LEWISTOWN - Right now it's great to be a Mifflin County Husky sports fan - especially when looking at games with arch-rival State College.
Mifflin County athletics has won three of the last five games against the Little Lions this past fall, including season-ending games in field hockey and football.
Friday nobody saw the season end, but the boys basketball team did take a hard-fought, two-point win over State College, 45-43.
Sentinel photo by MATT STRICKER
Mifflin County’s John Michael Maclay (22) attempts a shot between State College defenders Michael Caswell (11) and Bryce Williams (25) Friday in Lewistown.
"A win is a win and especially after your third game in five days," Mifflin County coach Aaron Gingrich said. "I'm sure a lot of coaches playing this schedule would be happy taking two out of three each week. With that said, we obviously did not play very well offensively tonight."
Mifflin County opened the week by beating Harrisburg, but fell hard on the road to Carlisle.
On Friday, the Huskies led 36-31 going into the fourth quarter of the Commonwealth Division contest. After Hunter Wright made a free throw, Nate Koller scored his only two baskets of the night to give Mifflin County a 42-37 lead.
IF YOU GO
Mifflin County travels to the Shippensburg Tournament Dec. 27 & 28
State College's Lonnie Koudela made a basket cutting the lead to three points. With 2:46 left, Mifflin County then made three-of-four shots down the stretch to clinch the game.
Wright, who finished with 17 points, made one of the two free throws and then Evan Seby, the clutch shooting junior, iced the game (45-41) with two foul shots with 23 ticks left on the clock.
Lucas Cooper drove and missed a layup for the Little Lions and in the scramble for possession a jump ball was called with 10 seconds remaining. Mifflin County owned the possession arrow.
However, the Huskies failed to convert and as a time ran out, Cody Kubicki made a basket making the final score a two-point margin.
"I thought our decision making and shot selection was not what it should be," Gingrich noted. "Our defense picked us up tonight. When you have games on offense like we had tonight, you better have a solid defensive effort if you want to win."
The game was close throughout and neither team ever had a double-digit lead.
Wright had a solid game throughout the contest as he scored in every quarter and was five for nine from the line. He also had 13 rebounds for a double-double and Gingrich appreciated his senior forward's effort.
"Hunter (Wright) had a big game for us with his double-double," Gingrich said. "I thought our guards, Nate Koller, Jack Packer, Ross Torquato, Blake Hunter and John Michael Maclay set the tone and severely limited State College's offense."
No other Mifflin County player reached double figures, but there were some key baskets throughout the game.
As usual, the sharp shooting duo of Seby and Packer each had a trey. Torquato's lone basket tied the game at halftime, 23-23.
Curtis Jerzerick's only basket came late in the third period and gave the Huskies a nine-point margin, 34-25.
And just before Jerzerick's basket, Maclay had a flurry of four points including one basket that was a two hand stuff to send the home crowd, especially the student section, into a frenzy.
Two juniors led State College in scoring, Koudela with 14 and Kubicki with 12.
Mifflin County now has a 2-3 record in the Commonwealth Division and is 2-5 overall. The Huskies sit in sixth place in the league ahead of State College and Chambersburg.
Friday's game ends the schedule before Christmas and the next time Mifflin County is in action it is at the Shippensburg Tournament next Friday and Saturday (December 27 and 28).
In another bright spot on Friday, the Mifflin County junior varsity won its first game of the year, 60-50. Cade Attick led the way with 24 points, while Torquato chipped in with 12 and Hunter had 10.