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Penns Valley tops Mifflin County in nailbiter

 

By Kenny Varner

 

MILL HALL – Despite sporting a 3-12 record going into their Monday night contest at Penns Valley, the Mifflin County boys basketball team refuse to stop giving it their all on the court.

Monday night at the Penns Valley gym was no exception for the Huskies as they played a very talented group of Rams to a four quarter battle.

In the end, Penns Valley would come out victorious by a final tally of 66-59. But the game was not without its excitement and close calls.

“The kids played hard. They did a good job getting up and down the floor. Again we didn’t finish the plays we had but the effort is always there. I was proud of the effort. We just have to do a little bit better finishing. If we do that we are in great shape,” Mifflin coach Dave Sheetz said. “In some stretches we lost our composure a little bit. That kind of got them on a roll. We need to try to keep that from happening during the game. But overall I am pleased with the effort. I thought Penns Valley is a pretty good team. They have some size, they have some guys that can shoot and they did a very good job.”

Penns Valley center Zach Engle had a huge night on the boards, in block shots and in points finishing with over 10 boards, five blocks and 17 points to help his team to victory. Also finishing with 17 points was the other Rams’ big man Sean Beamenderfer who posted a 17-point effort as well.

Teammate Logan Pearce led his team in scoring, posting 18 points. Ten of those 18 came in the second half.

Rounding out the double-digit scorers for Penns Valley was Logan Johnson with  13 points.

Mifflin County had three players finish in double digits.

Leading the way for the Huskies was Even Seby with a game-high 18 points. Seby roped two triples en route to the effort.

Jack Packer and Nate Koller rounded the out the top scorers for the visitors with 11 points each.

Mifflin County found itself within striking distance going into the final stanza, trailing 49-43.

As the clock started in the period, Penns Valley opened with a quick bucket when Johnson drove the ball and spun in the air for the tough lay-in.

The Huskies rallied back posting the next four points, cutting the Rams’ lead to four on two floaters in the lane, one by Koller and one by Seby, making it 51-47 with 5:15 left.

However, much like they did in the previous three quarters, the Rams had an answer.

Pearce had the answer this time when he broke up the 4-0 Husky run with a tough shot down underneath.

Koller got the game back within four as he lifted another floater in the lane over the outstretched hands of Beamenderfer.

But the Rams defense came up big on the following two possessions as they gave it back to their offense twice and both times it produced points. Beamenderfer and Pearce both went to the heart of the Mifflin County defense and posted tough buckets to go up by eight, 57-49.

With 2:35 left, Mifflin County’s Matt Short was at the right place at the right time, pulling down a rebound and then hitting a bucket to cut it to a six-point deficit.

Mifflin County had a chance to cut into the lead even more as it forced the Rams into a turnover.

However, the results on their end was a turnover as well. The ball went up the court and was finished off by a lay-up by Beamenderfer, extending the lead back to eight.

On the following possession, Seby was called onto make the clutch shot and was cool under pressure, sending the ball from beyond the three-point line and put the Huskies behind by only five.

Good fortune found the Huskies on the following possession, when the Rams turned over the ball once again and Mifflin County cleared the ball out and got into the hands of Peyton Reesman. Reesman went hard into the hoop and was fouled on the play. The foul sent him to the charity stripe for two pressure free throws with 1:39 left.

He did not disappoint, hitting both of the free throws and sending the game score to 59-56.

Unfortunately for the Huskies, Penns Valley got the ball into big man Engle. Engle went up for the shot in traffic and made the shot but was also fouled on the play. Engle finished off the old fashioned three-point play, putting his team back up by six.

That would be all that Penns Valley would need to hold onto the victory, 66-59.

Mifflin County opened the game outscoring Penns Valley 16-15 in the first quarter.

However, the Rams battled back in the second quarter to take a slim 32-30 lead going into the intermission.

After the half, Penns Valley opended up the game a little outscoring Mifflin County 17-13 to set the stage for the final period at 49-43.

In the JV contest, Mifflin County muscled out a 9-point, 42-33 victory over the Rams.

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