Millville tops Muncy in showdown of unbeatens - 2018 NTL and District 4 News - WellsboroAthletics.com
 
 
 

Millville tops Muncy in showdown of unbeatens.

By: Chris Masse | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | January 3, 2018

 

MUNCY — Over the last three weeks, Millville has battled three undefeated teams, including Class AAA Mount Carmel. A week after downing the Tornadoes on their home court, Millville faced another undefeated squad Tuesday night.

Now, Millville stands alone. The Quakers are now District 4's last unbeaten team. The challengers keep lining up and the Class A Quakers keep knocking them down. They did so in emphatic fashion last night.

Jaylen Reichner and Will Holdren each scored 14 points and Millville allowed just nine field goals as it thumped Muncy, 52-26. The Quakers (8-0, 3-0 Mid-Penn) never trailed, allowed just 18 points through three quarters against an explosive Class AA team and showed why, despite losing some excellent players from last year's 22-win team, they remain so dangerous.

"We're one of the smallest Single A schools in the state and two years ago when I first started we were taken for granted by a lot of teams," Reichner said. "Now after having played them for three years they know what is coming, but it's nice to go out and still make a statement and beat those bigger teams."

Millville took Muncy out of its game early and led 29-14 at halftime. The Quakers efficiently worked their offense and turned the ball over just three times. Holdren set the tone early, Reichner scored 10 second-quarter points and Drew Shultz and Tyler Johnson did some damage inside, combining for 17 points.

Millville has played four straight games against likely playoff teams and/or league title contenders and keeps getting better. Playing a strong team in front of a big home crowd only seemed to make Millville stronger last night.

"Our kids really stepped up and played really well," Millville coach Rick Reichner said. "They're a group that has played together for a while now so the chemistry is there. That chemistry is probably our strongest asset. They work well together, they know each other, they don't force things and they let the game come to them. They've really shown a lot of maturity and we beat a really good team."

Muncy started 7-0 for the first time in more than 20 years but never discovered its offensive rhythm, trailing 9-4 after the first quarter and turning the ball over six times. Millville swarmed on defense and Muncy made just 9 of 39 shots. Nate Paisley (10 points) hit a quick runner to start the third quarter, but Millville scored the next five points and never led by less than 16 again.

The loss was disappointing but hardly should rattle Muncy. The Indians (7-1, 2-1) are only a game behind Millville and St. John Neumann and the Mid-Penn and still own District 4 Class AA's best record. The goal now is making sure a game like last night's does not happen again.

"We didn't get into a flow. There was no electricity. It's a loss and it's our first loss so we go back to the drawing board and do some good film work and get better from it," Muncy coach Jason Gresh said. "As long as you learn from it and get better, that's the key to the whole thing and we will. We're going to see what we did wrong, see what adjustments we can make and get better and come out Friday (against Benton) and get back to work."

Millville worked its defense as well as it has all season. Muncy had four players averaging more than 13 points per game and was averaging more than 60 collectively. The Quakers, though, stymied just about everything Muncy tried and held it to single digits in all but the second quarter. Paisley was the only Indian who reached double figures and Millville held every other player to five or fewer points.

Muncy made 11 3-pointers in last Friday's North Penn-Liberty Tournament championship against Williamson but connected on just 3 of 19 last night. At one point early in the fourth quarter, the Indians had missed 13 of those 14 attempts. Millville made most shots difficult, consistently hounding ball-handlers and contesting shots. The Quakers rotated well, provided excellent help-side defense and altered numerous shots. The offense was efficient but it was defense that really paved the Millville path to victory.

"That was an emphasis at practice. We wanted to make sure they didn't have many open shots because they would knock them down for sure," Rick Reichner said. "Muncy can really shoot the ball and has some kids who are really good basketball players and our kids really executed well."

"Defense is always one of our focuses. We can have an off-night shooting, but if you're playing good defense and rebounding every night you have a chance in every game," Jaylen Reichner said. "We watched a lot of film on them and made it a big focus of ours coming in. Playing good defense was a big win for us."

Millville has done a lot of winning together the past three seasons. The Quakers have 47 victories during that time and reached last year's district final as well as the second round of states. Time will tell how this season concludes, but Millville could not have asked for a stronger start and is enjoying a ride that really is nearly a decade in the making.

"I played with the group that graduated last year since second grade and this group since third grade, so it's nice to know who's going to be where," Jaylen Reichner said. "We've been together so much and we do a lot of team bonding. We have such good chemistry. It's coming together."