Pardee scores career-high 20 in WAHS win

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Williamsport’s Emily Pardee (5) splits the defense between Montoursville’s MacKenzie Cohick (23) and Antone James (31) to shoot in the first quarter at Williamsport on Saturday.

Jada Whaley dazzled throughout the second half Saturday, scoring 23 points, finishing well around the basket and setting up teammates.

But the Williamsport point guard has been doing that for four years. Opponents know this and focus their game plans on slowing Whaley. If Williamsport is going to take the next step forward it needs others to come on strong. Katelyn Wilson did so Thursday night, scoring a career-high 23 points.

Saturday night it was Emily Pardee’s turn.

Pardee showed how dangerous she can, scoring a career-high 20 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and making five steals as Williamsport rallied from a late second-quarter nine-point deficit and defeated visiting Montoursville, 68-54. Pardee scored 11 third-quarter points when Williamsport erased a seven-point halftime deficit and her putback late that quarter gave Williamsport a lead it never relinquished. Her ability to own the inside opened up things for Whaley who scored 10 fourth-quarter points and Williamsport (4-4) is suddenly looking pretty dangerous.

“I couldn’t do it without my team. Jada had some really good assists to me and I was really grateful I got those,” Pardee said. “A lot of assists from my teammates and moving the ball around helped a lot. A lot of people doubt us but I think tonight we really showed them that we can do this as a team. Be ready because Williamsport is coming at you.”

If Williamsport builds off its second-half performance and continues receiving the steady contributions throughout the rotation that it did last night, Pardee will be right. The Millionaires have good pieces and it is a matter of putting them all together. Pardee slid into position against Montoursville and gave defenses a lot to think about moving forward.

Lydia Albert was sensational for Montoursville scoring a career-high 33 points, including 16 in the second quarter as the Warriors took a 33-26 halftime lead. Pardee had a good first half, but really elevated her performance in the third quarter and helped spark the comeback, making all five shots from the field. She scored 11 points, pulled down four rebounds and made two steals that quarter as Williamsport stormed back. Pardee finished well around the basket, scored off putbacks and, just as important, opened up the lane for Whaley.

Pardee commanded attention and Whaley repeatedly beat defenders off the dribble in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of her points and creating opportunities for others. Her reverse and Samiyah Little’s steal and layup put Williamsport up 13 in the final minute and sealed the hard-fought win.

“We’ve been telling Emily the whole time to have confidence in herself and she’s a big part,” Williamsport coach Terrill Seward-Buxton said. “When she’s playing like that we can hit the post and the guards can play off them and then when Jada drives they’re not so quick to help because they have to stay home. In the past they would double team and sometimes triple team her and when you have different players getting more comfortable and more confidence in what they’re doing that makes a big difference.”

Williamsport looked like a different team in the second half, tightening its defense and turning it into offense. The Millionaires forced 15 turnovers and allowed just 21 points over those last two quarters. McClain did an excellent job denying Albert passes and Wilson consistently harassed the opposing point guard. Kalindi Maggs scored five straight fourth-quarter points to give Williamsport a double-digit lead and the Millionaires scored 21 points in both the third and fourth quarters.

The Millionaires won their second game and look like a team turning the page after winning just seven games the past two seasons. They answered a Bellefonte comeback Thursday with a big run and never flinched when Montoursville scored at will in the second quarter and built a 33-24 lead.

“We did what coach told us to do and we locked them down,” Pardee said. “When we want to win we have it. We just have to want it more. Here we wanted it and it showed.”

“I keep telling them we can match up athletically with anyone in the state because we have athletes but they just have to realize who they are. The biggest thing is we’re trying to get them to realize who they are because of the last couple years they didn’t have the confidence when they’re playing the teams like Loyalsock and Montoursville,” Seward-Buxton said. “They would come out there thinking they’re going to lose and I keep telling them you have to change that thought. When you get on the court you have to believe you can beat anybody and that was a big step tonight.”

Montoursville also is taking steps forward. The Warriors have two seniors starters, but play mostly sophomores and freshmen around them and only three players have significant varsity experience. But the Warriors are coming on and have quality wins against Juniata and Hughesville the last two weeks.

And the way Montoursville played the 6A Millionaires might be even more encouraging than those victories. The Warriors went right at Williamsport, brilliantly executed the offense throughout the first half and turned an early deficit into a nine-point lead in the first-half’s final minute.

“In the first half we ran our offense, we executed and got the shots we wanted. The second half it looked like we got tired and their athleticism got us in the end,” Montoursville coach Jon Weaver said. “The girls played hard and competed against a 6A team.”

Albert is having a big senior year and was brilliant in the second quarter, scoring 16 of her points. She scored 14 of Montoursville’s last 16 second-quarter points, had nine rebounds and reached a new career-high for a third time this season. Mackenzie Cohick grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and Allyse Marchioni had three assists. It was not the result Montoursville wanted, but positives can be taken from it.

“From where we were at the beginning of the season to where we are now in just 11 games is huge. From now until the end we have 11 more games and it’s how good are we going to get?” Weaver said. “We have to keep working. Earlier in the season if we would have played with this intensity our record would look a lot different, but as long as they learn we’ll be better off because down the stretch is when you want to be playing your best basketball.”

Williamsport 68, Montoursville 54

MONTOURSVILLE (54)

Lydia Albert 7 16-22 33, Allyse Marchioni 3 1-2 7, Maddie Adams 1 3-4 5, MacKenzie Weaver 2 1-2 6, Mackenzie Cohick 0 2-2 2, Toni James 0 0-0 0, Kenna Mensginer 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 24-34 54.

WILLIAMSPORT (68)

Jada Whaley 7 8-9 23, Katelyn Wilson 1 1-2 3, Samiyah Little 1 2-4 4, Emily Pardee 8 4-9 20, Fondrea McClain 3 3-5 9, Kalindi Maggs 2 0-0 5, Enya Green-Platt 0 0-0 0, Sophia Erb 1 2-2 4, Kailee Helmrich 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 20-30 68.

Montoursville 13 20 12 9–54

Williamsport 13 13 21 21–68

3-point goals: Montoursville 4 (Albert 3, Weaver 1); Williamsport 2 (Whaley 1, Maggs 1).

Records: Williamsport (4-4), Montoursville (4-7).

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