Bench play boosts Millionaires into state tourney

The Top Hats - Williamsport Millionaires

The Top Hats - Williamsport Millionaires

Asked about the difference between the Williamsport starters and the reserves earlier this season, Shariff Monroe paused for a second then perfectly described it.

“They get their names announced at the beginning of the game,” he said.

That sums it up. Because judging by the way both groups have played all season spectators who arrive late at the game would have no idea which group is which. Starter, reserve…it really doesn’t matter because when coach Allen Taylor calls on his bench, there is no drop-off.

“As a reserve I feel like I should come in and give a lift,” said senior reserve Keith Haynes, a defensive specialist. “If anything I feel like it shouldn’t be a letdown. We have to keep it going and pick it up for our starters and let them know that they can take a break if they need to and we can keep it going.”

Haynes understates what the reserves do. In addition to just keeping it going, the bench also has extended leads and added an extra dimension to the explosive Millionaires. That depth was instrumental again last Friday when Williamsport built an 18-point third-quarter lead then held off a furious Hazleton comeback and captured the District 2-4 Class AAAA championship with a 60-57 win.

The Millionaires are district champions for the first time since 2002 and meet Cedar Cliff in Saturday’s opening round of the state tournament. Players like Monroe, Haynes, Darryl Worthy and Codie Engel, to name a few, are a big reason why Williamsport again is one of the state’s elite teams.

“Shariff, Darryl, Keith and Codie always come in and provide a spark,” forward Dontahe Jordan said. “That means we have fresh legs coming in. We take someone out and we know we are not losing what we had in before.”

Full Story at SunGazette.com

 

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