CRANBERRY TWP — Contributing to a very successful basketball program has been a highlight of Tori Drevna’s time at North Catholic High School.
The pieces are now in place for her to do so at the collegiate level.
The Cranberry Township resident and senior guard for the Trojanettes recently signed a letter of intent to attend Ithaca College in New York, extending her playing career in the process. She also considered Case Western Reserve and Emerson College in Boston.
“I first visited Ithaca two summers ago,” said Drevna, who plans to focus her studies on sports media, with the goal of one day working at ESPN. “It was tough to get a feel for the place because there weren’t many kids on campus, but I went back again in September and was able to meet the team. There were a lot of people in the town and it was a great atmosphere. That sold me.”
The Bombers compete in the NCAA’s Division III as members of the Liberty League, which they’ve been crowned champions of the last three years. Dan Raymond, who just began his 23rd season as head coach at Ithaca, has led the Bombers to a record of 450-147.
“It’s a really successful program and that appealed to me,” Drevna said. “There’s a lot of school spirit and the women’s basketball team receives support from the other sports teams.”
Drevna first attracted attention from Ithaca through her play for Slaam, an AAU team based in Pittsburgh.
“They (Bombers) like shooters and I’m a shooting guard,” Drevna said. “I think they also liked my court vision, making that extra pass. I’m a lot more confident now than I was two years ago.”
Drevna is preparing to start for North for the third straight season. She helped the team to a combined record of 40-9 the last two years, including a WPIAL Class 3A title and trip to the state semifinals last March.
North Catholic head coach Molly Rottmann sees Drevna’s ability to adapt as something that can help the Trojanettes this winter and should translate well to the college game.
“She’s added a variety of dimensions to her game,” Rottmann said. “As a freshman, she saw herself strictly as an outside shooter. But she’s worked very hard and can now go to the hole, shoot from the outside, and I certainly trust her with bringing the ball up the floor, especially in transition. She sees the court incredibly well.”
Her passing ability led to Drevna averaging 4.5 assists per game last year to go with 10 points and 3.8 rebounds. She is grateful for her time on the court for the Trojanettes.
“How intense our program is and how well-prepared we are, it’s made me a better player,” she said. “Being part of a team, building bonds with people, getting up every day and going through the grind, I love it all.”