Even though she effectively missed the final month of the regular season, Sarah Pastorek’s impact on the IUP women’s basketball program wasn’t lost on the coaches around the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Pastorek was named to the all-PSAC West Division first team Thursday, her second straight first-team selection, as IUP placed three players on the all-conference team for the first time since 2008-09.
Guards Amy Fairman and Marita Mathe, both sophomores and Indiana County natives, were named to the second team. It was the first all-conference selection for both.
“We’re certainly very pleased for Sara, Amy and Marita,” IUP coach Jeff Dow said. “It sounds clichéd, but it shows hard work pays off. It’s a great way for Sarah Pastorek to cap her career. … She’s certainly a young lady that has had to go through a lot this year, and she’s shown a lot of toughness throughout her career. She has been a steady, solid contributor for four seasons.”
The Crimson Hawks’ leading scorer each of the past three seasons, Pastorek is averaging 13.6 points this season and ranks second on the team with 5.5 rebounds per game.
In IUP’s most recent game Tuesday, Pastorek climbed to No. 8 on the school’s all-time scoring list. She is 15 points away from becoming only the seventh player to score 1,300 points or more. Pastorek is averaging 13.0 points in 99 career games, ranking her sixth in school history in scoring average.
Pastorek ranks eighth in the PSAC this season in scoring.
She also has collected more than 630 rebounds in her career, and ranks eighth all time in IUP history in that category.
Pastorek was a second-team selection in 2011 and a first-team selection as a junior last year. She was named the PSAC West freshman of the year in 2010.
Meanwhile, Mathe has shed her reputation as an inconsistent shooter in high school to become one of the top 3-point shooting threats in the PSAC.
A sophomore from Indiana High, Mathe has made 90 3-point field goals in her first two seasons to climb to No. 8 on the IUP all-time list.
She’s third on the team this season in scoring (10.5 ppg) and ranks second on the team with 70 assists. Mathe is one of two players to play in all 30 games for IUP (22-8) this season and the only one to start every game.
“It’s certainly rewarding to see the progress Marita and Amy have made from their freshman to sophomore seasons,” Dow said. “And they’ve certainly put in a lot of time in the offseason to get better. Amy Fairman is one of the more underrated players in the league and very versatile. And Marita Mathe has established herself as one of the better 3-point shooters, and she did a better job of cutting down on her turnovers this year.”
“She certainly didn’t have a reputation in high school as a shooter, but she’s put in a lot of hours to become the shooting threat that she is. That’s a credit to my assistant coaches Jerod Alltop and Dave Saur and the amount of time they put in, with all our players, but especially with Marita and the improvement she has made.”
Fairman, a Marion Center graduate, might be most recognizable to fans because of the protective facemask she wears while she recovers from a broken nose, but she also fills up the stat sheet.
She’s second on the team among players who have attempted more than 50 field goals in shooting percentage (46.6 percent), she’s shooting 40 percent from 3-point range and she leads the team in assists (76) and steals (63).
Fairman averages 8.6 points per game.
“Amy is a big part of what we do on both ends of the floor,” Dow said. “She has a knack for getting steals and deflections at the top of the zone, and that’s why we always have her at the top of the zone. She really has a savvy about her and a high basketball IQ. She has a tremendous feel for the game. Offensively, we’ve seen her have some big stretches when she carried the team on her back, like at Edinboro (Jan. 23), when she scored 10 straight points for us. … She’s one of the better finishers around the basket in the PSAC. We like to run a lot of plays through Amy because of her ability to finish or find the open player.
“You’re never sure how coaches are going to perceive a player that doesn’t average double-digit points, so I’m glad to see my colleagues appreciate how much Amy means to us.”