Lady Tigers suffer 12th loss of season
By Arthur Dowell
For the Mirror
LEWISTOWN — It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but Mifflin County was able to hold off a pesky Hollidaysburg squad, 56-44, in non-league girls basketball action Tuesday night.
The Huskies had a lead as large as 15 over the Golden Tigers, but thanks to some big 3-pointers in the second half, Hollidaysburg kept itself in the game until late.
“We made some adjustments and we talked about how Mifflin County was out hustling us and getting to the loose balls,” Hollidaysburg coach Deanna Jubeck said of the second-half performance. “We were hitting the gaps, and the people we were kicking it to were hitting their shots in the second half.”
Nobody came up bigger for the Lady Tigers (7-12) in the second half — primarily in the fourth quarter — than Theresa Gildea.
Gildea drained four 3-pointers with three of them dropping in the final eight minutes. Others on the squad began to notice such and began trying to create some open space and get Gildea the ball late in hopes of closing the deficit more. She finished with 14 points in the contest.
Instead, time wasn’t on the Lady Tigers’ side and bad shooting crept up on them. That led to Mifflin County getting fouled and going to the free-throw line.
It’s often said that’s where games are won or lost, and the Huskies (17-4) dominated at the line by going 18-for-19.
“The foul line has always been our bread and butter,” Mifflin County coach Roger Herto said. “This game, though, was like trying to spread hard butter on soft bread. It just didn’t go any way we wanted it to, but thankfully, it went well at the line.”
The Huskies were led by Eleana Eckley’s 21 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 performance at the line. The performance isn’t atypical of the senior, but even she had her struggles.
Mifflin County battled a turnover bug all night long, getting pocketed by the Lady Tigers all night long, and that style of play got into the heads of the Huskies’ offense. It was uncharacteristic to see Mifflin County even taking some forced shots that just weren’t there for the taking.
“We did not look real smooth tonight and I know it’s a win, but that was certainly not the way we would have wanted to play in our last home game,” Herto said. “They found a way to make it happen and played well at times, but again, physically, I just thought our energy wasn’t there. Every time they closed in, we had the will to fight them off, but it wasn’t what we needed heading into the postseason.”
The Huskies also got a strong contribution from Molly Wagoner.
The freshman used her size to her advantage, coming away with five steals and pair of blocks. She also scored 12 points.
“The best thing about Molly is not that she scored 12 points or some big blocks, but that she’ll be the first one to tell you she should have had 20 tonight,” Herto said.
As for the Eagles, McKenna Hurd had herself a big first half, scoring 12 of her team-high 16 points before halftime.
Hurd was all over the court, trying to make things happen both offensively and defensively. That led her into some foul trouble late ending with four fouls, but that didn’t worry Jubeck any.
“We’ve been there before, and we’ve adjusted well,” she said. “She’s been all over the court on both ends, and we just need the others to pick it up and feed off of her energy. If we could get five kids to do what she does on the court, we’d be in much better shape down the stretch.”
Mifflin County travels to Altoona Saturday.
HOLLIDAYSBURG (44): Hurd 7 2-3 16, T. Gildea 5 0-0 14, Hileman 1 1-2 4, H. Snyder 1 0-0 2, McClain 1 1-2 4, M, Gildea 2 0-0 4, Betwy 0 0-0 0, Bell 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 4-7 44.
MIFFLIN COUNTY (56): Eckley 6 8-8 21, Aumiller 2 1-2 6, Mahigel 1 2-2 4, Rittenhouse 3 3-3 9, Wagoner 4 4-4 12, Yeager 2 0-0 4. Totals: 18 18-19 56.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Hollidaysburg 9 10 11 14 — 44
Mifflin County 13 18 9 16 — 56
3-point goals: Mifflin County 2 (Eckley, Aumiller); Hollidaysburg 6 (T. Gildea 4, Hileman, McClain).
Records: Hollidaysburg (7-12), Mifflin Couny (17-4).