North East All-State guard Alex Artise is part of the class of 2013 recruits that will be coming to Mercyhurst women’s basketball coach Deanna Richard’s team this fall.
The Lakers have to replace seven seniors from the 2012-2013 team that went 10-17 and lost in the first round of the PSAC playoffs to IUP.
Also joining Artise in the early signing period is Hayley Andres, Natalie Piagessi, Jessica Bell, Katie Fischer and Maria Penascino.
Artise, a 5-9 guard, averaged 16.0 ppg., set the school record in career points (1,454) and made the Class AA second team for the Grapepickers. She was the Erie Times-News D-10 player of the year. Artise averaged 17 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 3.9 steals per game as a junior
Andres is a 5-7 guard from Franklin and first team All-Region 5. She averaged 10.5 ppg. for the Knights, and as a junior, she averaged 9.4 points, six rebounds, and five assist. Andres also played volleyball at Franklin Area and was the school’s student council class president. Piaggesi, a 6-1 senior at Seton LaSalle, helped her team win its first state title in 30 years in 2011-12. She averaged 13.5 points per game. and was an honor roll student at Seton LaSalle, which lost in the Class AA semifinals this season. Bell, a 5-10 forward, averaged 11 points and 8.3 rebounds per game at Lake Central High last season. The Crown Point, Indiana, native was named team MVP and was an all-area honorable mention selection. Bell earned scholar-athlete and academic all-star nods. Fischer averaged 18 points and five assists per game as a junior at Ambridge High, and around 18 points this season while going over the 1,000 mark. The 5-7 guard has been named all-conference each of her three seasons at Ambridge. As a freshman, she made 10 three-pointers in one game, setting a school record. Penascino, a 5-9 guard, put up eight points and five assists per game as a junior at Bethel Park. She was also a long jumper on the school’s track and field team. Penascino and Piaggesi were AAU teammates last summer.
“I’m very excited about this class. They bring a high talent level and a wide range of skills,” said Richard. “Each of these young ladies is a great fit for Mercyhurst University and our vision as a basketball program.”
The Lakers are looking to add a couple of more players to the squad.