Vincentian senior Bartoszewicz evolves over basketball career
During last season's WPIAL championship run, Vincentian's Abbey Bartoszewicz was a key contributor on the court but was able to let the strong senior class handle the leadership duties.
Fast forward to the 2013 WPIAL playoffs, and Bartoszewicz is the most prominent senior on the squad, thrilled to have led the team back to the promised land and a WPIAL title.
“This is totally different than last year,” Bartoszewicz said. “We had four seniors last year, so this year, coach Ron (Moncrief) and I knew we had to teach some of the younger players and help them along their way.
“I had to work 10 times harder to get everyone ready and keep that winning mindset.”
The age of the players may be a little more varied than a year ago, but the talent level is still high. With complementary players like center Brenna Wise and forward Ally Bartoszewicz, Abbey's cousin, Abbey Bartoszewicz has experienced players to help shoulder the load.
Her cousin is often mistaken for her sister, something the two find bothersome, and Bartoszewicz said they actually are like sisters because of the bond they forged on the court.
“We are closer because of basketball, and it helps having someone on the court who knows me so well,” she said. “Once I leave, she will help carry the team.”
With Wise and a speedy group of underclassmen, Abbey Bartoszewicz may not always be among the scoring leaders. But for her, sometimes being the distributor is just as gratifying as making the bucket herself.
“I could care less about how many points I have as long as we have more at the end of the game,” she said. “I get just as excited about making a great pass as a score.”
Abbey Bartoszewicz's unselfish nature is a perfect fit for such a dynamic team. She strives to be a role model and puts the pressure on herself to always reach for the highest standard.
“I knew I needed to be more vocal this year,” she said. “Brenna is such a motivating person, and the team really makes it easy for me. They are always willing to listen.”
Being a senior, any game could be her last.
Knowing that, Abbey Bartoszewicz reflected on the championships won and the different ways in which the goals were reached.
“My freshman year (2010), we didn't have the best record, and I sat the bench in that game, but it was such a great moment,” Bartoszewicz said. “Last year, we had to come from behind, and that was amazing.”
The titles are great, but the relationships and fun memories really made this team a family, according to Abbey Bartoszewicz.
The senior has a solid relationship with her coach, and she said Moncrief teaches many life lessons in addition to Xs and Os.
“Sometimes I poke fun at him for some of his analogies, but he has taught me so much,” Abbey Bartoszewicz said. “I feed off him. He is a great coach … I have never had better. We are close, and it will be tough to leave.”
When the season wraps up, Abbey Bartoszewicz said she plans to play Division III basketball and study communications. She is not sure where she will go to school but said she will decide after the playoffs.
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.