Maybe a little passive her freshman year as

By Eric Clutter Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Maybe a little passive her freshman year as the sixth man on Bomber coach Dave Apthorpe's team that advanced to the regionals, the 5-foot-10 senior forward has now blossomed into a bonafide player.

"It has really been a joy to watch her develop, physically and mentally," said Apthorpe after Beckner scored 19 points in leading the host Bombers to a 65-44 Portage County League cross-division victory over Crestwood Monday. "She is so much stronger now and she knows when to attack. And she can pop out and hit that 12- or 14-footer.

"She (also) works really hard on the defensive end and is not afraid. Everybody always said, 'She is too timid.' I don't think that is the case anymore. When she was a freshman, maybe, but as she has developed, she is not afraid of contact."

Eight of Beckner's points came during a 24-point Windham second quarter that elevated the Bombers to a 38-25 lead at the break.

She had plenty of help on the night from the likes of Colleen McGuire (13 points), Liz Binion (10 points) and Tara Cain (9 points on three 3-pointers).

"I think Windham is the best team in the league," said first-year Crestwood coach Jim Haylett, whose team is still in search of its first win, dropping to 0-5 overall and 0-3 in the PCL. "I thought that in the beginning of the year."

Crestwood came out strong, reeling off 10 straight points late in the opening quarter to take a 14-8 lead.

Windham (5-1, 2-1) answered with six straight points to close out the quarter at 14-14, and then broke away from an 18-18 tie early in the second quarter with a 20-7 run to end the half.

Keying the Windham effort all night long was tough work on the glass, the end result of which was a 45-35 advantage in caroms.

"There is no secret to the fact that we have to learn how to rebound," said Haylett. "But what we are doing is continuing to come back no matter how far down we are. We have a lot of heart and are getting better every game."

Andrea Haylett paced Crestwood with 16 points. Jen Risch added 10 and Emily Musil chipped in with eight.

With nearly four players in double figures, the Bombers have a very balanced attack which makes them especially dangerous.

"That's the kind of team we have," said Apthorpe. "We're going to have nights where our leading scorer might have two or four points because we're so balanced. We really have a lot of weapons; all seven can play the game and that gives everyone a break.

"As long as everyone plays with a lot of enthusiasm, I think we'll have a very nice season. And tonight they did that, played with a lot of hustle."

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