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MC Too Much for Dubois
Feb. 14, 2015
Strong second sparks Huskies
February 14, 2015, Lewistown Sentinel Save |
LEWISTOWN - With playoff aspirations out of the picture, the Mifflin County girls basketball team is now playing for pride and for the future.
Husky coach Roger Herto wants winning to be a habit for his club and with only one senior dotting the varsity roster, closing out the final two games of the season with victories is the goal.
Helping the cause was Friday a 23-5 second quarter featuring a 16-0 run to end the first half, lifting Mifflin County to a 72-49 victory over DuBois in the team's annual Pink Zone game. All proceeds from the game benefited breast cancer awareness in the local area.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
Mifflin County’s Maggie Wilson, front, reaches for the ball as Dubois’ Taylore Uplinger, left, and Victoria Schalk and Mifflin County’s Eleana Eckley battle for the ball Friday in Lewistown. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
"The second quarter we played a lot harder and smarter. We got some steals and got the ball up and down the floor," Herto said. "I've said this a million times - we are a better basketball team when 10 hands touch the ball when we run offense. Hopefully that message will resonate with them from here on out and into the off-season to help us get ready for next year."
The Huskies held a 25-16 lead with four minutes left in the first half when their defense took over control of the game. Mifflin County forced six consecutive turnovers that keyed the run that made it 41-16 at the half. The Huskies forced DuBois into 23 turnovers.
Ali Herto started the scoring barrage with back-to-back 3-pointers. Eleana Eckley added a bucket to make it 33-16 with 3:18 to go. Jessa Wright hit two midrange jumpers, while Marissa Byler and Rylie Rittenhouse scored deuces of their own. Byler was a key of the bunch, accounting for three steals and a couple assists during the big run.
Wright led Mifflin County with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Maggie Wilson connected for 13 and Eckley added 10.
"We had a couple kids tonight play decent basketball," Herto said. "I thought Maggie Wilson was efficient. She distributed the ball well and probably had as many assists as she did points. We tried some different things in the second half. We are focusing on next year. We let our guards call the offense and the kids made some good decisions. I though Eleana Eckley and Joss Walters played well, (and) some of the kids off the bench did really well for us."
The Beavers (8-15) fought back and actually won the third quarter 17-13, thanks to an 8-0 run to end the period. Dana Desalve paced DuBois with 10 of her 17 points coming in the second half. Teammate Taylore Upplinger added 13.
Mifflin County (9-12) regained its composure in the fourth quarter when Wilson and Bryce Papp combined for 12 of the Huskies' 18 points in the quarter.
"We had a rough loss at Altoona. That was a tough game. We really wanted to get back on track and win this one," Wilson said. "We came out a little overconfident to start the game, but we got in our groove and took control."
Wright had nine points and Eckley had six in the first as both teams traded buckets with the Huskies gaining an 18-11 lead after one. The game remained close for a quarter and a half until the big run put the game out of reach.
The Husky JVs won 59-31 behind Cass Sunderland (17 points) and Lizzie Rodgers (10 points). Mifflin County closes out its season at home Wednesday against Hollidaysburg.
"Our focus now is Hollidaysburg. We have two practices left. It would be great to end the season beating them," Herto said. "If we do that we are going to be really disappointed because we are going to be one win shy of what we needed. As I've said all season. I really like this team and we have to find a way next year to get better.
"I'm anxious to see how we finish. It would be a big win, a big boost to take us into the offseason and get us ready for next year."
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