The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 18, 2014

H.S. boys basketball: Strong second half carries Mifflinburg past Midd-West

By Jon Gerardi

The Daily Item

MIFFLINBURG -- The last time Mifflinburg played a home game, there were still presents underneath Christmas trees around the Valley. So the Wildcats were no doubt happy to be back home Friday.

After a bit of a shaky start to begin the game, during which Midd-West led by as many as eight, the Wildcats battled back in the third quarter.

It wasn't until 3:15 to play in the fourth when Jeremy Uscowskas hit a putback that Mifflinburg reclaimed the lead for good and cruised to a Heartland Athletic Conference-Division I win, 47-33, in "The Cats' Den" at the Mifflinburg Intermediate School.

Home, sweet home.

"It's nice to be back here and get a win and get a little fresh blood going. Maybe it showed there early (but) we missed a lot of shots," Mifflinburg coach Andre' Roupp said. "Midd-West were knocking their shots down, including (Ascher) Marks. He's always deadly from outside.

"We struggled early making shots. We were making some good passes, making some good cuts, just not finishing."

Marks gave Mifflinburg (6-5, 2-5 HAC-I) problems throughout the game, knocking down four 3-pointers, two of which came very late in the fourth quarter when he created his own shots against defenders.

Marks ended the game with a team-high 19 points for the Mustangs (3-7, 0-5 HAC-I). No other Midd-West player reached double-digits.

"He's quick with the ball as well. When they're setting ball screens for him, we got to jump and show," Roupp said. "Leaving him open on the weak side is where we found ourselves in trouble in the first half."

Mifflinburg struggled offensively to begin the game. The Wildcats went into the half shooting 4-for-24 (16.7 percent) from the floor. It was during that offensive drought that the Mustangs capitalized as well.

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