Huskies hold off East Juniata
Hot 3-point shooting gives visitors edge
COCOLAMUS — It went to the wire Friday where East Juniata battled its way back only to fall short in its loss to Mifflin County by the final score of 45-41 in an non-league boys basketball game.
“I mean they are a well coached, they are a very good Tri-Valley League team and we knew that coming in, saw a lot of video on them,” Huskies coach Bob Sealy said. “(East Juniata coach) Justin (Hazel) really does a tremendous job. You never apologize for a win and against a team like this who was really well prepared for us is super special.”
The three ball was a major factor into this game as the two teams combined for 14 3-pointers made for the entire game with the Huskies dropping nine from deep and the Tigers added another five for the evening.
“Good effort from our kids,” Hazel said. “Big school, they got a lot of good kids, they shoot the ball extremely well.”
And it all started in the beginning of the game when East Juniata and Mifflin County traded shot after shot.
For the Huskies, Owen Wise was red hot from beyond the arc. Wise scored three 3-pointers in the opening frame scoring nine of the team’s 13 points in the quarter. Cole Knable and Jace Shoemaker each scored in the quarter as well.
On the flip side, the Tigers scored 12 of their 13 points in the frame exclusively from the 3-point line as Owen Dressler dropped two from three, Billy Dressler and Tanner Barth each had one from beyond the arc while the one point came from a free throw by Brody Powell.
Then in the second quarter, Mifflin County switched to a more balanced attack after dropping some many threes, the Tigers looked to keep the ball away from Wise. But Conner Zimmerman as well as Knable began attacking toward the basket for points. Wise did managed to hit a three in the quarter along Ty Felmlee who also hit a trey.
For East Juniata though, the shots did not want to seem to go down in the frame like it did in the opening quarter. Only two field goals were made and despite getting to the foul line with six opportunities, the Tigers could only hit on two shots which allowed Mifflin County to pull away with a 25-19 lead at the break.
“We haven’t practiced at all this week and it showed a little bit,” Hazel said. “But we shot the ball well in the first half, our legs were under us, we moved the ball very well so that’s a bonus.”
Neither team really was able to get the offense going early on in the third quarter. But after a while Felmlee got the Huskies going nailing two shots from beyond the arc. Wise made his presence felt again as the Tigers tried to use a full-court press near the end of the period, which left Wise open and was able to nail a buzzer beater off a running jumper.
Then in the fourth quarter, the East Juniata defense came out very aggressive catching the Huskies by surprise causing turnovers and quickly getting out and run up the court for some easy buckets.
The pressure also got Mifflin County into foul trouble and the Tigers, this time around, took advantage.
After struggling in the first half going 3-for-8 at the line, the Tigers made it count going 9-for-10 in the second half, 7-of-8 in the fourth quarter alone with Powell hitting all four of his attempts in the frame.
The Tigers were able to cut down the Mifflin County lead to within two points with just under two minutes left to play.
“We haven’t played a lot of man this year so for us to get out and defend like we did, you know I’m proud of the guys for doing that great effort,” Hazel said.
But the Huskies stepped up to the challenge thanks in large to Knable who was able to hit some foul shots to stay ahead of East Juniata.
Then Wise, who was not a factor in the third quarter, came through big time in the fourth with two clutch shots from the 3-point line including the game clincher.
Wise led the Huskies with 20 points for the evening, 18 coming from beyond the arc. Felmlee scored nine points on three 3-pointers and Knable added another seven for the night.
“You want to get good shots and if it happens to be a three, and clearly he is our best 3-point shooter,” Sealy said. “We would have like to finish better inside but if they’re going to give us that and he’s got a hot hand like he did earlier on that’s what you take. And Ty Felmlee also made a couple big threes. That’s not part of out repertoire, but some guys have to step up and that’s what happened tonight.”
For East Juniata, Barth and Billy Dressler each scored the team high of 10 points for the game while Powell scored seven points all of which came from the free-throw line.
The Tigers defeated the Huskies in the junior varsity game by the final of 37-31.
Both teams will return to league play as Mifflin County moves up to (3-10) and will host Philipsburg-Osceola while East Juniata drops to (5-10) and travels to face Upper Dauphin. Both games will be played today.
Mifflin County 45, East Juniata 41
Cade Penepacker 0 1-2 1, Jayden Jackson 1 0-0 2, Ty Felmlee 3 0-0 9, Cole Knable 2 3-6 7, Conner Zimmerman 2 0-0 4, Owen Wise 7 0-1 20, Jace Shoemaker 1 0-2 2. Totals: 16 4-11 45
3-point goals: Felmlee 3, Wise 6
Gannon Ryan 1 0-0 3, Tanner Barth 4 1-2 10, Owen Dressler 2 0-0 6, Brody Powell 0 7-8 7, Billy Dressler 4 1-4 10. Totals: 11 9-14 41
3-point goals: Ryan, Barth, O.Dressler 2, B. Dressler
Score by quarters
MC13-12-10-10 – 45
EJ 13-6-7-15 – 41