Some of his teammates can make a dunking highlight reel, become Internet sensations and send Williamsport fans into a frenzy.
Senior guard Brandon Fedoriw will not be in those highlights. Not that the 5-foot-8 senior guard cares. He knows his role and he embraces it.
And last night, he and his fellow reserves did everything but dunk. Fedoriw, Thomas Ross and Tyler Gardner were huge off the bench, sparking Williamsport on both ends while helping it rout visiting Wilkes-Barre GAR, 70-43. Fedoriw and Ross scored eight straight third-quarter points and ignited a game-breaking 14-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters and gave Williamsport a 20-point lead.
"Our reserves have roles and we just play our roles so when the starters come out or we're not doing well, we have to pick up the slack and take care of business," Fedoriw said. "I just had to come off the bench and bring some energy because in the beginning there wasn't any energy and we fell behind. Coach told me to do the defensive job and I just had to do what I had to do."
Williamsport improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 2001-2002 season and four starters, Chris Kinley (18), Isaiah Washington (13), Jahad Thomas (12) and Herb Stelly (10) scored in double figures. The Millionaires outscored GAR 40-19 in the second half and hit 13 of 22 shots.
Still, if not for the bench the game could have gone a different way. Williamsport trailed by six in the first quarter but Gardner's steal led to Ross assisting Thomas for a layup and ignited a quarter-ending 8-0 run. The Millionaires never trailed again.
Whenever Williamsport needed a lift, the reserves provided it. Fedoriw scored eight points, dealt three assists, made two steals and added two rebounds. His and Ross's swarming defense flustered GAR and a team that started strong lost 19 turnovers.
Ross was especially strong when Williamsport switched up its full-court press and Gardner did a good job inside against 6-10, near 300-pound center Christian Skrepenak who did not score after the first quarter. The starters were outstanding in the second half but just about everyone knows what those players can do after they helped guide Williamsport to a district title and the state tournament's second round last year. It is those reserves, though, who could provide a big X factor moving forward.
"We're definitely going to need them," Kinley said. "When we're going down the stretch we can't have the starters in there all the time. We have to have those guys continuing what's going on out there. If they can keep up that up, we'll be in good shape."
Kinley meant that figuratively, but it also applies literally. Because the reserves were so effective, coach Allen Taylor was able to rest his starters for longer stretches than the previous three games. When Jahad Thomas and Herb Stelly picked up two first-half fouls, the Millionaires still thrived and took a six-point halftime lead.
"Those guys understand their roles coming off the bench. They know we expect the defensive energy and intensity to pick up, but any time those guys come in and do what they did is big," Taylor said. "Our bench did an excellent job coming in and providing a lot of energy. That allowed our starters to get some well-needed rest and allowed them to come in fresh and continue to play at a high level."
That was evident the entire second half as the starters began dominating. Thomas and Washington combined for 10 assists, Kinley controlled the inside and Achilles Watson (7 rebounds) was terrific on the boards. Watson provided one of the game's turning points when he grabbed an offensive rebound and drew Skrepenak's fourth foul late in the first half.
Kinley took over in the second half, repeatedly getting to the foul line and finishing the shots he missed in the first half. The Navy-bound senior scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the second half and finished 10 for 11 at the foul line.
"Like coach says, you have to keep punching them in the mouth and you wear them out," Kinley said. "When the guys inside can get to the line it helps get those guys frustrated and then we can go in the bonus and get some points. That was big."
Fedoriw hit three of his first four shots, including two 3-pointers. He was perpetual motion, hounding whoever he was guarding, constantly communicating and looking like a player who was enjoying every second of it.
He and his fellow reserves know how vital their role is. And they know when they shine in those roles so does the entire team.
"I like defense. I can get the opposing team off-balance and the offense comes from that and that brings the whole team together and the whole team gets energized and we just have fun with it and score points," Fedoriw said. "Every game we get more minutes because we're improving every game and we're getting some good wins."
Isaiah Francis 6 2-8 14, Lamont Twyman 6 1-2 15, Christian Skrepenak 1 2-2 4, James Holmes 2 1-2 5, Willie Winstead 0 0-0 0, Jahlil Harvey 0 1-2 1, Nigebo Francis 2 0-0 4. Totals 17 7-16 43.
Jahad Thomas 5 2-3 12, Isaiah Washington 5 2-2 13, Chris Kinley 4 10-11 18, Achilles Watson 2 0-1 4, Herb Stelly 3 3-4 10, Tyler Gardner 0 0-0 0, Thomas Ross 1 0-0 3, Brandon Fedoriw 3 0-0 8, Nadir Boone 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 17-21 70.
GAR11 13 7 12-43
Williamsport13 17 18 22-70
3-pointers: GAR 2 (Twyman 2); Williamsport 5 (Fedoriw 2, Washington, Stelly, Ross).
Records: Williamsport 4-0. GAR 0-3.
JV Score: Williamsport 61-25.
High Scorers: Gardner, Boone, W, 10