Huskies lack punch in loss

HOLLIDAYSBURG – It was a tale of two halves here Monday night.

Mifflin County’s Huskies jumped out to a 12-2 lead and remained on top most of the first half until Hollidaysburg scored the last six points to grab a 29-28 advantage at intermission.

The second half was all-Hollidaysburg, though. The Tigers scored the first 13 points of the third quarter, limited Mifflin County to just two free throws and took a 48-30 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Huskies did better in the final period, but it wasn’t nearly enough as Hollidaysburg pounded out a 72-45 non-league win.

“Weak. We’re physically weak,” Mifflin County coach Roger Herto said of the sudden turn of events. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and we are not tough.”

The loss dropped the Huskies below the .500 mark at 7-8. Hollidaysburg, a cinch to earn the top seed in the District 6 Class AAAA tournament, improved to 13-1.

“It’s disappointing,” Herto said of the Huskies’ collapse. “We need to be a much better team than we are. There’s some ability there, some talent there, and we’re trying to mesh some young players and some older players … but when things got tough there, teams come together and play well. We were not a team right there.”

Herto was referring to the final minutes of the second quarter when his Huskies let a 28-23 lead slip away, enabling the host Tigers to grab an edge at the half.

Things snowballed after intermission when Hollidaysburg scored the first 13 points and outscored Mifflin County, 19-2.

“You get five players looking at someone else to make a play instead of making a play themselves,” Herto said. “We really didn’t change too much and they didn’t change much either. What changed was their attitude.

“If you want to make an analogy to a boxing match, they started throwing punches and we didn’t want to fight.”

Alex Scheel, Hollidaysburg’s 6-foot-1 junior center, scored 22 points for the Tigers, most of them on second-chance putbacks.

Courtney Storm added 16 and Ashley McClain netted 10 for the Tigers.

“We know Hollidaysburg’s a good team,” Herto said, “And that’s not to take anything away from them, but there’s no excuse to play a first half like that and then play a second half like that.

“The same thing happend with us against State College the other night,” he said. “It was the third here. Against State, we lost by three points and were outscored 17-2 in the second.

“Second-chance points have hurt us the last two nights.”

Ashleigh Williams paced Mifflin County with 18 points and Rebeka Knable scored 14.

“I take a lot of responsibility myself because I believe you don’t blame kids,” Herto said. “You make kids do what you want them to do and, if we’re not blocking out or going to the offensive boards, it’s because I haven’t taught them well enough.

“I didn’t see the heart that I’ve seen against some of the tougher Mid-Penn teams like Harrisburg and Cumberland Valley,” he said. “But, tonight, when the bell rang, we didn’t answer.”

Hollidaysburg coach Deanna Jubeck said the difference from the beginning of the game was “they were getting offensive rebounds and second and third-chance points, so we had to refocus ourselves and limit them to one shot.

“When we did that, it changed the momentum and that’s where the 19-0 run came from,” Jubeck added.

Hollidaysburg also won the JV game, 41-29.