They first played together as fourth-graders and a special bond soon flourished.
Wherever Tierney Pfirman and Jamie Steer went on the climb up the youth and scholastic basketball ladder they were joined together. Wherever they went, wins flowed like water and championships were won. How fitting than that in their last home game together Thursday the South Williamsport standouts played some of their best basketball.
Pfirman scored 30 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and added seven assists, and Steer had 23 points and eight rebounds as South routed Danville, 72-51. Once again the best friends excelled together.
"We talk about basketball on the court, off the court and I've really enjoyed playing with Tierney. It's been a privilege," Steer said. "I'll definitely look back on this and say it was a good career of basketball."
"It's a lot of fun playing with Jamie," Pfirman added. "When she's on, she's on. When she scores one she scores many and that takes a lot of pressure off me."
That was evident early Thursday as Danville opened in a triangle-and-two defense on Pfirman with Siobhan Bross and Kylie Romeo following the Maryland-bound senior to the corner and not taking her eyes off her. The Ironmen (15-7) basically were playing three against four and Steer made them pay, scoring six early points and helping South open an 11-4 lead it never relinquished. Following a timeout, Danville changed defenses as South (19-3) sent a message.
In addition to Steer attacking the basket with ease, she also found wide-open players like Emily Green and Sarah March who also made an impact, combining for six rebounds and six assists. By the end of the first quarter, South led 17-10.
"Going against those defenses more often gives them a little more confidence on what to do," South coach Mike Allison said. "Knowing if they're going to do that, every other player knows she has to pick up her game and take it right at them when it's their chance. As long as they can look for one another and hit that open person that will work."
South played an outstanding offensive game with different players delivering timely plays. The Mounties moved the ball well, set each other up for good shots and hit 54 percent of them. Jen Jackson scored 13 points and Anastasia Laird and Sam Reasner combined for seven rebounds in their final home game.
Pfirman showed why she is one of the country's top-ranked high school players, displaying her entire arsenal. Pfirman had a hand in 54 of South's 72 points, was a rebounding machine and made some terrific passes that led to layups. She nearly had a triple-double by halftime and also had six steals and three blocked shots.
Danville cut the deficit to 21-20 three minutes into the second quarter, but Pfirman quickly changed the game's complexion, fueling a 15-4, half-ending run that she capped with a putback. The three-time all-state selection hit 12 of 19 shots and sparked that game-changing run with her passing as much as her scoring.
"The last home game you leave it out on the floor," Pfirman said. "This is the last time we're going to play in this gym and we're trying to jell to make this the most memorable season possible and I think we took a step toward that tonight."
South met earlier than usual at the school Thursday and had a pregame party. More than sharing good times, the Mounties wanted to make sure they were focused and ready to make this final home game a special one. Senior Jillian Jackson publicly thanked the large crowd that has become a South staple before belting out her final stellar national anthem and her teammates soon conducted their own basketball symphony against a District 4 Class AAA title contender.
Danville was two points from capturing a share of the HAC-I championship Tuesday at Shamokin and reached last year's district final. Danville did not play a bad game, but it ran into a team on a mission and a team hoping to use its performance as a springboard into the postseason.
"Winning our last home game it definitely put a boost on everything for us. Our last two games have definitely prepared us for playoffs by playing two tough teams," Steer said. "We're going to have to play together as a team and stay playing together as a team. We're like a family."
And they are led by two best friends who hope there are more good times to come.
Rachel Herman 7 0-0 14, Maddy Moser 4 0-0 9, Siobhan Bross 5 5-8 15, Taryn Beaver 1 1-2 3, Kylie Romeo 0 0-2 0, Montanah James 5 0-0 10. Totals 22 6-12 51.
Tierney Pfirman 11 3-4 30, Jamie Steer 10 3-4 23, Jen Jackson 6 1-1 13, Anastasia Laird 0 0-0 0, Emily Green 1 0-3 2, Sam Reasner 1 0-0 2, Sarah March 1 0-0 2, Jillian Jackson 0 0-0 0, Alisha Wein 0 0-1 0, Roxie Keller 0 0-0 0, Kayln Erb 0 0-0 0, Danielle Noviello 0 0-0 0, Jordan Boehmer 0 0-0 0, Alysha Ardell 0 0-0 0. Totals 32 7-13 72.
Danville10 14 16 11-51
South17 19 19 17-72
3-pointers: Danville 1 (Moser); South 1 (Pfirman).
Records: South 19-3, Danville 15-7.