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Lady Huskies Win Two
Dec. 12, 2016Play Two Win 12 Dec 2016 — The Sentinel
LEWISTOWN - The Mifflin County girls' basketball team survived a rare doubleheader by claiming victory in both games at the Husky Club Tip-Off Challenge on Saturday.
In the early game, the Huskies took care of Williamsport 69-35 and in the late contest, knocked off a feisty Shippensburg squad 75-56.
"I thought we came out a little flat against Shippensburg. They played very well. I can see why they were picked third in their conference," Mifflin County coach Roger Herto said. "They were very disciplined in their offense. They are a skilled group with heavy senior leadership. They really made us work, which is good."
In the nightcap, senior Bryn Ferguson - who took last year off from playing basketball - introduced herself back to the game in impressive fashion. Ferguson scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the first half, including 11 in the second quarter, to pace Mifflin County to the 38-31 halftime advantage. Ferguson also added nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals to her night.
"My first game (Williamsport) I was a little off, just coming back I had the jitters. The second game helped me because I had all the nervousness out, I had my team behind me and I worked really hard on those layups I've been missing in practice, but they worked out tonight," Ferguson said. "It wasn't just me because I had my team behind my back. We like to think of us instead of I. Tuesday we have our game against Chambersburg and we're hoping we can do the same thing with me getting on the glass and finding the girls open on the wings.
"I think the year off definitely put me in the mindset of where I needed to be. I'll admit, when I took the year off I sat in the Husky bleachers and cried the first game because I did not have the Husky jersey on, but it definitely helped me realize basketball is my sport and I need to be out here on the court."
Herto liked what he saw from the senior, especially her maturity
"Bryn really played well. The nice thing about Bryn is she's playing under control now. Two years ago when I had her, she wasn't like that. She's really grown up," Herto said. "Maybe a year away for her was a good thing. She is starting to show more maturity, she's playing smart and she was a game changer tonight. There is no doubt about that. I'm very pleased with what I saw from her tonight."
Both the Huskies and the Greyhounds (1-1) came out flat in the opening quarter, missing open jump shots, easy layups and committing numerous turnovers. Eleana Eckley, who scored 20 against Williamsport in the opening game, scored five of her 17 points in the first period to stake the Huskies to a 16-13 lead.
Ferguson exploded with the big second quarter for Mifflin County but Shippensburg stayed close thanks to the play of Liz Logan and Shannon Staver, who combined for 12 of the Greyhounds' 18 points in the quarter. Logan led Shippensburg with 14 points, while Staver contributed 10.
Rylie Rittenhouse scored nine of her 18 points in the frame as the Huskies took a slim 50-42 lead into the fourth. The Husky junior had 11 against the Millionaires. The Greyhounds kept up the pace in the third quarter with seven points from Mariah Martin.
Herto had high praise for Rittenhouse and the contributions from his bench for both games.
"I expect a lot out of Rylie all the time. She really works hard for everything she gets. Rittenhouse had a solid two games for us," Herto said. "I am really pleased with the kids coming off the bench as well. They are listening to what we tell them to do. They want to get more playing time and they are doing the right things out on the court. It's really rewarding to see them accepting their roles and doing what we ask them to do."
Mifflin County blew open a close contest in the fourth, out-scoring Shippensburg 25-14 in the final frame, including a 13-2 run to start the quarter that salted the game away.
"I was pleased with our kids. We had to battle through a little bit of adversity and we did pretty well with it," Herto said. "It looked like we caught our second wind at one point early in the first half, but I was most impressed in the second half. We showed more stamina than they did. We wore them down and that was nice to see."
Mifflin County 69, Williamsport 35
LEWISTOWN - A big start in the first half gave Mifflin County the easy win over Williamsport in the early game. The Huskies exploded out of the gate for a commanding 46-15 halftime lead. In addition to Eckley and Rittenhouse, Jenna Fleegal hit double figures with 13.
"We didn't play together much in the summer, I was expecting some sloppy play early in the season, and I can think of four or five possessions tonight where somebody makes a back-door cut and the ball goes the other way and we are turning it over. Hopefully, we can clean those up as the season goes along," Herto said. "These are two good wins for us. Anytime you play two games in one day and you get them both, I'll take it."
The Husky JVs played one game and defeated Williamsport 36-34. Fern Silfies had 16 points and Sarah Shilling 11 to lead Mifflin County. The Huskies travel to Chambersburg on Tuesday to begin the Commonwealth Division season.
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