Williams powers Susquehannock girls to district triumph
- Susquehannock beat Mechanicsburg 51-27 in a District 3 5-A girls' basketball game vs. Mechanicsburg.
- Tyler Williams was a force, scoring 17 points to lead the Warriors.
- Susquehannock will face Dover in the quarterfinals. The Warriors have beaten them twice this season.
GLEN ROCK — Susquehannock's Tyler Williams was relatively quiet in the first half of Tuesday night's District 3 Class 5-A girls' basketball playoff game against Mechanicsburg.
The Warriors' forward scored just four points in the opening 16 minutes.
Williams, though, made her presence felt in a huge way during the second half.
She was a force, connecting for 17 points, as Susquehannock broke open a close game and rolled to a 51-27 victory.
Williams did almost all of her damage in the paint, powering her way off the dribble to the hoop or converting pin-point passes from her teammates into baskets.
"The first half, we came out really nervous," she said. "Last year, we lost in the first round of districts, and we didn't want to do the same thing this year. In the second half, we knew what we had to do, and the shots started falling."
Williams, the team's only senior, helped make sure that the No. 2 seed Warriors (20-4) will play again Friday.
"I'm the team mom," she joked, when asked what it's like to be the sole senior. "But, we've all been playing together for four or five years, if you count the AAU season."
Williams and her teammates carried a five-point lead to the locker room (19-14) at halftime following a first half during which both teams struggled to consistently make shots.
Susquehannock came out hot in the third quarter and connected on 6 of 10 shots. The Warriors outscored the No. 15 seed Wildcats, 18-4, in the quarter to open a 19-point lead entering the final quarter. The Warriors padded the advantage with a 14-9 edge in the final quarter.
Mechanicsburg (11-12), after scoring 10 points in the first quarter, didn't reach double digits in any of the last three quarters.
"We came out in the second half and got some good opportunities," Susquehannock coach Dave Schreiner said. "The kids looked for each other, plus we were able to get our pressure (defense) working for us. This is a good way to get started (in districts). We got that monkey off our back from last year. We can at least breathe a little bit."
Schreiner felt that Williams wore down the opponents in the second half.
"Tyler, her motor kept going faster and faster. She went to another level," he said. "I've never really coached anyone who worked harder."
Taylor Tannura, also finished in doubles figures for Susquehannock with 12 points. Jaden Walker finished with nine points. Walker, a sophomore, had seven of her points in the first quarter to get the Warriors off to the early lead.
Susquehannock's victory sets up a third game this season with York-Adams Division II rival Dover. The game is set for Friday at Susquehannock. The Warriors won the previous two meetings over the seventh-seeded Eagles (18-6).
"It feels really good to win this game, but we have Dover Friday, and it's hard to beat a team three times," Williams said. "We have to come out sharp."
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.