ROTTERDAM — Schalmont’s Haley Burchhardt is just 5-foot-3 — though she likes to say “5-5 with the sneakers” — with a talent for doing all the necessary little things and enough instinct for two people.
All those things were on display in the Sabres’ 68-37 win over host Mohonasen on Friday in Colonial Council girls’ basketball action.
Burchhardt finished with 10 points, a game-high 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists for Schalmont (8-0 Colonial, 10-1 overall), ranked fourth in the latest Class B state poll. But if statistics were kept for screens, picks, defensive slides and loose-ball dives, she might have finished with at least a quadruple-double.
There was one other noticeable thing she did: Talk on defense. The Sabres are good about yelling, “ball,” and “help,” but Burchhardt frequently took the other step to tell teammates if their positioning was good or if they needed to move and other such things.
“I feel like that is the number one thing a team needs to have in order to be successful,” Burchhardt said. “That’s something I’ve always preached. If you’re not going to talk, things aren’t going to work. You need chemistry on the floor, you need to be able to talk to your teammates.”
Burchhardt’s rebounding is especially impressive, given her height. Coach Jeff Van Hoesen calls her the team’s defensive stopper.
“She’s one of the best rebounders on the team for a guard, for her size,” Van Hoesen said. “She plays a very physical game, and she’s great to have for us because she just creates matchup problems for other teams, being that physical of a guard.”
Some of Burchhardt’s plays Friday typified the player she is. In the fourth quarter, she grabbed a second rebound in a sequence, waited for Karissa Antoine to cut down the lane and hit her with a pass for an easy two.
“For someone her size to rebound like she’s a power forward helps us out so much,” Van Hoesen said.
On another play, she drove, lost the ball for a split-second, regained it and hit a cutting Gianna Cirilla for a bucket.
As Van Hoesen pointed out, Burchhardt is also a scorer. She didn’t sink any of her 3-point attempts Friday, but had success driving. One time, she faked a 3-pointer and drove in for two. Another time she began to drive, looked right just long enough to make her defender think she might pass it and clear the lane for Burchhardt to score.
“It’s kind of like a necessity for me because any form of space I need to create – because like I said I am not the tallest player; there are some days where I get stuffed a lot – things like that I’ve picked up on just watching myself play. But also my teammates, too, like Payton [Graber], that’s something she did.”
A confessed gym rat, Burchhardt joins Payton Graber as a sixth-year varsity player.
“It’s weird, I feel so old,” Burchhardt said, chuckling. “Every game is like a last game for me. Like coming here, this probably was my last time playing here, so gotta leave it all out on the floor. I need to.”
Graber led Schalmont in scoring with 20 points, and also made seven steals. Antoine had 16 points and Cirilla scored 13.
Mohonasen (1-7 league, 2-10 overall) was led by Bella Petrocci’s 17 points and Isabella Clute’s 10 points and seven rebounds.
Schalmont 26 10 22 10 – 68
Mohonasen 1 9 10 17 – 37
Schalmont scoring: Hallberg 1-0-2, Frank 0-2-2, Cirilla 6-0-13, Graber 8-2-20, Antoine 6-4-16, Brandon 2-0-5, Burchhardt 5-0-10. Mohonasen scoring: Pietrefesa 1-1-3, Petrocci 4-4-17, Richmond 1-1-3, Clute 4-0-10, Quenneville 2-0-4. Team totals: Schalmont 28-8-68, Mohonasen 12-6-37.