Green-Pratt’s defensive effort helps lead Williamsport to a win over Shore
JERSEY SHORE — Enya Green-Pratt does not care if she scores. And throughout the fourth quarter Monday night at Jersey Shore, neither did her teammates.
Green-Pratt sparked a swarming defense and the Millionaires played superb team basketball, breaking open a close game and providing a glimpse of what they could become moving forward. Five players scored at least nine points, the defense forced 28 turnovers, and Williamsport turned a late third-quarter deficit into a 60-46 win.
Green-Pratt made three of her four steals in the fourth quarter when Williamsport put the game away, Emily Pardee dealt a game-high six assists and Kailee Helmrich and Katelyn Wilson scored 11 points as the Millionaires (7-12) flipped the script on recent fourth-quarter struggles, closing the game on a 26-10 run.
“Coach says your defense turns into your offense,” Green-Pratt said. “I play defense and if it turns to turnovers for the other team and we get to run the fastbreak, it doesn’t matter if I score or not. As long as we get points it works out.”
It worked out a lot over those last 10 minutes. Green-Pratt not only made steals, but forced turnovers with her relentless pressure. That effort was contagious and Williamsport rattled off the third quarter’s final 10 points, turning a two-point deficit into a 44-36 lead.
Green-Pratt helped Williamsport start sealing the victory when she broke free in transition and fed Whitney Felix for consecutive layups that made it 53-39. She was one of many Millionaires who made good passes to set up high-percentage shots and Williamsport produced 17 assists on its 24 field goals. They also scored 16 or more points in three of the four quarters.
“I like defense because I get to help my team out,” Green-Pratt said. “Our coach always says focus on your thing that you specialize in on the court. Defense is something I can help my team with so I like to do my best with that.”
“In the fourth quarter the overall team game was outstanding. It was the first time this year that I saw it clicked in that we were making the extra pass and looking good on defense,” Williamsport coach Terrill Seward-Buxton said. “The rotation was there and the teamwork was there. We’ve done it in spurts here and there, but doing it throughout the fourth quarter is what stretched the lead for us even more.”
Jersey Shore senior Aubrey Stetts did all she could to help Jersey Shore stay close. A former forward who moved to point guard last season, Stetts scored a game-high 23 points and added six rebounds. Coach Darrin Bischof would prefer using Stetts in the post, but her ability to handle defensive pressure and efficiently run the offense makes her too valuable at the point.
Stetts is one of the area’s leading scorers, but also helps ignite the defense and she made three steals. Stetts helped Jersey Shore rally from a nine-point second-quarter deficit to take a two-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
“I think the world of her. She plays very hard,” Bischof said. “She doesn’t take a break and went through an ankle injury where she missed a game and she is just coming back into form. You saw that (Monday).”
Eventually, Williamsport’s size, depth and speed took its toll and Jersey Shore turned the ball over 13 times in the second half. The Millionaires used a 12-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters and Jersey Shore never pulled closer than eight again. Sadie Griswold did a good job battling against taller players and grabbed eight rebounds while adding eight points and two steals.
“The effort was there. We’re trying very hard,” Bischof said. “I said to them before the game they’re going to press and if you throw it all over the place eventually those things are going to cost you and that’s eventually what happened.”
While Stetts carried the Jersey Shore offense, Williamsport effectively spread its scoring. Helmrich and Wilson both scored 11 points and Helmrich also made seven steals and added seven rebounds. Williamsport was effective inside throughout the game and Helmrich, Wilson, Pardee, Samiyah Little (10 points) and Sophia Erb (9) all pulled down between five and seven rebounds.
Little did damage inside early in the game and Erb in the second half when she scored seven of her nine points. Wilson’s 3-pointer erased Jersey Shore’s final lead and Felix scored five fourth-quarter points. The Millionaires had blown fourth-quarter leads in three of their last four losses, but were at their best this time in those final eight minutes.
“We’re in third in District 2 and we haven’t played a complete game yet. We’ve played seven teams ranked in the top 15 in the state and we’ve been in up in a lot of them in the fourth quarter, we just have to learn to win,” Seward-Buxton said. “They were making the hockey assists tonight, making the pass that leads to the pass that sets up the basket. If we can get everyone around the same total of points and maybe one or two in double digits that adds up and applies pressure. Everyone on the team has to play defense and pay attention to everybody.”
Sophia Erb 2 5-6 9, Samiyah Little 4 2-5 10, Kailee Helmrich 5 1-4 11, Katelyn Wilson 5 0-0 11, Enya Green-Pratt 2 0-0 4, Emily Pardee 4 1-2 9, Whitney Felix 2 2-4 6, Sarina Beiter 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 11-21 60.
JERSEY SHORE (46)
Aubrey Stetts 10 2-2 23, Sadie Griswold 2 4-8 8, Hailey Stetts 0 5-6 5, Brielle Hess 1 0-1 2, Aubrey Schilling 3 0-0 6, Delaney Herbst 0 0-0 0, Bella Kriner 0 0-0 0, Sam Machmer 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 11-17 46.
Williamsport 17 10 17 16 — 60
Jersey Shore 12 13 11 10 — 46
3-pointers: Williamsport 1 (Wilson); Jersey Shore 1 (A. Stetts).
JV Score: Williamsport, 53-16.
Records: Williamsport (7-12). Jersey Shore (7-12).