Halfpenny leads Huskies over Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT – Olivia Halfpenny might just want to put an offer on the near corner of Williamsport’s famed Magic Dome.

In obvious defensive breakdowns, Halfpenny was routinely left open for long shots. It was a defensive miscommunication she was quick to take advantage of.

Combined with Halfpenny’s shooting ability, a lack of defensive rebounding, no consistent scorers and any type of rhythm, Mifflin County cruised to an 86-32 win over the Millionaires.

“We wanted to string them out and get good floor spacing,” Mifflin County coach Kevin Kodish said of the attack plan coming into the game. “We have a really good perimeter shooting team.”

Good might be under selling his team’s shooting abilities.

After Williamsport opened the game with a 6-2 run, it was all Mifflin County (10-11) as Halfpenny led a 15-2 charge to closeout the first quarter.

The senior forward drained two treys and finished the opening quarter with 12 points.

“When you have a player of the quality of Halfpenny you need to know where she is,” Williamsport coach Derek Slaughter said. “We were losing her and she was knocking down those open shots. It boils down to communication. A player like Halfpenny is going to make those shots.”

Halfpenny, who played the entire game despite the mercy rule going into effect and Slaughter playing mostly JVs at the end, finished with a game-high 29 points and canned all five of her free throw attempts. She also keyed the 15-2 run in the first quarter and sparked a 19-0 run in the third.

After a brutal first half, which left Williamsport (4-16) trailing 41-19 at the conclusion, Amy Southard opened the second half with a long three-pointer. The basket gave Williamsport some life until Halfpenny started another demoralizing run for Mifflin County.

“Once we got some tips and steals going we were able to run the floor and find players in transition. We also found those open three-point shooters,” Kodish said. “I was pleased overall with the pace of the game.”

Mifflin County was patient, at times holding the ball for nearly a minute before striking quick for an open basket.

“You don’t like to see people forcing the issue and we did a good job of finding the open shooters,” Kodish said. “They found the right shooters and got the right shots.”

Evans, who finished with 15 points and four rebounds, did what she could for the Millionaires. She was the lone Williamsport who played without the constant threat of fouling out. Southard and Olivia Whaley were tagged with four fouls each and Myeesha Peterson fouled out.

“Aisha is our senior leader. She’s been with us four years and is the heart and soul of the team,” Slaughter said of Evans.