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MC Girls Fall to Rams
Dec. 16, 2015
Lesko, Rams knock off Huskies
Rough shooting costs Mifflin County game
December 16, 2015, Lewistown Sentinel Save |
LEWISTOWN - The Mifflin County girls basketball team started like they normally do, they just didn't finish like it.
The Huskies connected on two threes in the first two minutes of the game, but uncharacteristically went cold for most of the duration and fell 59-48 to Central Dauphin in a Mid-Penn Commonwealth basketball game on Tuesday night at Mifflin County High School.
Turnovers were also a major issues for the Huskies, as well as senior forward Jessa Wright fouling out a few possessions into the fourth quarter.
Sentinel photo by MATT?STRICKER
Mifflin County’s Jessa Wright (13) fast breaks to the basket ahead of Central Dauphin’s Essence Hall (30) in a Mid-Penn Commonwealth girls basketball game on Tuesday night at Mifflin County High School.
"I liked the fourth quarter offensively with moving the ball, we got shots that we're normally going to make most of the time, but we weren't making them," Mifflin County coach Roger Herto said. "We weren't sharp-shooting tonight, but I thought we moved the ball better offensively.
"Jessa fouling out was huge. There's no doubt about that," he said. "It was my call, I decided to start her out in the fourth quarter. They go into the post and she gets called for a touch foul. That's basketball though. Next man up has to step up. I give them credit, they made some plays they needed to win."
Mifflin County's quick with back-to-back threes from Ericka Lepley and Rylie Rittenhouse, who scored a game-high 15 points, to establish a 6-0 lead.
Wright's drive plus the ensuing free throw put the Huskies up 10-4 with 4:21 left in the opening quarter.
Central Dauphin came back with eight straight, keyed by Alexis Smith, and took advantage of a rare lengthy scoreless stretch from Mifflin County.
Maggie Wilson ended the scoreless span that lasted more than four minutes with a jumper to even the game at 12.
Rittenhouse put the Huskies up 18-17 with a free throw, but the Rams responded with a an 11-1 run thanks to Tori Lesko.
Lesko pushed the visitors' lead back to 10 with a drive and the free throw to carry the 31-21 lead into the half.
It was turnovers that plagued the Huskies most of the first half coupled with a cold shooting stretch.
"Too many turnovers. To me, against a zone, you don't turn the ball over," Herto said. "It's not like they were pressuring us or anything. That's not a situation with the experience we have in the court, I don't expect them to turn the ball over. We did though and at some point, they get credit for playing defense."
Carol Weber added to the Rams' lead with a jumper to make it 33-21, but Mifflin County came back with the next five.
A beautiful pass from Lesko to Tarae Daniels for a lay up made it 36-26.
That's when Mifflin County ditched it's rough shooting and showed how quickly it can strike with 10 straight.
It came in bunches for the Huskies, all with Wright sitting with four fouls.
Rittenhouse made a lay up and drew the foul for a quick three, then a Wilson 3-ball cut it to 36-32.
Eleana Eckley struck for her first bucket of the night - a huge one - when she completed a four-point play and evened the game at 36 to force a timeout from Central Dauphin.
"Just to keep believing," Herto said of what he told his team in that timeout. "All we talked about at halftime is 10 hands touching the ball and to start to lean on each other a little bit more. Trust in each other and don't be afraid of making that extra pass. I was very proud of them, they showed a lot of character there. They got themselves right back where they needed to be.
"We had a couple stretches there, a couple of melees there," Herto said. "We had three good opportunities and didn't score and they came down and hit a lay up to make it six. I'm very disappointed we didn't get this win, but I'm not disappointed in our kids. I thought especially in the second half, they did what I wanted them to do. The ball didn't go in, and we made a few bad decisions with some turnovers."
Central Dauphin came out of the timeout with another brilliant pass from Lesko to Daniels in transition to go back ahead and added five more to stretch it back to 43-36.
"I've been doing this 30 years and I don't know if I've seen a better passer, and I've seen some good ones," Herto said of the Rams' senior. "That kid, if you go at her too much, she finds someone. She probably makes that team 15-20 points better than they are because she gets them wide open shots with great court vision."
Rittenhouse's three-point play cut the lead to 47-41 with 6:20 to play in the game and the Huskies forced a turnover on the next possession.
Lesko's jumper and split free throws pushed the Rams' lead to 54-46 with 2:40 to go and Mifflin County got no closer.
Mifflin County won the junior varsity game 38-37 thanks to a pair of go-ahead free throws from Hannah Aumiller with 12.2 seconds to play.
Mifflin County (3-2, 1-2 Mid Penn) will visit Chambersburg on Friday.
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