Huskies crush Wildcats

LEWISTOWN – The Mifflin County girls basketball team ushered in a new era Saturday.

The Roger Herto era started in grand fashion with a 37-0 first quarter in its 83-17 win over a young and rebuilding Central Mountain Wildcats.

Mifflin County responded well in Herto’s debut.

Returning starter Ashleigh Williams posted a game-high 14 points while teammates Bryce Papp and Rebeka Knable chipped in 11 points apiece.

Central Mountain’s Mary Monoski and and Lydia McCaleb combined for 16 of the Wildcats’ 17 points.

“We came out defensively and did some really good things, which we’ve worked very hard at,” Mifflin County coach Roger Herto said. “I told them from the beginning for us to play well and score and be in some of these games coming up we have to defend. And we did that.”

The Huskies sparkled early in the first as Mifflin County’s stifling defense caused numerous Wildcat turnovers. Jessa Wright, who scored six first-quarter points, got the scoring underway as she stole the ball and took it all the way in for an easy shot. Teammate Breanna Cline also prospered in the first, adding six points of her own.

Knable also posted a strong period as she finished the first stanza with eight points. In that period, Knable hit the first of her two treys while adding a field goal and three free throws.

It was Williams who showed her leadership, coming out and scoring 10 points while the Huskies’ defense blanked Central Mountain.

Things got a little better for the Wildcats in the second quarter as they held the Huskies to only 19 points while scoring eight in the period. The duo of McCaleb and Monoski got their team on the scoreboard, posting seven points in the quarter.

But after the first quarter scoring blitz by the home team, Central Mountain went into the intermission trailing 56-8.

“I think my girls came out and they were a little nervous and maybe a little intimidated. But we just had to grow each quarter at that point,” Central Mountain coach Lindsey Rogers said. “When we talked at halftime we talked about going out and playing aggressive and at this point you have nothing to lose so go out there and play hard and work together as a team.”

The second half started under the mercy rule, yet even with a running clock the Huskies were able to work on their offense and patience as a defense, outscoring the Wildcats 17-7.

Papp led all scorers in the period, with a six-point effort while Central Mountain’s McCaleb and and Monoski again were the team’s leaders in the third.

Most of the Huskies’ reserves took to the court for a 10-point fourth while allowing only a Monoski bucket en route to the final.

“The best part of the game for me was that we cleaned up in the second half what we didn’t do well in the first half,” Herto said. “We stopped reaching and we pulled the defense back to the three-point line without reaching as much. Westopped reaching and we blocked out.”