ALBION — Greenville High School graduate Patty Rewa has spent the past four years making a name for herself on the Albion College basketball team.
The 2008 graduate was recently named Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) women’s basketball player of the week for two consecutive weeks.
Rewa has helped her team win five consecutive games and 17 of the last 19 after a 1-5 start to the season. The Britons only two losses since the middle of December have been at Calvin (23-1) and at home against Saint Mary’s.
On Feb. 8, Rewa scored 23 points against Alma and became just the seventh Albion player to reach 1,000 career points.
“That was crazy. I never thought that was going to happen,” Rewa said. “I guess it was something I didn’t think I could accomplish or it was out of my reach. It was definitely a good feeling and I was pretty excited about it.”
Rewa, a senior, added to her point total with 38 points and 21 rebounds in two games against Kalamazoo College and Olivet College to close out the regular season.
She is currently in sixth place on the all-time Albion scoring list with 1,074 points. She is 42 points away from passing Richelle Riley’s 1,115 points.
Sarah Caskey (2001-2005) is the all-time leading scorer with 1,448.
“The biggest thing with her is her will to want to win and her work ethic,” Albion coach Doreen Carden said. “She plays extremely hard. She is kind of the glue to our team when she is on the floor both offensively and defensively.”
Rewa’s play and the Albion (18-7, 12-4) team chemistry have helped to lead the Britons to the MIAA postseason tournament beginning today.
“We’ve had good chemistry in the past, but this year it is really good,” Rewa said. “I think we are able to work together better and we understand each other better as people and as basketball players.”
For the season, Rewa is averaging 16.4 points and 10 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game. She has led her team in scoring 15 times and in rebounding 20 times.
“It’s been going good. I definitely think I’ve improved from last year,” Rewa said. “I’m able to do more to score than before and I’ve improved defensively too.”
Rewa has consistently improved since her freshman year. She has increased her scoring average from 5.1 points, to 7.0 and 13.5 as a junior. Her rebound totals have increased each year as well.
“By far. She is probably one of those kids that is one of the most improved since I’ve been here,” Carden said. “The year before we brought her in we lost a lot of post players. We knew she would play right away.
“She got a ton better after her first two years after she figured things out,” she added.
Rewa, a psychology major, credits her support system for helping her reach this level of success.
“My support system. My family has always been there behind me,” Rewa said. “My coaches and definitely my teammates, not just in college, but in high school as well.”
Winning weekly accolades and reaching 1,000 points wasn’t on Rewa’s radar when she decided to play college basketball.
“I expected it to be like high school, but a lot more intense and more demanding,” Rewa said. “I didn’t think I would be that great. I thought I would level out and be the same skill level. It was just an opportunity that was good and I took it.”
Rewa will be looking to help extend the Britons’ season with the start of the MIAA tournament.
“I think our kids are ready for it,” Carden said. “We have to get by Hope. It’s nice we beat them earlier in the year, so our kids know we can beat them and win there.”
Albion is at Hope tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the MIAA tournament. The winner will face the winner of Calvin and Saint Mary’s on Saturday for a trip to the NCAA Division III tournament.