The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

March 6, 2014

H.S. girls basketball: Mifflinburg arrives at district pinnacle early

Sophomore stars elevate the program

By Scott Dudinskie

The Daily Item

SUNBURY -- Anyone who watched Kayla Kline and Julia McArdle-Coe play this season would conclude Mifflinburg's girls basketball team will be set for the next couple of years.

Both sophomores have skill beyond their years, rare ability that will someday establish them among the best players in the program's history.

Sara Stauffer couldn't wait a few years. She and the Wildcats' other seniors needed Kline and McArdle-Coe to be those transcendent players this season.

Immediately, if not sooner.

"We really wanted to help Sara accomplish her goals," said Kline, "and I know her goals have always been to make it to districts and even to states."

As a three-year starter (and four-year varsity player), Stauffer endured several trying seasons. Mifflinburg won 11 games and went to districts in her freshman year, but then won just six total games over the last two seasons.

So regardless of how good Kline and McArdle-Coe were destined to become in two years, Stauffer was on the "right-now" plan.

"It was difficult (going 6-38). We had a lot of talented players over those years, but this year we had more heart than all the other years combined," said Stauffer. "We just had great chemistry, right from the start, and we knew that we had a lot of potential this year.

"We made it happen."

A season that began with eight wins in 10 games closed with eight straight wins and the program's first district championship. Mifflinburg upset top-seeded Danville in the District 4 Class AAA title game, and earned a berth in the state tournament.

"Sara has worked so hard and she's been that player that everyone looks up to," said McArdle-Coe. "We just wanted to win it for her, and to help give that to her just makes it 10 times better."

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