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MC Gets Back on Track in Williamsport
Dec. 23, 2017
Huskies on the Money in Victory
Special to The Sentinel
WILLIAMSPORT — After playing on a minutes restriction due to an injury in her first two games back against Cumberland Valley and State College, it was time for Rylie Rittenhouse to take off the training wheels and make her way back into the starting lineup for the first time this season against Williamsport.
She did not disappoint.
Mifflin County’s senior forward finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and two assists and a pressure filled defense forced 28 Williamsport turnovers as the Huskies came away with a 67-32 win Friday night at the Magic Dome.
“It was good to see Rylie get back in the flow a little bit and even better than her scoring was her rebounding. I thought she performed really well tonight,” Mifflin County coach Roger Herto said. “She had a lot of those steals too, but we’ve been a work in progress but that was good to see her back out there. … Rylie will be the first to tell you she’s not a 100 percent yet. She got gassed really quick but it’s just good to see her back out there. Like a lot of our kids, she’s worked really hard to become the basketball player that she is and hopefully in a month, we’ll see her back at 100 percent.”
Playing about 25 minutes in her first two games back, Rittenhouse was able to play freely Friday night and she was aggressive inside with the rebounding as she grabbed eight offensive boards. She showed no ill effects and gave the Millionaires fits all night. Also giving Williamsport problems was Eleana Eckley as she scored a game-high 26 points in addition to two rebounds and two steals as Williamsport had no answer for the duo.
“Eleana, again, has been really steady. That’s a really good 1-2 punch for us if we can get Rylie and Eleana going,” Herto said.
Williamsport had more turnovers at halftime than it did points (17-16) and it didn’t get much better in the second half. The turnovers weren’t deadball turnovers, either. They were in-play ones that turned into easy Mifflin County points the other way. The Huskies had 26 points in the paint; 16 of those were off steals and usually uncontested. Add in the 23 made free throws, Mifflin County came away with 49 easy points that they were able to earn with pressure and tenacity.
The turnovers weren’t the only problems for Williamsport, so was rebounding. Mifflin County had five offensive rebounds on its first two possessions and it had seven total rebounds before Williamsport grabbed its first. The Millionaires put themselves in tough defensive positions due to turnovers and second chance opportunities. Those tough situations led to 23 made free throws for the Huskies as they knocked down an impressive 82 percent of them.
“In our half court set, if you give a team four or five opportunities at the basket and they don’t score but you foul them and they shoot the way they shoot from the free throw line, it’s a no-brainer what’s going to happen,”Williamsport coach DeMarr Wright said.
“Our goal every night is 70 percent and we’ve been shooting that, our approach to fouls is very simple, our first rule on defense is do not foul. We don’t want the other team at the line and we’ve been pretty good at that this year,” Herto said. “We haven’t had too many teams shooting free throws against us. To me, the foul line is always a game you can win, whether you’re better or worse than the team, you can win that game if you’re smart. That’s one area where I will say the kids have done a good job this year. We haven’t committed silly fouls for the most part and as a team, we shoot it pretty well and that showed tonight.”
Mifflin County won the JV game, 43-33.
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