Husky boys hold off Lewisburg, get first win of the season
LEWISTOWN — It’s no secret that the Mifflin County High School boys basketball program has struggled the past few seasons. On Friday, it was a different story.
The Huskies (1-7) used a strong outside attack, knocking down nine 3-pointers — including four each from Ryan Walker and Drew Westover — in a 76-69 win over Lewisburg (2-5) to snap a 22-game losing streak. The duo combined for 50 points in the win for Mifflin County.
Westover caught fire, hitting three 3-pointers in the third quarter while scoring 13 of his 22 points in the second half.
“I was in the zone, and I was getting some great passes from my teammates,” Westover said. “Everything was falling. The intensity tonight was through the roof and we wanted to win tonight more than anyone.”
The Huskies rushed out to an early lead, hitting three 3-pointers in the opening quarter. The Green Dragons closed the quarter well, as Nate Liscum began to heat up, scoring six first-quarter points.
“The (3-point shot) wasn’t an emphasis, it’s just the way we play,” Mifflin County coach Dave Sheetz said. “We look for the good shot early and Westover was putting them in tonight. We expect that from him, and he had a very good ball game. He really looked like a point guard tonight.”
Liscum continued his hot streak into the middle quarters, scoring 14 points, including 10 in the second quarter, as the Green Dragons gave the Huskies all they could handle. Mifflin County led 20-18 with 6:18 left in the second quarter.
Walker closed out the quarter for Mifflin County with a 3-pointer with two seconds left before Lewisburg caught a break, as Tanner Hepner was called for a foul on a 3-point shot by Ben Liscum from half court. Ben Liscum made two of the free throws, as the Huskies led 33-30 at halftime.
The Huskies avoided a third-quarter letdown, as Walker and Westover combined for 17 of Mifflin County’s 21 points in the frame. The Huskies struggled a little with turnovers in the third quarter, but continued to hold off the Green Dragons. Fouls also began to catch up Lewisburg in the second half as they were called for eight fouls in the second half.
“A lot of times the third quarter is where we start to fall apart a little bit, but tonight we played well,” Sheetz said. “They did fight hard, and we let them get back into it a bit, but we got it together and played good defense to finish the ball game.”
Westover hit a 3-pointer with 1:15 left to play in the third, as the Huskies held a 48-45 lead, before Walker added a three of his own to push the lead to 51-45. The Huskies led 59-47 with just under six minutes left to play in the game.
Walker finished the game out hot, scoring nine of his 28 points in the fourth quarter. Walker also had five rebounds.
“My teammates found ways to get me open tonight,” Walker said. “Shooters shoot, and Drew was hitting a bunch of big shots for us and we all just hit the shots we needed to tonight.”
While Walker and Westover had huge games for the Huskies, Isaiah Collins contributed 10 points and five rebounds — eight of those points coming in the final quarter. Tyreen Smalley had eight points, eight rebounds and four assists.
For Lewisburg, Nate Liscum finished with a game-high 30 points and four rebounds. Ben Liscum had 17 points and five assists.
The victory for Mifflin County gives it its first victory of the year in a close game. The Huskies caught tough breaks earlier in the season against Chambersburg, and most recently at Shikellamy, dropping the games by a combined three points.
“We’ve been in some close games, but getting that win shows them that they can win,” Sheetz said. “They’re going to be in great shape.”
“With that finish, even though we haven’t been able to finish in other games this year, it was great to have the offense tonight to pull it off,” Walker said.
The Huskies will now face a tough challenge on the road next, as they travel to Harrisburg on Tuesday.
“We know we can’t be run and gun with them or we will be in trouble,” Sheetz said. “If we can put some pressure on them and make our shots when we get them, we will see where the game goes.”
With the victory, the Huskies hope to continue to build confidence.
“It’s big. They needed it more than anything,” Sheetz said. “I hope they can enjoy it and hopefully we can keep moving forward from here.”
“I think we’ve had a lot of confidence and we had two close games so far, so this was a good one to pull out,” Walker said.
Mifflin County 76, Lewisburg 69
Nate Liscum 12 5-5 30, Ben Liscum 5 4-5 17, Nick Shedleski 4 0-0 9, Cole Witherite 1 2-2 4, Jose Gose 2 0-0 4, Nate Dreher 1 0-0 2. Totals: 27 12-14 69.
3-point goals: Ben Liscum 3, Nate Liscum, Shedleski.
Ryan Walker 11 2-2 28, Drew Westover 9 0-0 22, Isaiah Collins 4 2-2 10, Tyreen Smalley 3 2-2 8, Levi Weaver 1 1-2 4, Tanner Hepner 1 0-0 2.
3-point goals: Westover 4, Walker 4, Weaver.
Did not score: Conner Cherry.
Score by quarters
Mifflin County 17-16-21-22 — 76
Lewisburg 14-16-18-22 — 69