Branson senior Priscilla Williams is more unstoppable force than immovable object, but her versatility at the high school level makes her a tough assignment.
The Syracuse commit made all the difference in Marshfield’s 65-36 loss Thursday, finishing with a game-high 32 points and over a handful of blocks.
Rated the Class of 2020’s No. 11 player in the country by ESPN, Williams will be a guard for the Orange, but anchors the interior defense for the Pirates at her listed 6-foot-3, five inches more than the tallest Lady Jay.
For Marshfield, that title falls to junior Brooklyn Crawford, who scored all her team-high 10 points before halftime. Williams is one of a select few players with the ability to quickly step out and alter Crawford’s baseline jumpers that have sparked the offense on multiple occasions this season.
“[We focused on] staying under control, working the outside shot and working the ball around as much as possible, looking for the perfect shot,“ Crawford said, adding, “[Williams is] good, but we could stop her, definitely.”
Marshfield, during stretches, looked capable of stopping Branson, if not Williams. The Lady Jays trimmed a 15-point lead to 10 just before halftime before Branson jumped out to a 10-2 run coming out of intermission. Dani Brewer (eight points) and Kori Cromer (seven) worked the mid-range game to stay within sniffing distance of single-digits, but the Pirates answered with nine unanswered on a stretch where Williams swatted several shots and hit an absurdly deep 3-pointer to close the third quarter.
“There’s not much you can do about that,” Marshfield head coach Katie Pritchard said. “And she’s a solid player, an athlete you don’t typically see.”
Alliyah Joiner, the Lady Jays’ 5-foot-3 junior who can usually penetrate defenses with a head of steam, had to contend with Williams’ discrepancy in stature.
“It’s kinda hard to go up against her height advantage, so I just had to drive in and look for the kick-out to Kori or Dani or whoever for the 3,” Joiner said.
Pritchard cooriberated that strategy, saying, “We definitely didn’t want to be shooting while she was on us.”
As the execution went, Pritchard admitted candidly with a laugh, “We didn’t always do that. We got a little brave a couple times and it didn’t turn out well for us.”
Marshfield bounced back with a 49-37 victory at home over Aurora on Cancer Awareness Night. A trip to Lamar awaits on Thursday.