LEWISTOWN - It was a Jekyll and Hyde night for the Mifflin County girls basketball team Friday during their Mid-Penn Commonwealth matchup against Central Dauphin - a contest the Huskies lost, 49-39.
But on a high note, senior Ashleigh Williams notched 23 points, putting her over the 1,000 point barrier.
Defensively, the Huskies held the Rams in check, forcing numerous turnovers and holding the high scoring Central Dauphin offense to only 49 points. Most impressively for the Mifflin County squad was that it was able to keep the Rams leading scorer Shantara Parsons to nine points below her season average. She finished with a 9-point effort. Parsons controlled the boards, snagging 11 of her team's 37 rebounds.
Sentinel photo by MATT STRICKER
Mifflin County’s Ashleigh Williams, right, puts up a shot against Central Dauphin Friday in Lewistown. Williams hit her 1,000th career point in the contest.
Overall, the Rams' height was too much for the Huskies as they outrebounded the home team by a 37-25 margin.
Leading the way on the boards for Mifflin County was Jessa Wright - who brought down seven. However, the Mifflin County offense sputtered at times and created its share of turnovers as well, falling in the end by a 49-39 tally.
"It certainly wasn't our best effort. We came out a little tentative early and had a couple of quick shots and then they kind of took it to us. We were able to get our feet back. We just shot the ball poorly tonight. We left enough free throws out there to win this game," Huskies coach Roger Herto said. "There are good things to think about but still a loss is a loss. Defensively, that was a good ball game for us. They are a 60-70 point scoring team but offensively 39 points just isn't going to cut it."
Mifflin County went into the third quarter, trailing by just one point, 20-19.
The Rams came out of the intermission and sped up the offensive tempo of the game, which caught the Huskies off guard.
Central Dauphin opened the second half going on an 11-0 run. The scoring blitz was sparked by a 6-point effort by Tayler Forrester. Forrester was the leading scorer for the Rams, tallying 10 for the visitors.
The run would be costly to Mifflin County as it wasn't able to pull within 10 the rest of the quarter. The Huskies found themselves going into the final stanza trailing 33-23. Offensively for Mifflin County, they were only able to get two points from Williams and two from Rebeka Knable.
In the final stanza, the Mifflin County defense took control and had the Rams on the ropes numerous times. While defense dominated, the offense started to come to life.
With the game in the balance, seniors Williams and Knable were able to cut the Central Dauphin lead to just single digits.
Williams was relentless, pushing the ball to the basket and forcing the once impenetrable Rams defense to commit fouls, putting her to the free throw line. The senior went six-for-eight from the line and connected on a triple - closing the scoring gap to 38-32.
Trailing 40-32 with less than three minutes remaining, teammate Knable also netted a long trey from beyond the arc, closing the lead to only five.
But it wasn't to be on as the Rams had an answer the rest of the way.
History was made with 36.5 seconds left when Williams hit the magical mark, netting two-of-two from the charity stripe.
After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Williams took her team on her shoulders in the second, battling for a hard earned 10-point effort that brought her team to within one at the half.
Knable was the second leading scorer for Mifflin County finishing with seven points.
The second and fourth quarters were good to the Huskies as they scored 31 of their 39 points in those two quarters.
With the loss, the Huskies drop to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the Midd-Penn. They will be back in action Monday when they travel to Harrisburg.
In JV action, the Huskies were victorious, defeating the Rams 68-46.