Governor Mifflin’s season ended by Garnet Valley in ugly PIAA opener

NEW HOLLAND >> A Berks League title, a District 3 finals appearance in Hershey and winning 27 games is a lot for one basketball team to accomplish.

It will also have to suffice.

The Governor Mifflin Mustangs had their season ended Friday night at the hands of District 1’s Garnet Valley Jaguars, 53-45, at Garden Spot High School in the opening round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs.

It was a sudden end for a Shillington squad that, coming off its D-3 run, looked as though it had a few more games in them.  The Mustangs wrapped the season at 27-3. Garnet Valley (23-5) advances to play Conestoga, 57-54 winners over Nazareth, in the 4A Round of 16.

“I told them they had nothing to be ashamed of,” Governor Mifflin head coach Mike Clark said. “Without having someone 5-foot-10 or -11, the seniors, to do what they did, they won two county titles and did very well. You know, 27-3 is not a bad record.”

Mifflin’s usual high-flying attack was done in by a rash of turnovers, cold shooting and a tightly called game that, frankly, turned the court proceedings into sludge. The game never breathed — forty-four calls and 58 total foul shots bore witness. It also made turning loose Clark’s full court press defense, especially when needed after the break, a harrowing experience for Mifflin’s top players. Amazingly, no one from either team fouled out of the contest despite the near-constant parade to the free throw line.  

“I thought it was fair,” Clark said, referencing the distribution of calls if not the frequency. “Again, just like with Cumberland Valley (a 57-50 loss in the D-3 final), we dug ourselves a hole we couldn’t get out of.”

Mifflin’s best sustained run was a 7-0 pop to close out the final three minutes and change of the opening period and a 9-7 lead. The run was earned at the freebie strip, however, undercutting a troubling trend that dogged the Stangs all night: A dearth of made baskets. Mifflin had one field goal after the first quarter, four at the half and six after three quarters. They finished with 12. Kylie Herman was Mifflin’s high scorer, with 10. No one else clipped double-digits.

The Jaguars wrestled control of the game away during the second quarter and never capitulated. The lead was 25-18 at the break and 36-26 after three. Garnet Valley went over-the-top to bust up Mifflin’s press D. More importantly, the Jags never wavered in the face of it. Mifflin could get no close than six points down the stretch.

“We had a couple of runs,” Clark said, “but we just couldn’t get over the hump. They threw over the top to beat the press and it worked.”

Mifflin also had trouble cracking Garnet Valley’s fairly standard 2-1-2 zone defense. The inability to drain 3-pointers or generate any type of sustained perimeter game played into that, certainly. But save Emorie Reviere’s paint probes, which produced a plethora of foul shots if nothing else, precious little else was manufactured inside 10 feet. And it wasn’t as though the Jags were mixing in junk D looks out there.

“I think they (Garnet Valley) were taller than they wrote down in those rosters,” Clark said. “We couldn’t get anything out of that high post to Jenn (Martin). They were really prepared for that, which is something we worked at in practice a lot. They had long arms. Very high and very wide. That’s what killed us.”

Garnet Valley’s Emily McAteer, just a freshman, led all scorers with 19 points. Guard Maddie Ireland added 14.


PIAA Class AAAA First Round

at Garden Spot HS

Garnet Valley 53, Governor Mifflin 45

Garnet Valley –  7  18  11  17 — 53

Governor Mifflin –  9  9  8  19 — 45

Garnet Valley

Maddie Ireland 3 8-14 14, Emily McAteer 5 7-7 19, Barnes 3 1-2 7, Tomasetti 0 2-4 2, Fail 1 0-0 3, Barckey 3 2-2 8. Totals: 15 20=29 53.

3-pointers: 3 (McAteer 2, Fail)

Governor Mifflin

M Martin 4 0-0 8, Koehler 0 4-6 4, Kylie Herman 3 2-2 10, Reviere 1 7-13 9,  J Martin 1 4-6 6, Hartman 3 -12 8. Totals: 12 18-29 45.

3-pointers: 3 (Herman 2, Hartman)




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