Zehner selects Bucknell
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Amy Zehner (seated, center), a senior at Tamaqua Area High School, will continue her basketball and academic careers at Bucknell University next year. Seated with Amy are her parents, Judy and Mel Zehner. Standing from left are Tamaqua Area High School Principal RuthAnn Gardiner, Lady Raiders head coach Joe Berezwick and Athletics Director Mike Hromyak.
Amy Zehner considered several schools when making her choice of college.
In the end, the Tamaqua Area High School senior All-State basketball standout went with a familiar choice.
Zehner will continue her athletic and academic careers at Bucknell University in Lewisburg next year.
The 5-11 Zehner currently ranks fifth on the all-time Tamaqua girls scoring list with 1,293 points. Last season, she averaged 21 points (with a high game of 36 points) and 10.4 rebounds per game, recording 17 double-doubles.
The two-time All-State selection has led Tamaqua to consecutive District 11 Class AA titles and PIAA state playoff appearances. The Lady Raiders are the defending Schuylkill League champions.
The daughter of Mel and Judy Zehner, Amy considered Lehigh, Fordham and Penn among her college choices before selecting Bucknell.
Her sister Lori, a former Raider cager, is a 2004 graduate of Bucknell, and Amy admitted she initially shied away from there until she realized the university was the place for her.
"At first, I told myself I wasn't going to go there because my sister did, and I felt like that wasn't going to have an impact on my decision," said Zehner. "Then I went there and fell in love with it.
"When I was there, I felt welcomed, like I was home. I feel like I fit in with the team there. The academics are outstanding, and that's the most important thing."
Zehner, who plans to major in biology, was recuited to play in the backcourt at Bucknell, either as a shooting guard or swing forward.
That is a different role than she has played at Tamaqua, although she often handles the ball and shoots from the perimeter for the Raiders.
"Their coach (Kathy Fedorjaka) explained that I would have to work hard as a freshman to earn a spot, but she was excited about a guard coming in there," related Zehner.
Tamaqua head coach Joe Berezwick feels Zehner is well-prepared to make the transition to college basketball.
"Amy is the whole package," said Berezwick. "She is capable of playing all positions, and that has prepared her well for the next level. Her role with our team is that she does everything. She can play outside or underneath. She's our go-to player.
"Her impact with us started as a freshman, and as she has progressed, so has our team. That's proof of what kind of player she is. She's going to a great academic institution in Bucknell. Her sister went there, too, so she's familiar with it. It's a fantastic choice for her."
Amy sets her goals high, and that hasn't changed for the upcoming season, despite the fact that Tamaqua is moving up in class to AAA competition for Districts. The Raiders do return four starters from last year's squad.
"We have big expectations," she said. "We're hoping for another league and District title. We know we have a target on our backs, but we know that comes with a lot of work, so we'll have to handle the pressure well and come out ready for every game.
"Moving up to AAA gives us something to work towards, and we're not limiting our expectations just because we bumped up."
She has another dream in playing for the Division I Lady Bison. "I would love to play in the NCAA Tournament some day," she added.