The Susquehannock girls' basketball team is headed back to the District 3 championship game after a 48-25 victory against Twin Valley Tuesday. The Warriors play Harrisburg at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hershey's Giant Center. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Susquehannock’s Tyler Williams is the lone senior on her basketball team.
She’s the only player still around from the Warriors team that headed to the Giant Center to play for a championship four years ago.
But even after helping Susquehannock punch its ticket back to the title game in her final high school season, Williams made it clear the work is far from done.
Susquehannock is looking for the program’s first district title.
The Warriors rode a big first-half lead to a 48-25 victory against Twin Valley in the District 3 Class 5A girls’ basketball semifinal Tuesday at Cumberland Valley High School. Second-seeded Susquehannock will play top-seeded Harrisburg at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hershey’s Giant Center.
“It’s a completely different atmosphere,” Williams recalled about her trip to the title game four years ago.
“I was just a little freshman on the end of the bench watching, it was such an experience to have,” Williams said. “I’m so grateful to get back there.”
Susquehannock's semifinal matchup turned lopsided in the second quarter, with Susquehannock holding Twin Valley scoreless during an 18-0 run. The Warriors headed to halftime leading, 30-9, and needing to do little in the final 16 minutes but kill the clock.
Williams led all scorers with 14 points, but as has been the case all season the Warriors managed to share the scoring duties. Guards Jayla Galbreath and Taylor Tannura each scored 11 points, and Jaden Walker added eight.
"Everything just started to come together," Susquehannock coach Dave Schreiner said.
Susquehannock switched from its typical man defense to a 2-3 zone, in an attempt to take away a height advantage Twin Valley held at guard. Then the Warriors started hitting their shots, and Twin Valley kept committing fouls. Susquehannock entered the bonus with 5:11 still to play in the second quarter.
"It's been a long time since that first Susquenita scrimmage we had down here back in November," Schreiner told his team before the game. "We've come a long way even. There's been some bumps in the road ... one of my hopes was we could just get better and better and fight through to get to this opportunity again."
The Warriors didn’t even look to score in the second half. They didn’t need to. The hard work had already been done.
They spread the floor, moved the ball and ran the clock.
“That’s one of the things Coach Dave preaches, the clock is our sixth man, and it has been all season," Williams said. "We’re just trying to use it to our advantage.”
No Twin Valley player cracked double digits in scoring, with Ashlynn Lennon scoring a team-high eight points.
The Warriors didn’t go to their bench until about 90 seconds remained.
Now the program advances to its third finals appearance (2013-14, 17) in five seasons.
The Susquehannock girls' basketball team is chasing a chance at history, attempting to win the program's first District 3 title. The Warriors appeared in back-to-back district finals in 2013-14, but came up short in both games. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
If you go
What: District 3 Class 5A girls' basketball championship game
Who: No. 2 Susquehannock vs. No. 1 Harrisburg
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Giant Center, Hershey
Live: Follow live updates on the action at GameTimePA.com.