Southmoreland senior to continue hoops career at Valley Forge CC
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It didn't take long for Mariah Bentz to acquire an affinity for Valley Forge Christian College.
One visit for the Southmoreland High School senior to the Phoenixville campus and she was hooked. She was hooked to a point that the Southmoreland senior will play basketball at Valley Forge.
“I just fell in love with the campus,” Bentz said during a recent break from practice. “There was a very nice environment. It had a really good feel to it.”
Bentz said initial contact with her was made by Gretchen LeVan, Valley Forge Christian College coach. “I didn't really know the college existed,” she said with a laugh. “She convinced me to go down and visit.”
Valley Forge Christian College is located in Chester County, 35 miles northwest of downtown Philadelphia.
Bentz returned to the court this season after missing nearly all of her junior year with a left knee injury that required surgery and is averaging about 7.4 points and 7.8 rebounds a game.
She has made steady progress throughout the season, but did suffer a little setback with the knee. A strain cost her about a week of playing time.
“I just had to get the swelling down,” Bentz said, before adding. “(The season is) good. I'm happy with it so far.
Brian Pritts, the Southmoreland girls basketball coach, said he's noticed improvement every day from the 6-foot, 1-inch forward.
“She's getting more and more comfortable,” Pritts said. “I think early on she had a little bit of fear. She was a little tentative. As she plays more, she gets more and more comfortable. She's doing some nice things for us. She's going to be a force we're counting on down the stretch.”
The coach is excited about the opportunity his player is receiving.
“Anytime we have a student athlete that can go on and not just continue their education, but do it by playing a sport and staying involved in something, the further up you go from high school to college the more responsibility it teaches you along with the academic end of it.,” Pritts said. “I'm happy for her. I'm proud of her. I think she'll go there and she'll do well.”
Before then, Bentz has set some goals for herself before the end of her high school career.
“My main goal is to not injure myself. That's my goal every year, but it's only worked a couple times,” she said. “Obviously, (I want) to get better and not have as many stupid little mental mistakes.”
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or email@example.com.
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.
- Burrell girls basketball braces for Greensburg Central
- Deep roster sparks Butler boys basketball team
- Ford City rallies past East Allegheny, improves to 4-0
- Franklin Regional girls looking for consistency
- Defensive play fueling Mars boys basketball team
- Trib Cup: Winchester Thurston boys basketball motivated by playoff run
- Plum’s defense seals win over McKeesport
- GCC girls expect more after reaching WPIAL semifinals last year
- Franklin Regional boys weather tough losses
- High school roundup: No. 4 Bethel Park boys edge Upper St. Clair
- Penn-Trafford boys basketball returning experienced roster