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Williamsport’s Emily Pardee looks to bring some aggressiveness to Penn College’s women’s basketball team

SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO Williamsport’s Emily Pardee (5) tries to block a shot against Loyalsock during a game at Williamsport’s Magic Dome last season. Pardee will continue her career at Penn College this winter.

Penn College’s women’s basketball team has plenty of playmakers on the offensive end. Loyalsock graduate Cassi Kuhns is slowly crawling toward 1,000 career points and is one of the team’s leaders. Montoursville graduate Lydia Albert showed that she has the ability to provide a spark off the bench.

Throw in Ja’Quela Dyer (9.2 points per game) and Tori Wolfe (7.0), and the Wildcats can put up some points.

But one thing Penn College could use a little bit of a boost with is defense. Last season, the Wildcats gave up 70 or more points in a game 13 times as Penn College finished the season 7-17. Penn College’s newest recruit is hoping to help the team out in that area.

Williamsport’s Emily Pardee signed to play women’s basketball at Penn College while going to become a physical therapy assistant. Pardee knows that her best game isn’t on the offensive end, but rather playing tough, aggressive defense.

“I would say I’m definitely a team player and more of a defensive player. I’m hoping I’ll be able to bring more aggressiveness, in a good way, and energy to the team where we can keep them up and hustle,” Pardee said. “A lot of hustling and trying to keep that energy.”

Pardee helped Williamsport gradually improve, from a 1-21 campaign as a freshman in 2016-17 to playing in the District 2-4 Class 6A championship game at Mohegan Sun in 2019. It was the first time the Millionaires were in the district title game since 2011.

She posted a career-high 20 points in a 68-54 win in 2019 over Montoursville. While she is capable of putting up points, as evident in that win against the Warriors, it’s defense that Pardee enjoys most.

The 5-foot-8 former Millionaire took pride in being assigned to a top offensive player and being tasked with attempting to slow her down and limit her offensive looks.

“That’s like the best part of being able to (play defense) and shut them down. I love being able to do that. It goes a lot way defensively and defense makes offense,” Pardee said. “This year I’m definitely going to try to up my defensive game, but hopefully I can throw a girl off with my defense. That’s what I’ll try to do.”

Pardee knows a lot of Penn College’s local players from having played against them the past four years or watching them. That includes Kuhns and Albert who Pardee got to compete against. There’s also Galeton’s Makaya Shadle, Southern Columbia’s Madison Klock, Line Mountain’s Wolfe and Shamokin’s Keyona Shoff.

“That’s one of main reasons why I wanted to play (at Penn College) with them,” Pardee said. “I want to reconnect with some people and hopefully build that team up.”

Ever since she started playing basketball at Williamsport, Pardee imagined herself playing at the next level. She wanted to be able to continue her basketball career after she played her final game at the Magic Dome and she gets the chance to do just that in her hometown, just a few miles from Williamsport’s High School.

“Ever since freshman year I was looking forward to playing at the next level and as it went on, as my high school career went on, I realized more and more that I wanted to play in college,” Pardee said. “I was definitely more excited to step it up and hopefully better myself here (at Penn College).”

Penn College recently gave out the summer workout packets to its incoming players and Pardee is excited to get into the gym and start lifting to get ready for the upcoming season.

She may not have been Williamsport’s biggest scoring threat, but Pardee’s determination and hustle on the court from the defensive end makes her a solid player that Penn College can get a boost from this winter.

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