threat
- Cal (Pa.) women’s volleyball seeks strong follow-up to last year’s PSAC title season