SHILLINGTON >> Twin Valley is out to prove that last season’s success in the Berks League was anything but a fluke.
Two years removed from bump up from Section 2 and a season after a Section 1 co-championship, the Raiders seized full control of the top-tier race Thursday night with a 38-29 win over host Governor Mifflin.
Thursday’s win in Shillington moved Twin Valley out to 10-1 overall record and 5-0 in Section 1. The loss dropped Mifflin to 8-4 and 2-2. The Mustangs trail both Twin Valley and Wilson in the section race; the Bulldogs (3-1) beat them on Tuesday.
Trailing by two points at halftime, the Raiders scored the first 13 points of the third quarter to move out to a nearly-prohibitive 26-15 lead. Mifflin did not score in the third stanza until a Ta’Shonna Wright free throw snapped the TV run with 1:27 left in it.
Lengthy sophomore wing Peyton McDaniel and senior point Ashlynn Lennon fueled the run. Lennon found operating room inside and rove the lane, picking up six points on two buckets and a pair of converted free throws. McDaniel forced floor honesty from the hosts with a big 3-pointer, one of three on the night for her.
The duo ended up scoring 28 of TV’s 38 points (Lennon 15, McDaniel 13).
The sequence proved decisive. Mifflin did not get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
“We were just standing on the perimeter (during the first half),” Twin Valley head coach Mark Morrow said. “We said, ‘you’ve gotta drive, there’s so many open lanes’. And that’s what Ash did. They get a couple of fouls and we get (the bonus) towards the end of the game.”
TV’s run felt nearly-prohibitive because Mifflin continued its ice-cold shooting: Coming off a 13-for-64 effort against Wilson during Tuesday’s 68-35 loss, the Mustangs authored an 11-for-51 score sheet against the Raiders.
Wright led Mifflin with eight points, including a first half buzzer-beater to give her club a 15-13 lead at the break. But no one else clipped five.
The Mustangs’ recent inability to hit shots left Mifflin head coach Mike Clark wondering how to fix it on the fly. “We get one practice, then we play Nazareth, then we’ve got CD East (Monday) without a practice, then Muhlenberg on Tuesday,” he said.
Clark deliberately slowed down Mifflin’s usual breakneck attack. The Mustangs spent most of the evening camped in the half-court set.
“Watching (Twin Valley) play and who they’ve played against, they’re averaging, what, maybe 50-60 points a game, so I figured we’d slow it down, take the air out of the ball a little bit,” Clark said. “It worked, but the problem is, we couldn’t score.
“Once they got an eight, nine-point lead, we started scrambling. Our game is press, push and go, but against them I thought we’d be all over the place and (McDaniel) would be wide open and make too many shots early and I didn’t want that to happen.”
Twin Valley 38, Governor Mifflin 29
Twin Valley — 4 9 13 8 — 39
Governor Mifflin — 7 8 3 11 — 29
McDaniel 5 0-0 13, Jamison 2 0-0 4, Lennon 5 5-8 15, Blunt 2 2-3 6, Gorgone 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 7-10 38.
3-pointers: 3 (McDaniel 3)
Hartman 1 3-4 5, Wright 3 2-4 8, DelVecchio 1 0-0 2, Mollica 2 0-0 5, Payne 2 0-1 4, Shepard 2 0-0 5. Totals: 11 5-9 29.
3-pointers: 2 (Mollica, Shepard)