LEWISTOWN - Depth plays a big part in all sports.
Friday night, it was huge in the Mifflin County-Cumberland Valley boys basketball game.
Cumberland Valley had eight players score, while Mifflin County only had five dent the scorebook.
Sentinel photo by MATT?STRICKER
Mifflin County’s Louis Jerzerick (12) stretches for a shot between Cumberland Valley’s Tanner Kirkpatrick (25) and Trevor Magnuski (32) Friday in Lewistown.
For Cumberland Valley, that depth payed off in a 69-46 win over the Huskies.
The win increased the Eagles' record to 4-4 in Commonwealth Division of the Mid-Penn Conference, while Mifflin County fell to 1-7. Overall, Cumberland Valley is 9-5, while Huskies slipped under .500 at 6-7.
And things are not going to get much better for Mifflin County next week. The Huskies travel to Central Dauphin, a team that beat them by 20 points at home earlier in the season, on Tuesday, and next Friday Harrisburg, the top team in the league and the fifth-ranked Class AAAA team in the state, shows up for a match-up with Mifflin County.
IF YOU GO
Mifflin County travels to Central Dauphin Tuesday
"Truth of the matter, our guys improved tonight despite the outcome of the game," said Aaron Gingrich, the Huskies coach. "The real prize for us is still obtainable in the District 6 playoffs."
The game was much closer than the final outcome as Mifflin County made a big run in the third period, cutting the Cumberland Valley lead to four points with 3:08 left in the period.
Seth Wagner, Mifflin County's top scorer, ended the run with a dunk off a missed shot. But, from that point on, Cumberland Valley took control of the game and went on a 32-13 run to close out the game.
"Basketball wise, we worked hard for two thirds of the game," Gingrich said, "Then fatigue set in and that was evident by our guys making turnovers, missing four shots and committing lazy fouls, which allowed Cumberland Valley to pull ahead and take over the game."
The Cumberland Valley coach, Mike Hibbs, talked about his team not losing its composure in the third period.
"Give credit to our three seniors, Will Bachinsky, Tanner Kirkpatrick and Trevor Magnuski," Hibbs said, "This Commonwealth conference is a learning expereince. Our players have been through some tough times. Mifflin County played hard and are well coached."
One of those seniors, Kirkpatrick, helped Cumberland Valley to a 21-19 lead after the first period as he had 11 points including a three. The 6-6 forward controlled the boards and offensivley was smooth with his outside shooting.
But early foul problems put him on the bench and Gary Kline, a 6-1 junior, started to take over.
Cumberland Valley led 31-23 with 2:30 left in the first half when a sequence of plays told the story of the night. The Eagles stole an inbounds pass and after four offensive rebounds, Bachinsky made a lay-up making it 33-23. At halftime, Cumberland Valley led 37-25.
Wagner led the Huskies with 19 points as the 6-7 senior had 19 points including one 3-pointer that opened the scoring for Mifflin County in the fourth period.
The only other Mifflin County player in double figures was Curtis Jerzerick, who finished with 12 points. Jerzerick, who took the ball to the Eagles all night long, fouled out late in the game.
Only three other players scored for Mifflin County: Hunter Wright, eight points; Cy Treaster, four; and John Michael Maclay, with three.
Kline finished as the high scorer with 22 points for Cumberland Valley as he had 12 of his points in the second half. It was his scoring that put an end to the Mifflin County run in the third period. His foul shooting netted him four points in the third period and he finished with 10 makes in 14 tries.
Matt Tamanosky was the only other Eagle in double figuers with 10 points.
"Cumberland Valley is a good basketball team and they have 10 players that only play basketball," Gingrich said. "Last year they played over 80 games and that experience and execution is what won it for them tonight in what I like to call the controlled chaos environment that is the Mid-Penn Commonwealth conference."
Mifflin County won the junior varsity game by a 47-43 score with Ross Torquato as the leading scorer.