High School Sports

State College fails to maintain early momentum in loss to Mifflin County

adrey@centredaily.com

Eleana Eckley and Rylie Rittenhouse have shown all season long that they can compete at a high level.

Friday night was no different for them.

The duo of Eckley and Rittenhouse combined for nearly 85 percent of Mifflin County’s (10-5) scoring in a 52-39 win over rival State College (4-8).

Rittenhouse led all scorers with 23 points and went 9 for 13 from the foul line. Eckley scored 21 points and knocked down three 3-pointers.

Maya Bokunewicz was the leading scorer for State College with 15 points.

State College’s loss came during their “pink out” game in which they honored former Lady Little Lions head coach Bethany Irwin during halftime.

State College led 14-9 after going on a 7-2 run to end the first quarter.

Bokunewicz took over for the Little Lady Lions in the second quarter as she scored the first four baskets. Eckely responded to Bokunewicz with back-to-back 3-pointers, keeping the game close with six minutes left in the first half

After a Kelsey Love 3, State College secured its largest lead of the game at 10 around the three-minute mark of the second quarter.

Mifflin County then switched from a 2-3 zone to man-to-man defense. Stingy defense helped the Lady Huskies cut State College’s lead to six.

During halftime, Mifflin County coach Roger Herto rallied his team together.

“I told them that right now they aren’t playing with any fight and if you want anything in life that’s worthwhile you have to fight to get it,” Herto said.

His team responded in a big way, especially defensively, as the Lady Huskies only allowed 11 points in the final two quarters.

Mifflin County tied the game with four minutes left in the third quarter, and Eckley gave the Lady Huskies the lead after she swished a 3 and hit a foul line pull-up jumper.

Perhaps one of biggest plays of the game came when Bryn Ferguson preserved the Lady Huskies’ lead when she tapped a fast break pass out of bounds that was intended for a wide open Kayla Hawbaker.

State College was unable to put a comeback together, but first-year head coach Chris Leazier wasn’t disappointed in his team’s effort.

“We played great in the first half and we really came out strong, but it was our inability to score that put us so far in the hole during the second half,” Leazier said.

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