TURBOTVILLE - A little more than a year ago, Samantha Reasner suffered a double blow. First she endured an elbow to the head. Seconds later, she bashed her head off the court. As a result, Reasner missed most of the remaining South Williamsport season while battling a concussion.
While Reasner was down, she was never out and Friday at Warrior Run she played her best scholastic game. Reasner grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds off the bench while helping boost a strong inside game as South won, 72-39 and remained within a game of first place in the HAC-II. The Mounties (16-2, 10-1) host first-place Mount Carmel Tuesday.
"Being concussed last year, this is kind of like coming back and starting new," Reasner said. "It's all a team effort out there. We're all out there trying out best, trying hard and the hard work pays off."
Samantha Reasner of South Williamsport looks to pass around Warrior Run’s Mackenzie Hays Friday night at Warrior Run. View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com.
Reasner is the proof. The senior guard is all about hard work and while she is only 5-foot-5, she plays like she is 6-5 and has no problem mixing it up with taller girls under the basket. Reasner has been a rebounding force off the bench throughout the season and grabbed three within her first two minutes last night. Playing alongside athletes like Tierney Pfirman and Jamie Steer, getting those offensive rebounds and giving the team second-chance opportunities is a huge asset.
Reasner only attempted four shots, but made two of them and her first-quarter putback helped South open a six-point lead. By halftime, the Mounties led by 18 and never were threatened again. Really, though, what Reasner brings to the Mounties goes beyond statistics. She does a lot of the things that go unnoticed but that help the Mounties often win.
"She has a nose for the ball and that is one thing you can't teach," South coach Mike Allison said. "She gets in position and has a nose for it and that's great to see. She's not going to be asked to score, but is going to asked to battle for those boards and get the rebounds. She gets us good looks inside or kicks the ball out and resets the offense and it's great to see that."
Reasner was one of many Mounties who made a big impact. The way Warrior Run (13-6, 5-6) attacked them defensively, that was crucial.
Laura Bastian and Sarah Grow followed Pfirman everywhere, keeping their eyes only on her. Allison had Pfirman camp out near the sideline in the corner, meaning it was often four Mounties against three Defenders. That left a big hole in the middle and South took advantage as Jamie Steer scored 23 points in addition to grabbing 11 rebounds. Jen Jackson also benefited from that look and scored 13 points while pulling down five rebounds.
Pfirman still scored a game-high 26 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, made four steals and added three assists. Getting those rebounds was important to counter the Defenders' defensive strategy and Pfirman scored 10 points in less than two second-quarter minutes, draining two pull-up 3-pointers during that stretch.
"We had been practicing against it just in case somebody did that," Reasner said. "I think we were prepared and just tried to come out and play our best. We play our game together and we're like a family out there."
"When the kids realized they could drive and take it to the basket and make the defense move it worked to our advantage," Allison added. "They're taking Tierney away, but we have four other people with three or four other subs who are capable of doing well. If we can't score 4 on 3 than we're not that good. We should be able to do that and they realize that."
The Defenders put forth a strong effort despite being vastly short-handed. Two starters quit last week and forward Steph Shamburg, one of the district's best and toughest players, is sidelined with a hairline fracture. Shamburg was in a walking boot last night, but is expected back for districts.
Warrior Run is starting four sophomores and a junior, but showed plenty of promise. Tay Parker scored 12 points and made five steals, Chloe Eisenhuth grabbed eight rebounds despite being the smallest player on the court and Grow grabbed nine rebounds. Mackenzie Hays looks like she has the potential to be a strong inside player and scored six of her eight points in the second quarter.
"The girls played hard. Three girls who started were off my JV team so I think they did all right," Warrior Run coach Jon Weaver said. "They gave it all they had and I told them that is all I can ask and whatever happens, happens. You go with the hand you're dealt and they played well, but South is just really tough."
Reasner epitomizes that.
Tierney Pfirman 11 2-3 26, Jamie Steer 6 11-17 23, Jen Jackson 5 3-6 13, Anastasia Laird 1 0-0 2, Emily Green 0 0-0 0, Sarah March 0 2-2 2, Samantha Reasner 2 0-0 4, Jillian Jackson 0 0-0 0, Roxie Keller 1 0-0 2, Jordan Boehmer 0 0-0 0, Kayln Erb 0 0-0 0, Alysha Ardell 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 18-30 72.
WARRIOR RUN (39)
Tay Parker 5 0-0 12, Chloe Eisenhuth 1 0-0 2, Laura Bastian 3 0-0 6, Sarah Grow 1 0-0 3, Mackenzie Hays 4 0-3 8, Abby Fisher 3 0-0 6, Mackenzie Mantha 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 0-4 39.
South12 22 20 18-72
Warrior Run6 10 10 13-39
3-pointers: South 2 (Pfirman 2); Warrior Run 3 (Parker 2, Grow).
Records: South 16-2, 10-1 HAC-II. Warrior Run 13-6, 5-6.
JV Score: South 22-19