ST. JAMES — Williamsport girls basketball coach Chris Malott sees a world of potential in junior center Hannah Kastelein.
On Saturday, Kastelein demonstrated why Malott has such high hopes.
Kastelein dominated Saint James in the paint and led all players with 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Wildcats pulled away early for a 54-23 victory.
“If you’d have seen her in eighth grade, she was a project — and she still is a project,” Malott said. “I love her upside. When we instruct her, she tries to do what we’re telling her. She uses her left hand, she’s slowing down and not rushing things. And you can’t teach 6-1.”
Kastelein scored six points — all in close — in the first quarter as Williamsport (1-1) took an 18-5 lead on the Saints (1-1) after one period. The Wildcats made 8 of 14 shots in the opening eight minutes, while Saint James missed its first nine shots and went 2-for-13 in the frame.
The Saints were playing without senior Jordan Wills — arguably their best player — who was in New York City for a modeling shoot, according to coach Louis Canelli. Saint James struggled all game offensively, making just 10 of 49 shots.
“No one really stepped up to be a playmaker, despite the fact that we have some talent that has the ability,” Canelli said. “Missed shots certainly killed us. ... There’s not much we could do down low. We play them again later this year, and now we know what they want to do.”
All nine players who dressed for Williamsport scored in the first 12 minutes. Jordan Younker had eight of her 11 points in the second half, and Erin Palmer, Victoria Key and Casey Arnone each added six points.
“More than the score, (all nine players scoring) makes me happy,” Malott said. “All nine are going to play, there’s no one who’s going to stay on the bench.”
Kerri Kline led Saint James with seven points and four assists.
JV: Williamsport, 48-8 (W: Emily Fitzgerald 9).
Strite 2, Kastelein 13, Palmer 6, Younker 11, Malott 2, Christy 4, Key 6, Arnone 6, Willingham 4. Totals 22 8-12 54.
SAINT JAMES (1-1)
Kline 7, Bruns 4, Bacon 5, Guillard 3, Fahey 4. Totals 10 1-2 23.
Williamsport 18 14 12 10 — 54
Saint James 5 7 2 9 — 23
3-point goals — Williamsport 2 (Key 2), Saint James 2 (Kline, Guillard).