Don't mistake these descriptions for criminal assault; there was nothing overtly physical. There was, however, a different attitude about the Defenders compared to previous games and it manifested itself in rugged defense.
"We knew they had quick girls so we had to move our feet much faster than we usually do and just get after it," said junior guard Chloe Eisenhuth, who earned a badge of courage just below her left knee. "We had to give it right back, otherwise they were going to go right by us. We had to make sure we had them on their toes."
While their tournament has been good to the Defenders in recent years, what follows generally hasn't been.
Warrior Run has stormed into the holiday break with terrific momentum, a few times being first in the Valley to qualify for districts based on having enough wins to finish at least .500. Then, invariably, the team has crumbled under the weight of their merciless division (HAC-II) and, in each of the last two years, injuries to an already wafer-thin lineup.
It could be different this season. Though HAC-II is as unforgiving as ever, the Defenders have above-average depth, a diverse scoring punch, and, as you may have heard, a willingness to get down and dirty on defense.
Shamburg is a bona fide star. She has touch around the basket, range on her jump shot, and a feel for when her team needs her to score.
She has excelled despite extra defensive attention, but even the best of them will be bogged down by a bracket plus help like Muncy showed.
That's where the Defenders have shown they can make opponents pay. Shamburg averages 17.4 points, and Parker is a hair below 10. But Laura Bastian (7.7 ppg.), Abby Fisher (6.6) and Eisenhuth (4.3) are carrying some of the load as well.