LEWISTOWN - A quick offensive explosion bookended with clutch shooting down the stretch lifted the Huskies to a 2-0 record to open the season in a close contest against Central Mountain in the final game of the 2012 Mifflin County Tip-Off Challenge.
It was would be total team effort on this night as different players came up strong for Mifflin County in the 75-63 victory over the Wildcats Saturday.
Offensively, the Huskies' defense was led by Curtis Jerzerik's double-double effort, as he scored 20 points and brought down 10 rebounds. Center Seth Wagner also proved to have a strong game on the boards, capturing eight while scoring 20 in the victory.
Sentinel photo by MATT STRICKER
Mifflin County’s Hunter Wright (20) center, lifts the ball over Central Mountain defenders Luke Stevenson (21) and Travis Turchetta (10) Saturday at the Mifflin County Tip-Off Challenge.
Rounding out the double-digit scorers for the Huskies was Hunter Wright's 17-point performance.
Two Mifflin County sharpshooters just missed double-digit scoring as John Michael Maclay and Cy Treaster finished with nine apiece.
Central Mountain also had three players lead the way for them offensively as well as Travis Turchetta, Cole Renninger and Luke Wise finished with 21 points, 18 points and 14 points, respectively.
IF YOU GO
* Mifflin County travels to Cumberland Valley Tuesday
"You can break the game down into three different segments. The first segment, I thought we did a phenomenal job defensively in that first quarter," Mifflin County coach Aaron Gingrich said. "We held Renninger in check. He's a handful and we did a really nice job on him just playing straight man. Cy Treaster did an outstanding job early on not allowing him free looks or free catches. We did a real better job of guarding everyone else. I think what happened in the second quarter we lost some of their shooters."
In the final stanza, the Wildcats trailed by 14 but chipped away at the Huskies' lead until the getting dangerously close, coming within six points at 61-55 with 2:24 left.
However, Mifflin County's fortune started to change when Jerzerik's clutch offensive board and putback extended the lead to 63-55.
Central Mountain was not done yet, cutting the lead again to five points on a triple by sharpshooter Turchetta.
After a Mifflin County turnover, it looked as if Central Mountain would get even closer, as the Wildcats now had the ball to go with that slim five-point deficit.
But Maclay was cool under pressure, stealing a pass in the paint and drawing an immediate foul, making it a possible three-point turnaround.
Maclay was off to the free throw line where he made one of two. After making the first shot, the second shot went of the rim and into the hands of teammate Jerzerik. And with the simple bucket, the momentum shifted back to the Huskies where it would stay, en route to the victory.
In the first half, the Huskies had built up a 22-point lead early on but the scrappy Wildcats started to cut their way back into the contest in the third and fourth quarters.
"We had some great individual efforts," Gingrich said. "I thought primarily the constant energy is what we're going to need going into Mid-Penn play."
Gingrich will take his team to Mechanicsburg Tuesday for its Commonwealth Division debut as the Huskies take on Cumberland Valley.