Boys Basketball: Wildcats fall on road to Mifflin County

By BRIAN CARSON

For the Express

LEWISTOWN – Central Mountain boys basketball coach Tyler Bardo preaches discipline and attentiveness to his team. He didn’t get any of that in a non-league contest with Mifflin County.

Wildcat standout Collin Jones got into early foul trouble putting Central Mountain behind the eight-ball early. Combined with a career-high 31 points from Husky Noah Wright, the result was a 65-46 victory for Mifflin County on Saturday.

“As a totality, we didn’t play smart basketball from the get-go. We talked to him (Jones) on how to defend Wright. He was a little over-aggressive and it caught us,” Bardo said. “It’s been inattentiveness. It’s not that we overlooked them. We knew it would be a dangerous game and they would play hard. The inattentiveness to the game plan and to all those types of things was compounded.”

The Huskies picked up their first win of the season on their last game of the year to end the 2018-19 campaign 1-21. The Wildcats fell to 5-16 with one game left.

“I’m so happy for our guys because we put in so much work this season and battled through so much adversity with guys getting hurt, losing players,” Mifflin County coach Scott Gaffey said. “We went to Central Dauphin with just 12 guys to play a JV and varsity game, so we were thin. I’m so proud of them and it feels good to end the season with a win.”

The one bright spot for Central Mountain was Conner Soo. The junior scored 22 points to go along with six assists. Jones, who came in averaging 18 points and nine rebounds a game, fouled out in the fourth with eight points and six boards.

“We talked about in their zones and how they extend that we need to look to slash and attack gaps whether that’s off the dribble or without the ball in our hands,” Bardo said. “One of the reasons he (Soo) had such a big game is he followed through on that and was fearless going in there.”

Mifflin County got off to a fast start in the first quarter with Wright connecting on two 3-pointers and Tyler Metz nailing a trey. Wright, Metz and Conner Cherry combined for 15 points as the Huskies won the frame 20-13.

Wright kept up the hot shooting with nine in the second as Mifflin County out-scored Central Mountain 18-10 in the quarter for the 38-23 lead at the half. Soo and Jones combined for 18 points in the first half.

The shooting for both clubs went ice-cold in the third quarter. Soo scored eight as the Wildcats won the frame 13-10 to cut the deficit to 48-36 heading into the final quarter.

Any hopes of a comeback ended when Wright scored more points (14) in the fourth than the whole Central Mountain team. The Wildcats also hurt their cause with 14 turnovers.

Mifflin County won the JV game 64-39. Central Mountain ends the season at home against Williamsport on Tuesday.

“We want to go out with a win but the situation right now is where is our mentality? Since the Lewisburg game, which we felt, was a game we didn’t play well in, we have not bounced back from that,” Bardo said. “We haven’t responded well to any type of motivation, so we’ll have to dig deep, take Sunday off on this 10 games in a 17-day stretch, come back on Monday and battle.”

Mifflin County 65, Central Mountain 46

CENTRAL MOUNTAIN

Collin Jones 4 0-0 8, Conner Soo 8 6-9 22, Jake Skrtich 1 0-0 3, JT Pentz 1 0-1 2, Aidan Major 0 1-2 1, Tanner Lavelle 1 0-0 2, Zane Probst 2 0-0 4, Trevor Adair 0 2-2 2, Ujjval Adroja 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 9-16 46.

3-point goals: Skrtich.

Did not score: Peyton Johnson, Cayde McCloskey, Logan Fisher, Evan Baker.

MIFFLIN COUNTY

Noah Wright 9 10-15 31, Xavier Vega 3 0-0 6, Tyler Metz 3 0-0 8, Jayden Jackson 2 0-0 4, Jace Shoemaker 2 0-0 4, Conner Cherry 4 1-2 9, Mark Shilling Jr. 1 0-0 2, Cole Knable 0 1-2 1. Totals: 24 12-19 65.

3-point goals: Wright 3, Metz 2.

Did not score: Adam Sheetz, Isaac Stewart, Owen Wise, Cade Pennepacker.

Score by quarters

Central Mountain 13 10 13 10 – 46

Mifflin County 20 18 10 17 – 65

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