LEWISTOWN - Friday night's opening round game of the Husky Club Holiday Challenge was important for the Mifflin County girls.
No, it wasn't a close game - the Huskies topped District 3's Emmaus, 78-53. It also didn't mean anything in terms of tournament play - the challenge will have no team championship.
But it was a win. And that's exactly what Mifflin County needs to keep collecting more of as it fights to get back to .500 and in contention for postseason play.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Mifflin County’s Ashleigh Williams, right, looks to pass the ball as Emmaus’ Miryah Palko defends Friday at the Husky Club Holiday Challenge at Mifflin County High School. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
With that in mind, Mifflin County played Friday like a team that has places to go.
In what was a very quick, physical contest, Mifflin County and Emmaus battled defensively the first several minutes of the game, but the Huskies broke open the scoring when back-to-back threes from Rebeka Knable and Jessa Wright boosted the Huskies ahead.
The first quarter ended with a 16-8 lead for the Huskies, and this flowed easily into the second quarter, where Mifflin County outscored Emmaus 29-12 to take a large lead into the second half of the game.
"I thought we did a nice job finding open people. Maggie Wilson, Ashleigh Williams, Bryce Papp distributed the ball very well. They all found the open player," Mifflin County coach Roger Herto said.
The second quarter featured two treys from Knable, as well as one apiece from Williams, Wright and Wilson as Mifflin County hit shots all over the floor to take the 45-20 lead. Bryce Papp and Breanna Cline also got in to the scoring with two and four points, respectively, and Williams went to the line four times for 5-of-8 shooting.
"Sometimes in some of our games we got a little too cute and made too many passes, but tonight outside of maybe two shots the entire game, I thought we really played well on the offensive end," Herto continued.
If there was a bump in the road for Mifflin County, it was in the third quarter where the Huskies gave up 20 points. In the quarter, Emmaus got tough in the paint and took advantage of its slight size advantage as post players Elizabeth Wiseley and Kiyae White scored four and seven points respectively.
"We just got a little undisciplined defensively, overplayed a little bit, gave them lanes to the hoop, but to the kids' credit they stuck with it," Herto said.
Mifflin County got plenty of time off the bench in the fourth quarter and scored14 points for the final 78-53 win. White had a team-high 14 points for Emmaus, while Williams had a game-high 23 for the Huskies. Knable - who dished out four 3-pointers - finished behind Williams with 17 and Wright collected 12 points.
Just as Friday's win was important to put Mifflin County at a 3-4 record, Herto emphasized the importance of today's game against Red Lion for the very same reason.
"Red Lion's very tough, very strong. It will be a different game defensively. Emmaus came at us from time to time, but Red Lion - they're just relentless," he said, further explaining that reaching .500 today would be important, especially in light of the Huskies' upcoming Commonwealth Division schedule.
Today's contest against Red Lion will take place at 8 p.m. Red Lion was a 65-8 winner over Central Mountain Friday.