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Huskies coast past rival Little Lions

Gingrich scores 28 in D6 victory

Sentinel photo by MIKE GOSS
Mifflin County’s Marisa Gingrich fires up a jump shot over State College’s Jess Hawbaker in the Huskies 61-38 victory over the Little Lions on Monday night in Lewistown.

LEWISTOWN — It took some time for Marissa Gingrich to find her stride, but once she did, the Huskies’ star guard simply couldn’t be stopped.

Gingrich, who missed her first six shots from the floor, rallied to score a game-high 28 points — including all 12 of the Huskies points in the second quarter — as Mifflin County won its sixth game in a row, defeating District 6 rival State College in a 61-38 rout on Monday night at Mifflin County High School in a non-conference girls basketball contest.

Bri Bodtorf recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds to go along with a team-high six assists. Gingrich scored 28 points and added eight rebounds, two assists and two steals to power the Huskies.

Mya Aumiller also scored in double figures with 10 points, three rebounds and two steals while Kate Knable had six points, two assists, two steals — including her 100th career steal — and one rebound.

Gingrich admitted she was frustrated in the early minutes after a scoreless first quarter, but a few easy buckets helped her regain her form as she dominated the rest of the way.

“I just try to think of the next play and when I get down, they’re telling me to keep shooting,” she said. “(Coach Aaron Gingrich) told me to keep shooting because the next five were going to go in. Sometimes I don’t always believe that, but it happened. I just kept thinking of the next play. It just built momentum for me and kept me going (in the second half).”

The Huskies (9-4) began the night on an 8-0 run and were at their best when running the fast break in the opening half, before finding another gear in the third quarter.

State College (6-7) countered in the first behind hot shooting early from Jordyn Steindl, but Aumiller hit a pair of threes of her own and the Little Lions were no real threat after the first half. Steindl scored a team-high 16 points but had just three after halftime.

When State College got cold from the floor the Huskies made them pay in transition, as their speed and athleticism caused problems on the break.

“We definitely feed off the fast breaks,” Marissa Gingrich said. “I thought we did that really well tonight and that’s where a lot of points came from.”

The Huskies settled into the game on the offensive end and closed the half with an eight-point advantage. Mifflin County forced countless turnovers as State College struggled to find its footing as it went cold from the floor in the second quarter.

“State College is much better than they were last season,” Mifflin County coach Aaron Gingrich said. “Having watched them on film, I knew that they were a scrappy, hard-nosed team and I think that we took the game to them tonight and were able to outwork them for the majority of the game.”

That offensive drought carried into the second half where the Little Lions made just six shots from the floor. The Little Lions also struggled to hold on to the basketball, turning it over 20 times in 32 minutes.

“After the first several minutes where we gave up some open looks, we switched some things up defensively and limited open opportunities and you could tell it really frustrated them,” Aaron Gingrich said. “(Steindl) only scored the three points after all those early threes. I thought all of our girls were dialed in defensively and executed.”

The Huskies started rolling in the third quarter as Gingrich and Bodtorf combined for 19 of Mifflin County’s 26 points in the frame. Bodtorf drilled a baseline jumper to extend the lead to 40-25 midway through the quarter, before a turnaround jumper by Gingrich off an offensive rebound pushed the lead to 44-27. A pair of Gingrich free throws with 1:12 left in the third pushed Mifflin County’s edge to 20 points.

“We were finding the open player and we were knocking down shots,” Bodtorf said. “We finally had some confidence in ourselves. Aaron (Gingrich) told us at halftime to keep shooting and the shots were going to fall, and we believed that. We just went out there and were able to knock down some shots.”

Mifflin County controlled the clock in the fourth quarter and extended its lead, as a Knable corner three with 3:26 left gave Mifflin County its largest lead of the game at 26 points.

With the victory, the Huskies have won their sixth game in a row and have yet to lose since the turn of the calendar year.

“It’s been great, I never remember us doing this,” Bodtorf said. “Everyone has just been a little bit pumped up and we have a good mindset going and we think that it’s just going to give us a big push going into the next game.”

Gingrich believes that the biggest key to the team’s winning streak comes from the lessons it learned early during a brutal stretch of games to begin the season.

“I think that the girls have learned a lot from our December, having played three really good teams,” Aaron Gingrich said. “We’ve been able to understand what works for us and the amount of effort we have to put forth on both ends of the court to be successful. Nothing is going to come easy for us due to our lack of size, but we’ve seen the effort increase tremendously over the last three weeks.”

The Huskies defense once again was dominant and Mifflin County continues to rebound at a high clip despite lacking size on the floor. The Huskies outrebounded State College, 32-26 and forced nine steals.

Mifflin County is also gelling offensively, as the Huskies assisted on 14 of their 21 buckets on the floor.

“It’s a big effort thing, even just getting the tips on loose balls and having them throw the ball away and having another person there to pick it up,” Bodtorf said. “I just feel like it’s an effort thing.”

Mifflin County faces a tough test on Wednesday at home, as the Huskies will welcome an undefeated Cedar Cliff team (14-0) that handed them a 65-42 loss in their first meeting on Dec. 17. The Huskies believe they know what to expect this time around and will enter the game riding the high of recent success.

“I feel like it gives me more confidence going into Wednesday,” Bodtorf said. “It’s going to be tough, but I feel like we are going to have our heads high.”

Mifflin County 61, State College 38

MIFFLIN COUNTY

Marissa Gingrich 10 4-5 28, Bri Bodtorf 5 2-2 13, Mya Aumiller 3 1-2 10, Kate Knable 2 1-3 6, Emma Weaver 1 1-3 4, Tessa Pavlova 0 0-0 0, Aija Binder 0 0-0 0, Amelia Leister 0 0-0 0, Abby Prendergast 0 0-0 0, Sadie Fike 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 9-15 — 61.

3-point goals: Gingrich 4, Aumiller 3, Bodtorf, Weaver.

STATE COLLEGE

Jordyn Steindl 6 0-0 16, Carley Donnell 2 2-2 8, Diana Tsarnakova 1 2-2 4, Emma Coudriet 1 0-0 3, Tori Risha 1 0-0 3, Delia Lower 1 0-0 2, Jess Hawbaker 1 0-0 2, Madison Fry 0 0-0 0, Mya McElhinney 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 4-4 — 38.

3-point goals: Steindel 4, Donnell 2, Risha.

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

MC 15-12-26-8 — 61

SC 11-8-13-6 — 38

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