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MC girls battle Mechanicsburg but falls in second half


HIGHLAND PARK – The Mifflin County girls’ basketball teamplayed Mechanicsburg tough, but standout Talia Gilliard proved too much in the second half, leading the Wildcats to the 42-35 Mid-Penn Keystone victory on Friday.

Gilliard scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the second half as the Wildcats, the third-ranked team in Class 5A, broke a 33-33 game in the fourth with a 6-0 run to make it 39-33 with 1:42 left in regulation. Mechanicsburg (7-1, 5-0) went 3-for-5 from the line down the stretch to preserve the victory.

Briana Bodtorf led the Huskies with 12 points and eight rebounds. Marissa Gingrich added nine points, and Emma Yeager pulled down nine boards.

Besides her 16 points, Gilliard, an all-state selection, added seven rebounds and six assists. Teammates Jayden and Cassie Eager chipped in with eight points each.

Mifflin County (3-5, 3-5) jumped out to a quick start and a 21-17 lead at halftime. In the first quarter, Gingrich and Hanna Rittenhouse each had three points to give the home team the 8-6 advantage after one quarter.

Jayden Eager scored seven of the Wildcats 11 points in the second quarter to keep Mechanicsburg in striking distance. Gilliard and Jayden Eager led the visitors with seven points each in the first half.

Gingrich had six firsthalf points to pace Mifflin County. Bodtorf collected five points and six rebounds, with the Huskies holding a 15-9 edge on the glass after 16 minutes.

Mifflin County went on a 6-0 run to take a 27-17 lead early in the third. It was downhill from there for the Huskies.

Gilliard had eight points in the third, including two threes, as the Wildcats went on a 10-1 run to cut the deficit to 28-27. Mechanicsburg won the quarter 14-9 and went into the fourth leading 31-30.

Mechanicsburg and Mifflin County both went cold in the fourth,with the visitors winning the quarter, 11-5.

The Wildcats outscored the Huskies 25-14 in the second half. Mifflin County won the rebound battle by a 29-25 margin.

Mifflin County hosts Red Land in a Mid-Penn Keystone battle on Tuesday.

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