BC’s Pica commits to Montana Western

We haven’t seen the last of Alysea Pica on the basketball court.

The Butte Central point guard known for her tough and competitive demeanor on the court committed to play hoops for head coach Lindsey Woolley and the Montana Western Bulldogs, Pica confirmed today.

“I just wanted to continue playing basketball,” Pica said. “I’ve been playing since I was in first grade.”

Pica said she decided to play for the Bulldogs yesterday, and the school is sending her an NAIA letter of intent. Western hasn’t officially announced the signing.

Butte Central coach Meg Murphy said she has no doubt Pica will be successful at the next level.

“She has gotten better every year of high school,” Murphy said. “I don’t think she’s reached her potential yet. The way Lindsey runs things down there, she’s going to fit in really well.”

Pica joined the Butte Central varsity team midway through her sophomore season after moving to Butte with her family.

She contributed to BC’s 2010-11 Class A state title as a key reserve player. She started her junior and senior seasons.

Butte Central played on Saturday of the state tournament in all three of Pica’s seasons in Maroon. BC placed second last season and fourth this year.

As a senior, the 5-foot-5 Pica averaged 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. She earned second-team All-Conference honors and a spot in the Southwest Montana All-Star Classic.

Murphy said Pica led the league in feistiness.

“She’s such a competitor,” Murphy said. “That gives her an edge over other players. What she might lack in talent, she makes up for with that feistiness.”

Murphy pointed to the number of injuries Pica played through, including a stress fracture this season.

“She was banged up each year and she got through all that,” Murphy said. “She didn’t miss any practices. You have to admire that as a coach. She’s a player we’re going to miss.”

Pica decided not to participate in track this season. She’s busy working on her basketball game.

“I’m a one-sport player,” said Pica, who was a cheerleader during the fall seasons the last two years. “I might redshirt next year. We’ll see how things go this summer. I have to get stronger.”

Pica, the daughter of Shari and Marcos Pica Sr., said she’ll major in business management at Western.

Pica is the third player from the 2012-13 Butte Central basketball team to receive an athletic scholarship. Danee Leary will play basketball at Montana Tech, while Mariah Cooney signed to play volleyball for the Orediggers.