Little Lions edge MC in fourth quarter, 51-48
LEWISTOWN – In the past week, it has been one nailbiter after another when the Mifflin County boys and girls basketball teams went head to head with rival State College.
After a one-point victory Friday night for the Mifflin County boys team, it was the girls’ chance on Saturday night to provide the excitement and the fireworks.
Neither team disappointed as the two battled to a back-and-forth thriller that wasn’t decided until the final moments when State College sealed the victory from the charity stripe, defeating Mifflin County 51-48 in Commonwealth Division action.
It was the second time this season the Huskies played the Little Lions tough, losing in the first meeting by only six.
“A lot of credit to State College. I told the kids the bottom line was they beat us twice so we got to tip our hats to them,” Mifflin County coach Roger Herto said. “I also told the kids that we have to make this the battle and not the war. We just got to make sure we get ourselves in a position to make the postseason and have a third opportunity. Here tonight it came down to one thing – second shots. The ball either went in or it was their ball.
“For them the key possession of the game was when they had four opportunities, four missed shots and then a three. We kept giving up second and third opportunities and to me that’s were the game was.”
Opening the final stanza, the Mifflin County girls held a very slim 38-34 lead.
State College’s Kyla Irwin picked up the first bucket of the period as she fought her way inside for the hard earned score, cutting the lead to 38-36.
After holding the Mifflin County defense on the following possession, Bridget King, who tallied a game-high 16, stepped behind the line and picked up the trey, giving the Little Lions a 39-38 advantage with 5:36 left to play.
On the Huskies’ next possession, Breanna Cline weaved her way through traffic and shot a layup to take back the lead.
King went right back to work, blasting a shot to give the Little Lions a temporary advantage, 41-40 with 4:30 left.
But Cline was also determined to take the lead and at the 3:49 mark did just that hitting a layup to give back Mifflin County the one-point lead.
With the Cline basket, State College coach Bethany Irwin called a time out to figure out a game plan for the final run.
The time out paid off as State College came out and posted a 6-0 run, upping the lead to 47-42 for the visitors with less than a minute left.
The Huskies’ Maggie Wilson cut deeply into the lead minutes later, posting a clutch triple with 24.9. With the bucket, the Huskies called a time out.
Coming out of the time out, Mifflin County was forced to put clutch shooter Ali Treglia to the line. Treglia was automatic at the charity stripe, upping the Little Lions’ lead to 49-45.
Seconds later, Mifflin County answered right back when Cline hit a crucial trey, putting the Huskies back in the game at 49-48 with 7.2 seconds left.
However, the Huskies were forced to foul and again it was Treglia who took the line. Much like the previous attempt, Treglia was right on the money, hitting both to put the Little Lions up by three, giving Mifflin County one last shot to tie.
Unfortunately for Mifflin County, the shot did not go, giving the Little Lions the 51-48 victory.
Mifflin County got the game off and running as it outscored State College 19-15 in the opening period.
Rebeka Knable led the way for Mifflin County with a nine-point effort in the first quarter. All of Knable’s points came on triples. She finished with an 11-point effort.
Teammate Jessa Wright also had a strong first quarter, posting a seven-point effort. Wright finished with a team-high 15 points.
Mifflin County’s Achilles heel on the night came in the second quarter when it was outscored 9-2.
The Huskies will be busy this week, as they play four road games in five days. The first of those games is today at Hollidaysburg.
Note: Mifflin County held its Pink Zone fundraiser during Saturday’s activities to raise money for breast cancer research.