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.

Midd-West led by as many as eight points in the second and began the quarter with three straight field goals from the floor, two of which were nice steal-layup finishes. Midd-West went into the half up by six, 19-13.

Mifflinburg began the third quarter with an 8-0 run, however, taking its first lead since early in the first when Clark Sheakley sank a trey with 6:05 to play.

“(At the half) we said, ‘Guys, if you want to meet any of the goals that we posted on this board, you got to come out and dig everything as deep as you can in your heart and come out and play,’ and they did that. I thought they, as a team, collectively, passed the ball much better in the second half,” Roupp said. “They had that desire to go in, got some offensive rebounds and putbacks. I thought the desire was 10 times better in the second half.”

Mifflinburg held a 31-20 rebound advantage, including grabbing 12 offensive boards.

The Wildcats got an 11-point effort from Uscowskas, who also led his team with eight rebounds and two steals.

“Jeremy is the core of our team, I think. He is not a real verbal leader, but he’s going to show you through every desire that he wants to win,” Roupp said. “Throughout his years here, he’s had some injuries, but now it’s his time and his senior year, and his fellow seniors, they want to win (too).”

James Zack added 10 points for the Wildcats, while Jordan Wagner scored nine, dished four assists and grabbed five boards. Sheakley scored eight points to go with five rebounds and three steals.

Midd-West’s Marks had a steal-and-score to tie the game at 21-all at 4:16 of the third before Dyllan Folk went 1-for-2 from the line to give the Mustangs a 22-21 lead.

That was the last time Midd-West held a lead, as Mifflinburg responded with Uscowskas’ putback 20 seconds later to make it 23-22.

Midd-West got to within four to begin the third quarter (29-25) but that was the closest the Mustangs would come as Mifflinburg slowly increased its lead to as many as 14 late in the fourth.

The Wildcats are back on the road for their next three games (Shikellamy, Danville and Selinsgrove) next week.

Wildcats fall to Dawgs

By The Daily Item

Jersey Shore 66  Miffinburg 62
JERSEY SHORE — Mifflinburg went up to Jersey Shore and almost got the upset, but the Wildcats ran out of gas at the end to fall in the HAC-I matchup.

Three players scored in double figures for Mifflinburg (5-5, 1-4 HAC-I), with Jeremy Uscowskas leading the way with 15.

The Wildcats trailed by 11 at the half, but the squad made a comeback in the third period to trail by just two at 52-50.

“In the first half it was am very physical game as we would expect at Jersey Shore, and we gave up a lot of second-chance points,” said Mifflinburg coach Andre’ Roupp. “We battled back in the third, but we ran out of gas at the end.”

Ryan Eck scored 15 points and Cody Confair added 13 to lead Jersey Shore (7-4).

Danville game Postponed

Today’s (Tuesday, January 7, 2014) game at Danville has been postponed.  Make-up date TBA.

Milton game Postponed

Today’s (Friday, January 3, 2014) game at Milton has been postponed until tomorrow, Saturday, January 4, 2014.  The JV game will begin at 1:00pm followed by the Varsity game at approximately 2:30pm.

Mifflinburg wins in Consolation Game

By The Daily Item

SPRING MILLS – Bellefonte made a late rally, but Logan Finsterbush staunched the comeback attempt by picking up a key rebound with only seconds left on the clock to preserve Mifflinburg’s lead and the win in the consolation game.

Finsterbush finished with eight block, six rebounds and six points for Mifflinburg (5-2), which also got 14 points from Jeremy Uscowskas and 10 from Clark Sheakley, the latter was named to the all-tournament team.

“It was a real physical game.  We were up by nine points after the third but Bellefonte’s defensive pressure created some turnovers,” said Mifflinburg coach Andre’ Roupp.  “We were able to execute our offense and we made some easy baskets down the stretch.”

Mifflinburg boys rally past Selinsgrove

By The Daily Item

MIFFLINBURG — Low-scoring games are often battles of attrition, and so far this season Mifflinburg has been winning those contests.

The Wildcats shook off a poor shooting first half to edge Selinsgrove in a Heartland-I matchup on Friday, 41-30.

Mifflinburg’s key inside presence, senior forward Logan Finsterbush, was in foul trouble for much of the first half as the Wildcats scored just two points in the first quarter and 15 through the opening 16 minutes of play to lead by only two at the half.

“We came out really flat and we didn’t play well as a team. That wasn’t our intention,” said Mifflinburg coach Andre’ Roupp. “In the second quarter we really started executing and playing well as a team.”

Finsterbush got back in the game in the second half for Mifflinburg (4-1, 1-1 HAC-I) and finished with seven rebounds and five points. Jeremy Uscowskas led the Wildcats with 16 points.

“Finsterbush sat quite a bit of the first half, but he really executed off the boards and got some really big rebounds for us down the stretch,” said Roupp.

Andrew Sickle tallied eight points to lead Selinsgrove (0-4, 0-2).

Shikellamy Breaks Through with Overtime Win

By The Daily Item

MIFFLINBURG – Shikellamy picked a fine way to get its first win of the season, and hand Mifflinburg its first loss, when the Braves edged Miffinburg, 53-45 in overtime, to take the Heartland-I matchup on Wednesday.

Mifflinburg (3-1, 0-1 HAC-I) missed a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, and Shikellamy sophomore guard Derek Amerman made the Wildcats pay.

Amerman hit a 3-pointer at the outset of overtime to get the Braves off and running.

“I credit Shikellamy’s defensive pressure.  They got us out of sync and we pressed ourselves and we got out of our flow and we didn’t execute,” Mifflinburg coach Andre’ Roupp said.  “Shikellamy really executed and hit their shots.  They played a good game.”

C.J. Tyler scored 15 points and Garrett Kemberling added 13 for Shikellamy (1-3, 1-0 HAC-I).  Amerman finished with five points for the Braves.

Jordan Wagner and James Zack scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Wildcats, while Jeremy Uscowskas, Logan Finsterbush, and Clark Sheakley each pulled down eight rebounds in the loss.

Wildcats beat Warriors

December 11, 2013
From staff reports , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Montoursville’s boys basketball team dropped its season opener Tuesday night, 55-38 at Mifflinburg. It was the first game as head coach for former major-league pitcher Mike Mussina at Montoursville, his alma mater. Jeremy Uscowsaks led all players with 17 points, as Mifflinburg outscored Montoursville 19-6 in the third quarter to expand a 2-point halftime lead. Quintin Persun scored 11 points and Connor Moran added 10 in defeat.

Mifflinburg 55, Montoursville 38

Montoursville (0-1)

Quinten Persun 4 2-2 11; Neiheen Freeman 0 1-2 1; Conner Moran 4 2-2 10; James McMahon 3 0-0 8; Nicholas Christ 3 0-0 6; Aaron Cipriani 1 0-0 2. Curtis Miller 0 0-0 0, Zack Bair 0 0-0 0, Calen Ulmer 0 0-0 0, Nate Rippley 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Entz 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 5-6 38.

Mifflinburg (3-0)

James Zack 4 3-4 11; Jordan Wagner 5 2-4 13; Clark Sheakley 4 1-1 10; Derrick Seedor 1 0-0 2; Jeremy Uscowsaks 8 1-1 17; Logan Finsterbush 1 0-0 2. Brett Luhrman 0 0-0 0, Dan Crossland 0 0-0 0, Nick Oliveri 0 0-0 0,, Brad Sauers 0 0-0 0, Cody Raker 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 7-10 55.

Montoursville9 15 6 8 – 38

Mifflinburg15 11 19 10 – 55

3-point goals: Montoursville 3?(McMahon 2, Persun)?Mifflinburg 2 (Wagner, Sheakley)

JV score: Montoursville 50, Mifflinburg 37. High score for Mifflinburg: Cody Botts 13.

Mifflinburg wins with balanced scoring, good defense

By The Daily Item


MIFFLINBURG — A balanced scoring effort, in addition to some good defense, paved the way for Mifflinburg’s 48-39 victory over Milton in the championship game of the Mifflinburg Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday.

Jeremy Uscowskas led Mifflinburg (2-0) with 13 points, while James Zack and Clark Sheakley added 11 points apiece for the Wildcats. Sheakley and Logan Finsterbush also pulled down five rebounds apiece in the winning effort.

Ethan Baker led Milton (1-1) with 17 points.

“We played real solid defense, especially in the first quarter by controlling their inside game and the boards with Finsterbush and Sheakley,” said Mifflinburg coach Andre Roupp. “We executed down the stretch versus Milton’s press. Now we just have to knock some free throws down.”

The Wildcats were just 15-of-30 from the free throw line.

Zack and Uscowskas were named to the All-Tournament team for Mifflinburg. The other members of the team were Baker and Travis Krall from Milton, Tyler Mitcheltree from Hughesville, and Kellan Masser from Line Mountain.

Off and Running: ‘Cats too much for Eagles; Will play Milton for title tonight

by Chris Nagy

James Zack

MIFFLINBURG — Last year Mifflinburg’s boys basketball team was known for its slow and deliberate play.

Well, that was last year.

The Wildcats (1-0) unveiled a transition game Friday night that led to east baskets and an 82-33 win over Line Mountain (0-1) in the second game of the Mifflinburg Tip-Off Tournament.

“We have been preaching to the kids that they have to get out and run,” said Mifflinburg head coach Andre Roupp. “It’s something we haven’t done in the past.

“We want to take advantage of our hard work on defense and get some easy baskets out of it.”

And they did just that Friday night.

Sixteen of the Wildcats 26 first period points came in transition and helped Mifflinburg build a 26-6 lead after the first eight minutes.

Early in the second period, Mifflinburg started taking some quick shots, which caused Roupp to call a timeout, even though the Wildcats were up 26-9.

“I told them we had to be patient because we were passing the ball twice and throwing up shots we can get at anytime,” he said. “That’s just not us.

“We need to control the ball and execute the offense and when we do that we get easy buckets.”

And after the quick talk, the Wildcats got back into the offense and had layup after layup building a 48-18 lead.

Brett Luhrman had 19 off the bench to lead the Wildcats while James Zack had 15 and Jeremy Uscowskas had 13. A total of 10 players scored for Mifflinburg, which also had 24 assists in the game.

“Outstanding unselfish play tonight,” said Roupp. “They passed the ball really well.”

The Wildcats will now play Milton in the championship game tonight at 7:30 p.m. Line Mountain will face Hughesville in the consolation game at 6 p.m.

Mifflinburg Tip-Off Tournament

Mifflinburg 82, Line Mountain 33

Line Mountain (0-1)

Justin Michael 1 0-0 2; Kellan Masser 5 4-5 15; Elijah Zablosky 4 4-6 12; Dylan Batholomew 2 0-0 4. Totals: 13 8-11 33.

Played but did not score: Logan Ingram, Brady Michael.

3-point goals: Masser.

Mifflinburg (1-0)

James Zack 7 1-4 15; Jordan Wagner 3 2-4 7; Clark Sheakly 4 0-0 8; Jeremy Uscowskas 6 1-3 13; Logan Finsterbush 2 0-0 4; Dan Crossland 1 0-0 3; Brett Luhrman 8 2-3 19; Cody Raker 1 0-0 2; Brad Sauers 2 0-1 4; Nick Oliveri 1 0-0 3. Totals: 36 6-16 82.

Played but did not score: Derek Seedor, Cody Botts.

3-point goals:Wagner, Crossland, Luhrman, Oliveri.

Score by periods

Line Mtn. 6 12 10 5—33

Mifflinburg 26 22 21 13—82