Girls Varsity Basketball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Jan 3, 2022
- MILLIONAIRES: 43
WARRIOR RUN HIGH SCHOOL: 29
Sarina Beiter’s ferocious defense helps Williamsport girls top Warrior Run
Sarina Beiter often treated Williamsport’s gymnasium floor like it was a trampoline Monday night. Beiter would dive, bounce back up and repeat, going after loose balls, sacrificing her body and relentlessly pursuing victory.
It paid off.
Beiter set a ferocious defensive tone and her teammates followed that example, turning defense into offense while defeating Warrior Run, 43-29 at the Magic Dome. Kailee Helmrich scored 15 points, Beiter, Ella Wilson and Payton Baney combined for 14 steals and the Millionaires forced 36 turnovers, winning their second straight game in their first action in two weeks.
“Defense is probably my strongest suit and guarding the point guard is my favorite thing to do,” Beiter said. “I like to try and get her frustrated to try and get everyone else frustrated and then just let everyone else do their work.”
Beiter did that quite well Monday. The senior also scored eight points, but her defense is what helped flipped the game’s script. Warrior Run forward Emily McKee produced a fantastic game, scoring a game-high 19 points and making 9 of 11 shots. The problem was getting her the ball since Williamsport’s guards so frequently forced turnovers and/or cut off passing lanes.
Beiter was the engine powering that defensive machine and played a critical role in forcing 12 first-quarter turnovers. McKee scored the game’s first four points but Williamsport (2-3) countered with a 15-0 run in less than four minutes and never trailed again. Beiter scored four points and made two steals during that run as did Helmrich and Wilson.
Warrior Run closed within six early in the second quarter, but the defense put its foot on the gas again and built a 31-14 halftime lead. That lead grew to 22 in the fourth quarter when Williamsport coach Terrill Seward-Buxton rested most of his starters the entire quarter, so his younger players could gain more experience. Beiter produced four steals and forced countless other turnovers. Wilson, Baney and Helmrich made five steals each and Ally Chilson grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
“Sarina goes hard and she sets everything up,” Seward-Buxton said. “She communicates really well. You can hear her talking all the time out there. She’s our vocal leader.”
“We played very good defense this game,” Beiter said. “That was one of our best games.”
And that was despite having limited practices since a 51-49 win against Holy Redeemer two Monday’s ago. The Millionaires showed some offensive rust, missing shots they likely would often make but defense was a constant and they forced at least seven turnovers in all four quarters. Williamsport also held Warrior Run to single digits in each of the first three quarters, had six players score during the opening quarter and built off the momentum generated in that comeback victory against Redeemer.
“They understand because we keep missing layups no matter how hard we practice them, that we have to make it up on the defensive end,” Seward-Buxton said. “I feel like we’re good enough athletes that we can turn people over. Now all five just have to be on the same page at the same time.”
If Williamsport does that it, could be quite formidable. Helmrich and Beiter are seniors but the rest of the rotation is all underclassmen, including Wilson and Baney who start as sophomores. While the team is youthful it is not experienced with many seeing team as freshmen and sophomores a year ago. Some are just scratching the surface of their potential and could be exciting players as they gain more experience.
Wilson and Baney took turns producing excitement and Wilson’s three first-quarter steals were a major reason Williamsport built its lead. Baney provides strong interior defense, hits the boards hard and could be a force. She grabbed six rebounds and added three assists in three quarters. Helmrich also dealt three assists and scored 15 points in the game’s first 17 minutes.
“I think we’re going to keep winning. That’s our goal. I have faith in us,” Beiter said. “It’s just sometimes we get ahead of ourselves. We just need to calm down a little bit but I think we’re start winning more.”
Warrior Run also (1-7) is seeking that calmness. The Defenders are one of District 4ás youngest teams and only McKee and Alayna Wilkins have played significant varsity minutes. It’s a transition year for Warrior Run who is playing in the HAC-II, one of the state’s toughest leagues, and making strides even if the record does not show it.
“We’re getting there. Little by little, every game there is improvement,” Warrior Run Rachael Herb said. “We’re playing well in the second half each game but we’re shooting ourselves in the foot in the first halves. “We just don’t have an easy game this year, but every game has gotten better.”
Warrior Run has an outstanding building block in McKee. The four-year starting forward has come back strong from a torn ACL suffered late in her sophomore season and scored at least 19 points for the third time in four games while adding a game-high 10 rebounds and four blocks. McKee also has an outstanding jump shot which she consistently hit against Williamsport, going 9 for 11 from the field.
Despite being the focal point of every opponent Warrior Run plays, McKee is among the area’s scoring leaders and scored four straight fourth-quarter points which pulled Warrior Run within 41-29 with two minutes remaining. Wilkins also played a strong game and dealt a game-high five assists while playing tough defense.
“Sometimes I feel like I sound like a broken record saying, ‘look in, look in,’ but when you have a kid that versatile and that good the only way we’re going to stay in games is if we do get her to score because that’s what we need,” Herb said. “She really worked on that range and she does have a nice jumper and Alayna works her butt off and had some beautiful feeds into her.”
WARRIOR RUN (29)
Emily McKee 9 1-2 19, Alayna Wilkins 1 0-0 2, Abby Evans 0 1-2 1, Sienna Dunkleberger 1 0-0 2, Leah Grow 0 0-0 0, Lilly Wertz 1 0-0 2, Kelsey Hoffman 0 0-0 0, Peyton Meehan 1 0-0 3. Totals 13 2-4 29.
Kailee Helmrich 7 0-0 15, Sarina Beiter 3 2-6 8, Payton Baney 0 2-6 2, Ally Chilson 2 2-2 6, Ella Wilson 2 0-0 4, AáNiyah Andrews-Handy 1 0-0 2, Cierra Rainier 0 0-0 0, Abby Mahon 1 0-0 2, Richona Santiago 0 0-0 0, Anna Harstead 0 0-0 0, Nadirah Tutler 1 0-0 2, Taniyah Martin 1 0-1 2. Totals 18 6-15 43.
Warrior Run 9 5 5 10 — 29
Williamsport 17 14 7 5 — 43
3-point goals: Warrior Run 1 (Meehan); Williamsport 1 (Helmrich).
JV score: Williamsport 46-21.
Records: Williamsport (2-3), Warrior Run (1-6).