LEWISTOWN - During the preseason, Mifflin County boys basketball coach Aaron Gingrich said his team wanted to play with high intensity every game of the season.
Saturday night, after the Huskies opened their season with a 59-41 win over Milton at the Mifflin County Tip-Off Challenge, they are one game closer accomplishing that goal.
"It was a typical first game of the year, Gingrich said. "A little sloppy offensively, but very intense and very aggressive defensively."
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
Mifflin County’s Hunter Wright, left, shoots the ball as Milton’s Chad Diggan blocks Friday at the Mifflin County Tip-Off Challenge.
The little bit of sloppiness Gingrich spoke of was the trouble Mifflin County occasionally had finishing its shots. But on defense, the Huskies successfully shut down Milton to make up for any offensive deficiencies.
In the first quarter of the game, Mifflin County held Milton to just five points. The Huskies countered these five points with 18 of their own, resulting in a nice lead heading into the rest of the game.
"I thought other than a stretch in the third quarter, we made it very uncomfortable for them," Gingrich said. "We challenged every shot and rebounded the ball well. And that's the key to any good defense."
IF YOU GO
Mifflin County plays Central Mountain today at 8:30 p.m. in the Tip-Off Challenge
One notable point to Mifflin County's game was the way the boys hit the boards. The Huskies aggressively pulled down the rebounds, both on the offense and the defense, making it difficult for Milton to score if it missed the first shot.
Mifflin County's Hunter Wright, who had 10 rebounds, also stood out in other statistics, as his 10 assists and eight points scored put him within one fieldgoal of a triple-double.
Other Huskies who stood out in scoring included Curtis Jerzerick with 16 and Seth Wagner with 17.
On the offense, Mifflin County did a good job of spreading out the scoring, with six different players lighting up the board. But the Huskies especially relied on their height advantage in players such as Jerzerick, Wagner, Wright and Cy Treaster, who scored 10, to drive the offense.
"One of the advantages we do have is Seth, Cy, Curtis and Hunter," Gingrich said, explaining that he likes to see his team work the ball inside-out and attack from the paint.
Outside of the first quarter, Mifflin County was never able to substantially extend its lead, with a scoring difference between the teams of less than five points in the remaining quarters, but the Huskies' lead from the first quarter was large enough that this did not impact the outcome of the game.
"We want to make every team work defensively. And that's hard cuts, hard screens and taking care of the ball, and I thought for the most part we did that tonight. We have to work on finishing a little bit better, but I thought in making them work we did well," Gingrich said.
Today, Mifflin County (1-0) moves onto the next round of the challenge in which it will take on Central Mountain at 8:30 p.m. at Mifflin County High School.