Two from MC named to Commonwealth girls team
It was untested waters for the Huskies this year as they entered their first season of Mid-Penn Conference girls basketball action, but behind the leadership of experienced varsity players Olivia Halfpenny and Ashleigh Williams, they ended their inaugural season with an 11-12 overall record, including a playoff loss, and a 5-9 run in the Commonwealth Division.
Halfpenny and Williams’ selection to the Commonwealth all-star team serves as just one more reminder of how vital their experience was to the team in its first year of Mid-Penn winter sports.
A senior and second-team selection, Halfpenny led the team from the start, not only with her dominating offensive performances, but through her leadership on the floor and at practice.
“She was our leading scorer on the season, and we could count on her for points,” Mifflin County coach Kevin Kodish said. And Kodish was right about Halfpenny – when it came to her offensive contribution, the numbers speak for themselves.
With a team-high 353 points on the season and average of 15.3 points per game – Halfpenny also hit the 1,000 point mark in her final year – she always found a way to put up the points.
Halfpenny was tied for second with teammate Breanna Cline in rebounding with 80, making it clear why the senior received the all-star nod.
“She was very vocal as a leader in practice, so I thought she was very very key in us improving as we went along to get those 11 victories and five conference wins,” Kodish said of Halfpenny, who was also this year’s recipient of the Jenna Feathers award, given annually to Mifflin County’s best female basketball player.
Right behind Halfpenny was junior and honorable mention Ashleigh Williams.
The primary ball handler while teammate Logan Snyder recovered from injury, Williams carried the burden well, notching a team-high 120 assists as she ran the team’s offense.
But Williams didn’t just set up her teammates to score. She also knew how to put up the points herself, coming in second behind Halfpenny in scoring with an average of 13 points per game for 300 total.
Kodish identified Williams’ toughness in handling the ball against Mid-Penn pressure as one of her primary contributions to the team, explaining that there was “a lot of pressure against us in the Mid-Penn, people lean on you, it’s more physical, not a lot of fouls called out front – so with her strength there getting better, it was a big asset for us.”
Halfpenny finished her high school career with four years of varsity experience while Williams has just completed her third year on the varsity team, so Kodish hopes to see Williams continue to develop as a leader in her senior season next year.
“We hope she takes on the role that Logan and Olivia had there. You want to be vocal as a senior and encourage the younger teammates,” he said. “We’re going to be looking for her to score again, also distribute just like she has been, but taking her game up a couple more notches because she has that experience.”