TURBOTVILLE - There are no official stats but it is safe to say Chloe Eisenhuth hits the floor while diving for a loose ball or fighting for a rebound at least 10 times a game. One of District 4's smallest players also might be its feistiest.
The Warrior Run guard leaves the court sore each game but it might be a testament to her toughness that she refuses to ice her body afterward. That might be showing weakness and Eisenhuth will not let anyone or anything have that satisfaction.
Eisenhuth plays like a giant and her stellar all-around performance helped Warrior Run edge Loyalsock, 32-30 Saturday. The junior, a starter for a two-time soccer state champion, had a hand in all eight third-quarter points, grabbed five rebounds, dealt four assists and played stifling defense as the Defenders (8-5, 2-5 HAC-II) won their third straight.
"After the Central game we had a heart to heart and I told the girls it comes down to us not playing hard and I told them if I had five Chloe's we would not lose a game," Warrior Run coach Jon Weaver said. "She doesn't know any other way to play and it's contagious. Once she flies around out there and gets into the passing lanes that gets things started for us."
Eisenhuth scored all four of her points in the third quarter and had two assists during that time as the Defenders broke a tie took a three-point lead into the final quarter.
One sequence served as a microcosm of Eisenhuth's scholastic career. Barely 5-feet tall, Eisenhuth went diving into the lane, surrounded by big post players, grabbed a rebound and from the floor fed Steph Shamburg for a layup that made it 25-20. On a night when every basket was hard to come by, a play like that was huge.
"Defense is my favorite part of the game because I like to be the smallest one out there and be able to do something big on defense. It feels good," said Eisenhuth, who nearly played all 32 minutes despite taking a scary looking hard fall on her back in the third quarter. "The aggressiveness on the soccer field definitely has a part in basketball because I think jumping up for a header is just as aggressive as going up for a rebound because you're getting hit just as much."
Saturday's game was a physical one which is the way Eisenhuth likes it. Warrior Run never trailed in the second half, but made only 1 of 16 fourth-quarter shots and Loyalsock (5-8, 1-6) pulled within 31-30 on two Cellina Salvatori free throws. Had Eisenhuth not broken up a layup a possession early, those shots would have put Loyalsock ahead.
Tay Parker hit a foul shot that made it 32-30 with five seconds remaining, but Taylor Daskivich (8 rebounds) rebounded the ensuing miss and Loyalsock had a chance to tie or win. The Lancers brought the ball past midcourt, but Warrior Run prevented it from putting up a shot. It was the second time in a week Loyalsock lost a league game by two points.
"I prepare for every game with the attitude that we're going to win so when we lose I look at as what I have to do to fix it," Loyalsock coach Demarr Wright said. "I sit and try to digest it but I really don't know because I came down with the mindset that we were going to win the game and it was there for the taking. These are the games we have to get."
The Lancers might have had Eisenhuth, Parker and Fisher not made big defensive plays late. Parker had a game-high five steals and one came in the final minute. Fisher (9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) also forced costly turnovers late and hit the defensive boards hard. Fisher scored four of her points in the third quarter and her steal and layup made it 29-26.
Parker (10 points, 4 assists) made three first-quarter 3-pointers, helping Warrior Run take an 11-8 lead. She had a hand in 18 of 19 first-half points but Allie Pagana did a nice job defending her in the second half while Sam Pagana played outstanding defense on Shamburg. Nothing came easy, but Warrior Run prevailed.
"It says a lot because if you're able to win when you're not playing your best than you should be able to destroy people when you do you play your best," Eisenhuth said. "We're picking it up and working as a team and getting better."
"You find out what you're made of when you shoot that poorly but find a way to gut one out," Weaver said. "That came down to guts and heart at the end. We played hard, the girls wanted it and they got it done."
Allie Pagana 1 1-2 3, Sam Pagana 4 0-0 8, Katy Burdett 2 0-0 4, Taylor Daskivich 0 0-0 0, Megan McKernan 1 1-4 4, Cellina Salvatori 1 2-2 4, Giana Ginobile 1 0-0 2, Abby Sullivan 2 0-0 5. Totals 12 4-8 30.
WARRIOR RUN (32)
Steph Shamburg 4 1-2 9, Tay Parker 3 1-3 10, Abby Fisher 3 2-3 9, Chloe Eisenhuth 2 0-0 4, Laura Bastian 0 0-0 0, Mackenzie Hays 0 0-0 0, Rachel Grow 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 4-8 32.
Loyalsock8 9 9 4-30
Warrior Run11 8 8 5-32
3-pointers: Loyalsock 2 (McKernan, Sullivan); Warrior Run 4 (Parker 3, Fisher).
Records: Warrior Run 8-5, 2-5 HAC-II. Loyalsock 5-8, 1-6.