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Lady Huskies battle hard but falls to Altoona in OT thriller

By Kenny Varner

TYRONE – A historical chapter of the MIfflin County girls basketball team concluded Saturday afternoon at the hands of Altoona in the District 6 Class 6A championship held at Tyrone High School.

It would be a game with many twists and turns as MIfflin County was forced into an overtime period, falling 59-49.

However, the season will be remembered for its resilient play and its hard work ethics and the first team in MIfflin County girls basketball team to win a playoff contest.

Marissa Gingrich led the Lady Huskies with a team-high 20-point performance while teammate Hannah Rittenhouse chipped in with 10.

Rounding out the top scorers for MIfflin County were Brianna Bodtorf and Molly Wagoner with a 9-point and 8-point effort, respectively.

Altoona were led by Adalyn Cherry as she was almost automatic in the overtime period with 16 points and Taylor Lane with 12.

“They’ve (MIfflin County) been resilient all year. That’s the word I’ve been using for this team all year and even within in this game I thought we were resilient. We found ways to comeback,” said MIfflin County coach Roger Herto. “The game was certainly ours.”

It would be a controversial play in late fourth quarter that helped Altoona tie the game to send things into overtime.

Starting the fourth. MIfflin County held a 38-34 advantage.

Altoona picked up the first shot of the quarter but it would quickly was  erased by a bucket by Gingrich.

After forcing a turnover, Bodtorf’s triple upped the Lady Huskies lead to 43-36 with 5:13 left.

Altoona started to pick up the tempo, going on a 8-2 run, cutting the MIfflin County lead to one.

Gingrich extended the lead back to three as she was fouled and hit 2-of-2 from the free throw line, with 1:01 left.

Altoona’s Cherry cut it back to one with two free throws of her own.

But Gingrich continues to keep plugging away at the free throw line, stretching it to three again with two more successful free throws.

The game would would become a 2-point game on a 1-of-2 performance at the line by the Mountain Lions’ Corbin with 5 seconds left.

On the following inbounds pass the ball was loose and Brooklinn Rupert went for the ball and was juggling it as she went out of bounds, in the process the Altoona coach called time out as she was still juggling the ball but the referee allowed the Mountain Lions the time out and still giving her possession and a chance for her team to tie.

Altoona made the most out of the situation as they got the ball in underneath to Corbin for the tying bucket at the buzzer.

It would be the break that Altoona was looking for as it outscored MIfflin County 10-0.

But the Huskies left it all on the court and had a lot to be proud of finishing as District 6 Class 6A champions.

After the first quarter, MIfflin County led despite Altoona leading by as many as six points early in the contest.

While trailing12-6 with 4:22 left in the quarter, the Lady Huskies finished the period going on a 18-4 run, leading 18-16.

The two teams locked up in the second quarter as the two ended the first half were tied at 32.

MIfflin County proved that they belonged and even though the scoreboard said they lost, people who saw the game knew that at the least, MIfflin County had the moral victory.

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