ATHENS WINS FINAL TWO MATCHES AT 'MATNESS AT THE MAAC DUALS' TO FINISH 2-3

ATHENS WINS FINAL TWO MATCHES AT 'MATNESS AT THE MAAC DUALS' TO FINISH 2-3

January 30, 2021 Tim Birney

MONTGOMERY — Athens dropped its first three matches here Saturday at the “Matness at the MAAC Duals,” but bounced back to win its final two.

The Wildcats opened the day with a 43-24 loss to Class AAA Selinsgrove, then were thumped 66-6 by Montgomery, and 53-24 by Muncy. They closed the day with wins of 65-6 over Wellsboro, and 39-30 over Sullivan County.

Junior Gavin Bradley, who is now 19-0 on the season, was 5-0, and logged just 18 seconds on the mats. He received four forfeits, then registered an 18-second fall in Athens’ win over Sullivan County.

Senior Kyler Setzer, in his first action of the season, junior Karter Rude, and sophomore Chris Bathgate were each 3-2, and senior Zach Stafursky, junior Lucas Forbes, and freshmen Josh Courtney, Josh Nittinger, and Emiliano Mallare were all 2-3.

Selinsgrove 43, Athens 24
Selinsgrove won five of the final six bouts to break open a tie match en route to a 43-24 win over Athens.

After the teams exchanged forfeits to open the match, Kyler Setzer decked Anna Kalcich in 36 seconds at 120 pounds to give the Wildcats a 12-6 lead.

After the Seals scored falls at 126 and 132 to take an 18-12 lead, junior Kaden Setzer registered a third-period fall at 138 pounds to tie the match.

Rude’s second-period fall over Derek Holtzapple at 160 pounds was the only other win the Wildcats would muster.

Montgomery 66, Athens 6

Montgomery, now 18-1, won all nine contested weight classes, and picked up three forfeits in a 66-6 win over Athens.

All seven of the Red Raiders’ falls were recorded in the first period.

In the only matches to go a full six minutes, Rude dropped a 5-1 decision to Montgomery standout Kaide Drick at 160 pounds, and Stafursky dropped a 6-1 decision to Colby Springman at 172 pounds.

Bradley received a forfeit at 113 pounds for Athens’ only points.

Muncy 53, Athens 24

Muncy raced out to a 23-0 lead after the first four weight classes, and cruised to a 53-24 win over Athens.

Forbes received a forfeit at 145 pounds to put the Wildcats on the board, and Bathgate followed with a pin of Kobe Fowler in 34 seconds at 152 pounds to cut the deficit to 23-12, but that was as close as it would get as the Indians won the next four bouts, including three by fall, to take an insurmountable 47-12 lead.

Nittinger broke the Muncy win streak with a pin of Braydon Bergey in 34 seconds at 285 pounds to make it 47-18.

The teams traded forfeits to end the match.

Athens 65, Wellsboro 6

Athens won all seven contested weight classes — six by fall, and one by technical fall — in a 65-6 win over Wellsboro.

After forfeits to Kyler Setzer (126) and Gavin McGrath (132) gave the Wildcats a 12-0 lead, Mallare registered his first varsity win with a pin of Jordan Costley in 1:28 at 138 pounds to make it 18-0.

The Wildcats would add three more consecutive pins to make it 42-0.

Forbes pinned Tylar Wright in 5:06 at 145 pounds, then Bathgate decked Nicholas Smith in 1:13 at 152, and Rude flattened Dillon Boye in 62 seconds at 160.

Stafursky kept it rolling with a 16-1 technical fall of Coleman Brown at 172 pounds, and junior Collin Rosh followed with a pin of Anthony Romania in 76 seconds at 189 pounds.

Wellsboro’s Joe Smith received a forfeit at 215 to put the Green Hornets on the board.

Nittinger logged the final win on the mat for the Wildcats, pinning Wyatt Gastric in 1:32 at 285 pounds.

Courtney and Bradley received forfeits at 113 and 120, respectively, to close out the match.

Athens 39, Sullivan County 30
Athens won the final three matches, picking up forfeits in the final two, to rally for a 39-30 win over Sullivan County in the final match of the day.

The teams traded pins in the fourth four weight classes.

Mallare decked Bryan Hope in 14 seconds at 138 pounds to tie the match at 6-6. Bathgate tied the match at 12-12 with a 64-second fall over Alex Doran at 152 pounds.

Rude broke the pattern, following Bathgate’s win with a 19-second pin of Mason Pankhurst at 160 pounds to give the Wildcats an 18-12 lead.

At 172 pounds, Stafursky forged a hard-fought, 6-3, decision over Colton Pretti to make 21-12.

However, the Griffins picked up pins at 189 and 285, and received a forfeit at 106 to take a 30-21 lead.

Bradley earned a win in the final contested bout of the match, pinning Cruz McCusker in 38 seconds at 113 pounds to trim the deficit to 30-27.

Courtney and Kyler Setzer received forfeits at 120 and 126 pounds, respectively, to seal the victory.

Athens is 9-6 on the season.

——————

Selinsgrove 43, Athens 24
106: Kassidy Ressler (S) won by forfeit;
113: Gavin Bradley (A) won by forfeit;
120: Kyler Setzer (A) by fall over Anna Kalcich (S), 0:36;
126: Trent Turner (S) by fall over Gavin McGrath (A), 2:35;
132: Aiden Gaugler (S) by fall over Emiliano Mallare (A), 1:03;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) by fall over Sylvan Martin (S), 4:19;
145: Garrett  Paradis (S) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 1:32;
152: Tucker Teats (S) dec. Christopher Bathgate (A), 9-8;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Derek Holtzapple (S), 2:38;
172: Coy Bastian (S) by fall over Zachary Stafursky (A), 3:46;
189: Steven Miller (S) tech. fall Colin Rosh (A), 18-1. 4:51;
215: No match;
285: Nate Son (S) tech. fall Joshua Nittinger (A), 16-0 1:51;

Montgomery 66, Athens 6

113: Blake Snyder (M) by fall over Joshua Courtney (A), 1:21;
120: Gavin Bradley (A) won by forfeit;
126: Caden Finck (M) by fall over Gavin McGrath (A), 0:51;
132: Nevin Beachel (M) by fall over Emiliano Mallare (A), 0:51;
138: Hunter Leet (M) won by forfeit;
145: Conner Harer (M) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 0:37;
152: Devon Deem (M) by fall over Christopher Bathgate (A), 0:31;
160: Kaide Drick (M) dec. Karter Rude (A), 5-1;
172: Colby Springman (M) dec. Zachary Stafursky (A), 6-1;
189: Ben Marino (M) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 0:58;
215: Weston Pick (M) won by forfeit;
285: Bradley Leon (M) by fall over Joshua Nittinger (A), 1:29;
106: Breannan Emery (M) won by forfeit.

Muncy 53, Athens 24

120: Phil McCormick (Mu) tech. fall Joshua Courtney (A), 16-0 4:00;
126: Alex Maiorana (Mu) by fall over Kyler Setzer (A), 5:35;
132: Scott Johnson (Mu) by fall over Gavin McGrath (A), 0:34;
138: Bryce Vollman (Mu) by fall over Emiliano Mallare (A), 0:26;
145: Lucas Forbes (A) won by forfeit;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) by fall over Kobe Fowler (Mu), 0:34;
160: Ty Nixon (Mu) by fall over Karter Rude (A), 1:46;
172: Ethan Gush (Mu) won by forfeit;
189: Tristen Ditzler (Mu) by fall over Zachary Stafursky (A), 5:11;
215: Jason Shuda (Mu) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 0:51;
285: Joshua Nittinger (A) by fall over Braydon Bergey (Mu), 0:34;
106: Joshua Hill (Mu) won by forfeit;
113: Gavin Bradley (A) won by forfeit.

Athens 65, Wellsboro 6

126: Kyler Setzer (A) won by forfeit;
132: Gavin McGrath (A) won by forfeit;
138: Emiliano Mallare (A) by fall over Jordan Costley (W), 1:28;
145: Lucas Forbes (A) by fall over Tylar Wright (W), 5:06;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) by fall over Nicholas Smith (W), 1:13;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Dillon Boyce (W), 1:02;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) tech. fall Coleman Brown (W), 16-1 3:00;
189: Colin Rosh (A) by fall over Anthony Romania (W), 1:16;
215: Joseph Brown (W) won by forfeit;
285: Joshua Nittinger (A) by fall over Wyatt Gastrock (W), 1:32;
106: No match;
113: Joshua Courtney (A) won by forfeit;
120: Gavin Bradley (A) won by forfeit.

Athens 39, Sullivan 30
132: Evan  Cummings (SC) by fall over Gavin McGrath (A), 1:00;
138: Emiliano Mallare (A) by fall over Bryan Hope (SC), 0:14;
145: Nathan Higley (SC) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 1:05;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) by fall over Alexander Doran (SC), 1:04;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Mason Parkhurst (SC), 0:19;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) dec. Colton Pretti (SC), 6-3;
189: Tre Powell (SC) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 1:10;
215: No match;
285: Joseph Malkemes (SC) over Joshua Nittinger (A), 2:28;
106: Rocky Finnegan (SC) won by forfeit;
113: Gavin Bradley (A) over Kruz McCusker (SC), 0:38;
120: Joshua Courtney (A) won by forfeit;
126: Kyler Setzer (A) won by forfeit.

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TURNOVER-PLAGUED WILDCATS FALL, 71-34, AT DALLAS

TURNOVER-PLAGUED WILDCATS FALL, 71-34, AT DALLAS

January 30, 2021 Tim Birney

DALLAS — Dallas knocked down six first-half 3-pointers on its way to a 22-point halftime lead, and cruised to a 71-34 win over a turnover-plagued Athens here Saturday night in non-league boys basketball action.

“I am disappointed in our effort tonight,” said Athens coach Jim Lister. “We turned the ball over 29 times, with 20 of those turnovers in the first half.

“You just cannot do that period,” noted Lister. “Especially against a good, fundamentally-sound team like Dallas.

“On top of that they hit 12 threes,” added Lister. “That’s just not a good combination.

Junior Austin Finarelli knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the first quarter, and junior Nick Nocito also hit a pair of treys and scored eight points as the Mountaineers jumped out to a 24-11 lead after the first eight minutes.

It was much the same in the second quarter as Finarelli and Nocito combined for 13 points in a 22-13 spurt that gave Dallas a 46-24 lead at the half.

It got worse in the second half as the Mountaineers outscored the Wildcats 25-10, holding Athens without a field goal in the fourth quarter.

Junior Troy Pritchard led Athens with 12 points and eight rebounds, while junior J.J. Babcock scored eight points and grabbed four boards, sophomore Mason Lister added seven points and three assists, and senior Griffen Stein chipped in with five points and four rebounds.

Finarelli led all scorers with 25 points, including four 3-pointers, and Nocito added 16 points.

“Hopefully we learned something tonight,” said Lister. “We need to re-group, watch the film and get ready for a very good North Penn-Liberty team on Tuesday night.”

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ATHENS BOYS BEAT LEWISBURG FOR FIRST TIME IN 11 YEARS; LADY WILDCATS FALL

ATHENS BOYS BEAT LEWISBURG FOR FIRST TIME IN 11 YEARS; LADY WILDCATS FALL

January 30, 2021 Tim Birney

TOWANDA — Sophomores Chris DeForest and Ethan Denlinger helped the Athens boys to a 49-44 win over Lewisburg here Saturday in non-league swimming action, while the Lady Dragons won all 11 swimming events in an 80-34 win over the Lady Wildcats.

BOYS
Athens 49, Lewisburg 44

DeForest and Denlinger both had two wins and a second-place finish as the Wildcats improved to 3-0 with their first win over the Green Dragons since 2010..

DeForest won the 50-yard freestyle in a district-qualifying time of 24.25 seconds, and senior Asher Ellis was third in 29.63 seconds

Denlinger won the 500-yard freestyle in a district-qualifying time of 6:07.42, and sophomore Joe Blood was second in 6:48.79

DeForest and Denlinger teamed with seniors Mason Henderson and Joe Toscano to win the 200-yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:44.51.

Senior Zac Gowin won the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 2:19.85, and senior Lucas Aquilio was third in 2:52.07

DeForest also finished second in the 100-yard freestyle in a district-qualifying time of 54.2 seconds, and senior Joey Toscano was third in a district-qualifying time of 59.05 seconds.

Denlinger was second in the 200-yard IM in a time of 2:36.78.

Henderson finished second in the 100-yard butterfly in a district-qualifying time of 1:07.42, and Gowin was third in 1:17.01.

Ellis finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:28.88, and Aquilio was third in 1:31.63.

Blood finished second in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:26.19.

GIRLS
Lewisburg 80, Athens 34

Senior diver Emma Roe notched Athens’ only win in the loss to Lewisburg

Roe won the 1-meter diving competition with 177 points, and junior Rave McCarthy-Gardner was third with 104.25 points

Sophomore Alli Thoman finished second in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 31.44 seconds. She also finished seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:24.74, and McCarthy-Gardner was third in 1:27.0

Sophomore Taylar Fisher finished second in the 100-yard backstroke in a district-qualifying time of 1:12.92. Fisher also finished third in the 200-yard IM in a district-qualifying time of 2:36.86

Freshman Emily Marshall finished third in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 37.93 seconds. She was also third in the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 1:24.41

Sophomore Taegan Williams finished third in the 500-yard freestyle in a district-qualifying time of 6:00.43.

Freshman Rebeca Gifeisman finished third in the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 1:25.08.

Athens returns to action Wednesday at Towanda.

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MILLER NETS 1,000TH CAREER POINT IN 56-13 WIN OVER COWANESQUE VALLEY

MILLER NETS 1,000TH CAREER POINT IN 56-13 WIN OVER COWANESQUE VALLEY

January 29, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — It was quite a day for Kayleigh Miller. In a two-hour span, the Athens senior signed her National Letter-of-Intent to play at Penn College, then scored her 1,000th career point in the Lady Wildcats’ 56-13 win over Cowanesque Valley here Friday.

Miller, who scored 13 points in the win, is currently second all-time in school history in 3-pointers made. Appropriately enough, a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter pit her over the 1,000-point plateau, and that fact wasn’t lost on her coach-father Brian Miller.

“The 3-pointer has been her forte since she was a little freshman, out there playing for coach (Kelly) Burkhart and making 3s, supporting Emily Lunger and Kara Chapman. She would always step up and hit the big 3 to help the team.

“Four years later, she’s become a complete player,” said Miller. “Her forte is being a shooter, and knocking down 3-pointers; it was nice for her to get her 1,000th point with a 3-pointer.”

Kayleigh Miller became the seventh girls in school history to eclipse 1,000 points, following in the footsteps of Jennifer Nichols (1,528 points), Maryellen Onofre (1.512), Emily Lunger (1,270), Taylor Clark (1,256), Michelle Shaffer (1,143), and Kelly McCarty (1,022).

Brian Miller was pleased with the Lady Wildcats’ team play.

“I thought we shared the ball very well,” he said. “(CV) played man-to-man defense, and we ran our sets.

“They were playing physical, and we found some nice offensive flow, and had some nice passes, especially to Caydence (Macik) finishing around the basket,” added Miller.

Of course, defense was once again the cornerstone in the win as Athens allowed just one field goal in the first half.

“I thought we played great defensively,” said Miller. “We contested every shot … we didn’t give them many good looks at all.

“I thought we played 32 good minutes of defense. That’s what we were focusing on … we wanted to look good to get ready for Tuesday night’s game,” added Miller in reference to his Lady Wildcats’ showdown with unbeaten Towanda.

Miller scored five points in the opening stanza, and junior Caydence Macik and senior Megan Collins added four points apiece as Athens raced out to a 15-2 lead.

Macik pumped in 11 points in the second quarter, and sophomore Karlee Bartlow added four points to fuel a 19-0 blitz that pushed the Lady Wildcat advantage to 34-2 at the half.

Macik, who was 9 of 11 from the field, led Athens with 24 points and one blocked shot, while Bartlow added seven points, two assists, and one blocked shot, and Collins chipped in with six points and three assists.

Miller also had five assists, two steals, and a blocked shot in the win, while seniors Rachel Stephens and Hannah Blackman each had three rebounds and two assists.

Renee Abbott led CV with six points.

Athens, now 9-1, travels to face Towanda (7-0) Tuesday.

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DEFENSE, BARTLOW DRIVE ATHENS JV IN WIN OVER COWANESQUE VALLEY

DEFENSE, BARTLOW DRIVE ATHENS JV IN WIN OVER COWANESQUE VALLEY

January 29, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — The Athens defense shut down Cowanesque Valley, and Karlee Bartlow provided more than enough offense in a 28-5 win here Friday night in NTL junior varsity girls basketball action.

Bartlow scored four points in the first quarter to help the junior Wildcats to an 8-0 lead. She pumped in 10 points in the second quarter, including a 3-pointer and an old-fashioned three-point play, to fuel a 10-3 run that pushed the lead to 18-3 at the half.

Bartlow scored five more points in the third quarter as Athens extended its lead to 25-5 entering the final eight minutes.

Bartlow had 19 points and three steals to lead Athens, while Abby Champion added four points and four rebounds, Mya Thompson had five rebounds, three steals, and one blocked shot, and Emma Bronson registered three steals and two assists.

Athens, now 6-4, returns to action Tuesday at Towanda.

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MILLER SIGNS LETTER-OF-INTENT TO PLAY BASKETBALL AT PENN COLLEGE

MILLER SIGNS LETTER-OF-INTENT TO PLAY BASKETBALL AT PENN COLLEGE

January 29, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens senior Kayleigh Miller had plenty of options on where to play her four years of college basketball, but Pennsylvania College of Technology “felt like the right fit.”

Miller, with friends and family watching, signed her National Letter-of-Intent to attend Penn College Friday afternoon in a brief ceremony at the Athens Area High School.

Also in Miller’s top three were Susquehanna University and Welles College, but Penn College ultimately won out.

“I visited a lot of colleges that were interested in me, but Penn Tech just felt right,” said Kayleigh Miller. “I just loved coach Brittany (Mohney) and coach Travis (Heap).

“I was there a little before Thanksgiving, and I was able to watch a practice. The players all seemed connected, and were there for each other,” she noted.

“They all loved the coaches, and I thought I could be a good fit there, too,” added Miller. “It really felt like a family.”

Miller said the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the recruiting process.

“It was difficult. Normally, I would have been able to go for an overnight visit, watch a game, and stay with the team, but their season was canceled, so I wasn’t able to see experience that.

“And, I really couldn’t get a feel for campus life. I walked around the campus, but there weren’t very many students there,” she said. “Yeah, I think Covid had an impact on the process, but Penn Tech still felt right.”

Another factor for Miller was Penn College’s proximity. Being located in Williamsport, it’s less than 90 minutes from the Valley.

“Being closer to home had a huge impact on my decision,” said Miller. “I want my friends and family to be able to come and watch me play at Penn Tech.”

Miller said she could see some playing time as a freshman for the Lady Wildcats.

“They didn’t guarantee anything, but said as long as I work hard and have a good attitude that anybody can get on the floor.”

Kayleigh Miller, a four-year starter for the Athens Lady Wildcats, played the final three years of her varsity career for her father — Brian Miller.

Coach Miller fought back some emotions during the ceremony.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “Seeing her grow up with the game … coming in as a fourth-grader, going to the Pink ‘Cats, the Waverly Basketball camps, then playing junior high, and AAUs, and playing for coach (Kelly) Burkhart, and then for me, and soon on to college.

“And seeing how hard she worked,” noted Brian Miller. “Nothing was given to her … she really had to work to be a good basketball player. She’s not the type of athlete that it comes naturally to … she’s worked at it, and watched and learned from other girls.

“She’s come a long way from a little twerp in fourth grade.

“I’m proud of her as a Dad, and as a coach, it’s the same thing,” he continued. “You see a player come in, and they want to live their dream and play college basketball at any level, that’s great.

“It takes a special person to make the type of commitment you need to play in college,” added Brian Miller.

Coach Miller believes Kayleigh will be successful at the next level.

“She’s a great shooter, and she really shares the ball well,” he said. “She’s a systems-type girl, so hopefully, Penn College has a system.

“She’ll fit in there, shooting the jump shot, sharing the ball with her teammates, and working hard every day in practice — you’re only as good as how hard you work in practice,” noted Miller. “Kayleigh loves the game of basketball, and she loves to come to practice, and work hard every day in practice.

“(Penn Tech) is getting a player that wants to make her self better, and the team better,” he added. “She’s going to be an asset to the program.”

Coach Miller admits she still has work to do to be ready for next level.

“She probably needs to work on her speed and quickness,” he said. “When you get to the next level, everybody is fast, quick, and stronger. This summer, she’s going to hit the weight room and try to make herself bigger, stronger, and faster.

“And, she’ll need to fine-tune all her skills — ball-handling, driving to the basket, increasing her range as a jump shooter,” he added.

Kayleigh Miller also knows she has things to work on.

“I definitely need to work on driving to the basket, and drawing contact so I can get to the foul line,” she said. “Also, I’ll keep working on my outside shot because they need outside shooters. I need to make sure I can knock down the 3-point shot when I’m open.”

Kayleigh Miller said she’s like to stay involved in sports in the future.

“Right now, I’m planning on majoring in Marketing, with video editing skills for digital marketing,” she said. “I’d really like to work with sports, and edit highlight reels.”

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ATHENS ROLLS OVER NORTH PENN-LIBERTY, 62-16

ATHENS ROLLS OVER NORTH PENN-LIBERTY, 62-16

January 27, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens used a 35-3 blitz over the middle two quarters to forge a 62-16 rout of North Penn-Liberty here Wednesday night in NTL girls basketball action.

Senior Kayleigh Miller got off to a hot start, canning four 3-pointers in the first half en route to 16 points before the intermission.

“We moved the ball around great tonight setting up each other for a good offensive night,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “And, Kayleigh shot the ball great tonight from the perimeter.”

Miller scored eight points in the first quarter to help the Lady Wildcats to an 11-8 lead.

She added two more 3-pointers, and eight more points in the second quarter, and senior Megan Collins buried a 3-pointer and scored five points to fuel a 19-1 Athens outburst that upped the lead to 30-9 at the halftime break.

Junior Caydence Macik took over in the third quarter, scoring eight points in a 16-2 run that pushed the Lady Wildcat lead to 46-11 entering the final eight minutes.

Sophomore Karlee Bartlow scored five points in the fourth quarter, and senior Rachel Stephens added four points in a 16-5 game-ending run for the Lady Wildcats.

Miller led Athens with 23 points, including five 3-pointers, five assists, and four rebounds. She made 9 of 17 shots from the field, including 5 of 9 from behind the 3-point arc.

Macik had 13 points, four rebounds, four steals, and four blocked shots in the win, while Collins added eight points, including a pair of treys on just two shots from behind the arc, three steals, and three assists, and Stephens added four points and four rebounds.

Sophomore Natalee Watson chipped in with four points and three rebounds, while freshman Mya Thompson and senior Hannah Blackman collected four and three rebounds, respectively.

Kiersten Mistifer and Jaclyn Nelson led NP-L with five points apiece.

Athens, now 8-1, hosts Cowanesque Valley Friday.

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ATHENS TAKES DOWN TOWANDA, 54-18

ATHENS TAKES DOWN TOWANDA, 54-18

January 27, 2021 Chris Manning

TOWANDA — Athens won 10 of 13 matches to defeat Towanda 54-18 in NTL wrestling action Wednesday.

The Wildcats received five forfeits and three falls, but also picked up two close wins as junior Lucas Forbes (145) used a third-period cradle to beat Garrett Chapman, 8-4, and junior Colin Rosh (189) won 3-2 over Spencer Jennings.

Athens coach Shawn Bradley was pleased with how his kids performed in the rivalry match Wednesday.

“Some of the kids are just starting to come around,” said Bradley.  “We reversed the one decision from Saturday at 189. Colin (Rosh) wrestled a good match. Lucas wrestled that boy on Saturday and Garrett actually wrestled better today than he did there, so hat’s off to him, but Lucas found a way to win.”

Overall, the Wildcats won five of the six matches wrestled on the mat.

“A good team effort,” said Bradley. “I wish everybody else had a chance to wrestle, but we’re just happy to get a chance to wrestle.”

Athens jumped out to a 24-0 lead on four forfeits: Joshua Courtney (113), Gavin Bradley (120), Mason Vanderpool (126) and Landon McGrath (132).

At 138 pounds, Athens junior Kaden Setzer got a second-period fall over Dillon Gallagher. Setzer used two takedowns and three sets of back points to build a 12-1 lead in the first period.

In the second, they started neutral with Setzer quickly getting his third takedown and using it to get the pin in 2:28.

The 145-pound match was closer, with Chapman being the aggressor, getting in on two single-leg shots in the first period. Forbes got out-of-bounds on the first and time ran out on the second, keeping it a 0-0 score.

In the second period, it was Forbes getting the first takedown to go up 2-0, but a Chapman reversal tied things up at 2-all. Forbes scored an escape, but Chapman finally got the takedown he was looking for late in the period to take a 4-3 lead into the third.

In the final period, Forbes scored a reversal, then turned Chapman for three back-points to get the decision.

Sophomore Chris Bathgate (152) and junior Karter Rude (160) got quick falls for Athens; Bathgate pinned Zayne McPeak in 1:04, while Rude pinned Brandon Lantz in 29 seconds.

Senior Zach Stafursky scored a forfeit at 172 to make it a 51-0 lead.

Rosh’s match against Spencer Jennings was close at 189 pounds. The two tied up for much of the first period. In the second, Jennings got the takedown to go up 2-0 ,with Rosh scoring an escape point.

Rosh started down in the third period, and tied things up with an escape. Then, late in the third period, Spencer was called for a penalty as he grabbed Rosh’s headgear, giving the Wildcat the 3-2 win.

Clay Watkins got Towanda on the scoreboard with a forfeit at 215.

Then at 285, Towanda’s Alex Perez scored two first period takedowns to go up 4-1. Both were on the edge of the mat.

In the second Athens freshman Josh Nittinger rolled out for an escape to make it 4-2 after four minutes.

Perez took down in the third and was able to get Nittinger’s leg. He stood up, lifted Nittinger’s leg up and then took him straight to his back for the fall in 4:24.

Towanda’s John Parker (106) scored a forfeit in the final bout.

Athens, now 7-3, returns to action Saturday at the Montgomery Duals.

——————

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ATHENS JVs TOP NP-LIBERTY, 43-19; IMPROVE TO 5-4

ATHENS JVs TOP NP-LIBERTY, 43-19; IMPROVE TO 5-4

January 27, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens jumped out to an early lead, and pulled away for a 43-19 win over North Penn-Liberty here Wednesday night in NTL junior varsity girls basketball action.

Emma Bronson knocked down a 3-pointer and scored five points in the first quarter, and Karlee Bartlow added four points to help Athens to an 11-4 lead after the first eight minutes.

Bartlow scored four more points in a defensive-minded second quarter that saw the junior Lady Wildcats outscore NP-L, 6-3, to up their advantage to 17-7 at the half.

Bartlow scored six points and Mya Thompson added four points in a 14-6 run that stretched the Athens lead to 31-13 entering the final eight minutes.

Bartlow led Athens with 14 points and four rebounds, while Thompson had eight points, 16 rebounds, six steals, three blocked shots, and two assists, and Bronson added seven points, six steals, and two blocked shots

Aislynn Thomas chipped in with four points in the win, while Izzy Davis grabbed four rebounds, and Amber Galvin had two assists.

Darby Stetter and Mackenzie Broughton led NP-L with four points apiece.

Athens, now 5-4, hosts Cowanesque Valley Friday.

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ATHENS LETS BIG LEAD SLIP AWAY; RE-GROUPS TO EDGE SULLIVAN COUNTY IN DOUBLE-OT

ATHENS LETS BIG LEAD SLIP AWAY; RE-GROUPS TO EDGE SULLIVAN COUNTY IN DOUBLE-OT

January 25, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens let a 14-point third-quarter slip away, and twice needed points in the final seconds to force extra play on its way to a double-overtime, 60-58, win over Sullivan County here Monday night in non-league girls basketball action.

“We had our backs against the wall at the end of the first quarter, and we had our backs against the wall at the end of the first overtime, and we made plays on offense and defense to tie the game,” said Athens coach Brian Miller.

“Then, we made plays early in the second overtime to get the lead, and we were able to hold on to the lead,” he noted.

“It showed some guts and determination,” added Miller. “It’s good to play a game like that … to have to execute down the stretch to win those close games.”

The Wildcats also beat Northeast Bradford in double-overtime to open the season.

“And, we’re undefeated in double-overtime games, so that’s good,” laughed Miller.

Athens built a 14-point lead midway through the third quarter, but foul trouble took its toll.

“We turned the ball over a lot in the full-court, and in the half,” said Miller. “They were pressuring our guards all over the place, so we couldn’t enter the ball into the post, or run our offense, and we had some silly turnovers.

“The most disappointing part was we built the lead to 14 points in the third quarter, then we had a couple girls get in foul trouble,” he noted. “We made some really silly mistakes, and the next thing you know it’s a ball game in the fourth quarter.

“We had some really uncharacteristic turnovers in the half-court set, and in the full-court,” added Miller.

Sullivan County closed the third quarter with a 9-0 run to trim the deficit to 40-33 entering the final eight minutes.

The Lady Griffins eventually took the lead, and were up two in the closing seconds when junior Caydence Macik — who scored 18 of Athens’ 21 second-half points, including all eight in the fourth quarter, rebounded an Athens missed and scored on the putback with 2 seconds remaining to tie the game at 48-48 and send the game into overtime.

Sullivan County took the lead early in the extra session with four straight points, but Athens tied the game on a pair of free throws by senior Kayleigh Miller with 15 seconds remaining.

The Lady Wildcat defense then held Sullivan County without a shot in the closing seconds.

In the second overtime period, Macik drained a pair of free throws to give Athens a 58-56, then added a bucket with 40 seconds remaining to up the lead to 60-56.

“This is a good win for us,” said Miller. “The girls played hard, and overcame some adversity. This will help us in the long run.”

Miller, who was limited to just four free throws after the intermission in part due to foul trouble, knocked down a 3-pointer and scored seven points in the opening stanza to help the Lady Wildcats to a 9-7 lead.

Macik scored eight points in the second quarter, while Miller added five, including her second 3-pointer, and senior Megan Collins buried a trey in the Lady ‘Cats’ 18-13 run that pushed the lead to 27-20 at the break.

Macik scored 10 points, and Collins was 3-for-3 from the line after being fouled on a shot from behind the arc as Athens stretched its lead to 40-26 with 2 1/2 remaining in the third quarter.

Macik, who made 15 of 22 shots from the field, led Athens with a career-high 34 points, to go along with 11 rebounds, four assists,  two steals, and one blocked shot, while Miller had 16 points, eight rebounds, and five assists,

Collins had six points and four boards in the win, while sophomore Karlee Bartlow chipped in with four points, five assists, and two steals, and senior Hannah Blackman grabbed four rebounds.

Sophia Springman led Sullivan County with 22 points, and Bethany Beinlich and Kassidy Beinlich added 12 points apiece.

Athens was 11 of 13 from the free-throw line in the contest, while Sullivan County was 13 of 29.

Athens, now 7-1, hosts North Penn-Liberty Wednesday.

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ATHENS JVs DROP DECISION TO SULLIVAN; TOP TROY, 31-21

ATHENS JVs DROP DECISION TO SULLIVAN; TOP TROY, 31-21

January 25, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Sullivan County used an 18-6 fourth-quarter run to blow open a close game on its way to a 41-26 win over Athens here Monday night in non-league junior varsity girls basketball action.

Sullivan County led 8-4 after the first eight minutes, then extended the lead to five points, at 15-10, at the half.

The junior Wildcats trimmed the deficit to three points, at 23-20, entering the final eight minutes. Natalee Watson led the way in the third quarter with four points.

Mya Thompson and Watson led Athens with six points apiece, and Karlee Bartlow and Abby Champion added four points each.

Watson and Braelynn Wood led Athens with three rebounds apiece, while Emma Bronson had four assists and two steals, Bartlow had two steals and two assists, and Thompson registered three blocked shots and two steals.

Stella Harney led Sullivan County with 19 points, including 11 in the second half.

SATURDAY
Athens 31, Troy 21

At Troy, Athens raced out to a 16-point lead en route to a 31-21 win over Troy Saturday at the Troy Commons Building.

Karlee Bartlow scored seven points, and Braelynn Wood added four markers to power Athens in an 11-0 first-quarter run.

Bartlow added four more points in the second quarter to fuel a 10-5 spurt that gave the junior Wildcats a 21-5 lead at the halftime intermission.

Bartlow scored 16 points to lead Athens, while Emma Bronson had six points, four rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots, Wood added six points, and Mya Thompson contributed five rebounds, three steals, two assists, and two blocked shots.

Athens, now 3-4, hosts North Penn-Liberty Wednesday.

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ATHENS SHAKES OFF EARLY SHOOTING WOES; TOPS TROY, 51-22

ATHENS SHAKES OFF EARLY SHOOTING WOES; TOPS TROY, 51-22

January 23, 2021 Tim Birney

TROY — Athens overcame some first-half shooting woes to post a 51-22 win over Troy here Saturday afternoon in NTL Large School Division girls basketball action at the Troy Commons Building.

“We struggled early making open jump shots,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “But, we got our legs under us and made some nice shots and executed much better in the second half.

“And, shooting 19-21 from the foul line was outstanding,” added Miller.

Senior Kayleigh Miller scored four points in the first quarter, and senior Megan Collins added a 3-pointer to help Athens to a 9-4 lead after the first eight minutes.

Miller canned a 3-pointer and scored five points in the second quarter as Athens added two points to its advantage, taking an 18-11 lead into the halftime locker room.

Junior Caydence Macik took over in the second half.

Macik scored eight points in the third quarter, and Miller added four points to account for all the Lady Wildcats’ points in a 12-5 run that pushed their lead to 30-16.

Macik added nine more points, including a 5-for-5 effort from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, and Miller added six points in a 21-6 blitz that blew the game open.

“Emma Bronson had a good second half,” said Miller. “She played the passing lanes, and was finding girls in transition.”

The Lady Wildcats made 13 of 14 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter, and 19 of 21 in the contest. Miller was 8 of 9 from the line, and Macik made 7 of 8, while sophomore Emma Bronson and sophomore Braelynn Wood were both 2-for-2.

Macik led Athens with 21 points, 13 rebounds, four steals, and two blocked shots, while Miller had 19 points, six rebounds, and four assists, and Collins added five points, a team-high six assists, and four boards.

Sophomore Karlee Bartlow grabbed seven rebounds in the win, while Bronson had four steals, and three rebounds, and sophomore Natalie Watson chipped in with four boards.

Sydney Taylor led Troy with 11 points and Hannah Zimmerman was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line for seven points.

Athens, now 6-1, returns to action Monday when it hosts Sullivan County — the first of three home games next week for the Lady Wildcats.

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ATHENS CROWNS FOUR CHAMPIONS AT JARVIS TOURNAMENT

ATHENS CROWNS FOUR CHAMPIONS AT JARVIS TOURNAMENT

January 23, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens crowned four champions — juniors Gavin Bradley, Kaden Setzer, and Karter Rude, and sophomore Chris Bathgate — here Saturday at the annual Jarvis Memorial Wrestling Tournament.

The Wildcats also had one runner-up in senior Zach Stafursky, and four third-place finishers in juniors Lucas Forbes and Gavin McGrath, and freshmen Josh Courtney and Mason Vanderpool. Sayre sophomore Glen Romberger also recorded a third-place finish.

Bradley was 3-0 in march to first place at 113 pounds.

He recorded pins of 23 seconds over Mifflinburg’s Dylan Starr, and 4 seconds over Williamson’s Chelsea Hungerford.

Bradley finished his day with a 17-5 major decision of Benton’s Chase Burke.

Also at 113 pounds, Josh Courtney was 2-1 on the day to finish third.

Courtney forged a 14-0 major decision over Mifflinburg’s Dylan Starr in his first bout, lost via fall in 68 seconds to Burke in his next bout.

Courtney closed out the tournament with a pin of Hungerford in 28 seconds.

Setzer was dominant in his 138-pound title run, registering four falls — all in the first period.

He scored a 41-second fall over teammate Brock Dennison, and a 69-second fall over Benton’s Remington Morrow.

Setzer then decked Williamson’s Aiden Passerallo in 9 seconds, and finished off his day with a pin of Sayre senior Bobby Benjamin in 1:54.

Benjamin finished the day at 1-3, with a pin of Passerallo in 3:56 his only win. Dennison finished the day 0-4.

Rude also pinned his way to the 160-pound title, recording three first-period fall.

Rude pinned Williamson’s Cody Fleming in 1:54, then decked Benton’s Dereck Deitz in 28 seconds. He finished the day with a pin of Towanda’s Brandon Lantz in 77 seconds.

Bathgate went 3-0, including a pair of first-period falls to win the 152-pound title.

Bathgate pinned Towanda’s Zane McPeak in 1:20, and decked Benton’s Nick Stevens in 48 seconds. He also won via injury default over Towanda’s Evan Johnson.

Stafursky finished 2-1 to place second at 172 pounds.

Stafursky was pinned by returning PIAA place-finisher Nolan Lear (5th at 160 pounds) of Benton in 3:40 for his only setback of the day.

He pinned teammate Josiah Stringham in 1:28, and then edged Benton’s Mason Michael, 7-5, for his two wins

Stringham was 0-3 on the day.

At 120 pounds, Vanderpool was 2-2 to finish third, and sophomore Layla Bennett was 1-3.

Vanderpool pinned Williamson’s Mason Kelsey in 39 seconds, and Bennett in 1:50 for his two wins. He lost via fall to Benton’s Dylan Granahan and Mifflinburg’s Brady Struble, who finished 1-2 in the weight class.

Bennett’s win came via fall over Kelsey in 2:58.

McGrath went 1-2 to finish third in the 132-pound weight class. His lone win was a 34-second fall over Mifflinburg’s Jeremy Page.

He lost via technical fall to returning state qualifier Gable Strickland of Benton, and via fall to Williamson’s Nathaniel Welch. Strickland won the weight class with a technical fall of Welch.

At 145 pounds, Forbes went 2-2 to finish third in the weight class.

Forbes pinned teammate Jadon Rice in 3:20, and Towanda’s Garrett Chapman in 4:41 for his two wins.

He lost via second-period fall to Mifflinburg’s Troy Bingaman, and first-period fall to Benton’s Mason Smith. Bingaman was 4-0, including a technical fall win over Smith, to win the weight class.

Romberger finished 3-1 on the day to finish third in the 189-pound weight class.

Romberger registered falls over Athens junior Colin Rosh in 3:48, Williamson’s Ian Bump in 30 seconds, and Williamson’s Jonathan Melendez in 1:14.

His lone loss was via first-period pinfall to Benton’s Jake Bobersky, who won the weight class.

Rosh finished 0-4 on the day.

At 285 pounds, freshman Josh Nittinger was 1-2 on the day, logging a first-period fall of Towanda’s Jared Gunther for his only win.

Other champs on the day were Towanda’s J.B. Parker at 106 pounds, Mifflinburg’s Gabe Gramly at 126, Williamson’s Mike Sipps at 215, and Mifflinburg’s Emmanuel Ulrich at 285.

Athens returns to action Tuesday at Troy, while Sayre travels to Canton Tuesday.

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ANOTHER COMEBACK WIN! ATHENS RALLIES IN FOURTH TO EDGE WYALUSING, 52-51

ANOTHER COMEBACK WIN! ATHENS RALLIES IN FOURTH TO EDGE WYALUSING, 52-51

January 22, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Junior J.J. Babcock scored 11 points in the final 3 1/2 minutes of the game, including a pair of free throws with 10.2 seconds remaining, to help Athens erase a nine-point deficit, and post a 52-51 win over Wyalusing here Friday night in NTL boys basketball action.

“J.J (Babcock) took over at the end,” said Athens coach Jim Lister. “He has a lot of God-given talent, and he’s a hell of a player.”

The win marks the second Friday in a row, the Wildcats needed a major fourth-quarter comeback. Last week, Athens trailed Wellsboro by 16 with 5:07 remaining, and rallied for a 54-53 win.

Lister said he’s hoping it doesn’t become a habit.

“It’s frustrating. It’s like we struggle for 3 1/2 quarters, then we wake up. This is the third time this has happened,” he said.

“We did not play very good basketball, but the one thing I will say about these kids is, they don’t quit — they play right to the very end.

“I wish I had the answers, but it seems to come together in the fourth quarter,” added Lister.

Junior Tucker Brown, off a feed from Babcock, gave Athens a 2-1 with 6:49 remaining in the first quarter. It would be the Wildcats’ only lead until the final minute of the game.

A 3-pointer by Grayden Cobb gave the Rams a 6-3 lead with 5:23 left in the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Hunter Moss, and another by Cobb pushed the lead to 14-7 about 2 1/2 minutes later.

A bucket by Babcock, an old-fashioned three-point play by junior Troy Pritchard, and a free throw by Brown trimmed the lead to 14-13 with 2:03 left in the first quarter, but the Rams closed the quarter with a 6-0 spurt, capped by a 3-pointer by Moss to make it 20-13 after the first eight minutes.

Lister and Babcock, off a nifty pick-and-roll with Brown, scored buckets to open the second quarter, and trim the deficit to 20-17.

The teams traded scores until Isaiah Way knocked down a shot in the lane to give the Rams a 28-23 lead with 4:20 left in the first half.

Way added four free throws, and Kashawn Cameron scored on a driving lay-up to complete an 8-2 first-half ending spurt that sent the Rams to the halftime locker room with a 34-25 lead.

Lister credited Wyalusing for its patient offense in the first half.

“They run that weave at the top (of the key), and try to get you to fall asleep,” he said. “They make you play defense, and when you take a second off, they cut to the lane, or kick it out.

“We worked on it at practice for an hour last night, and we still struggled with it.

“(In the first half) I was just trying to find the right combination that would work,” added Lister. “Honestly, what worked in the fourth quarter was full-court man-to-man; that’s what got us back in the game.”

Lister also pointed to his team’s shooting woes in the first half. The ‘Cats made 8 of 32 shots (25 percent) from the field.

“We had good, high-percentage shots in the first half,” he said. “We just weren’t making them. We were missing lay-ups, the shots we have to make, we weren’t making.”

A driving lay-up by Mitchell Burke midway through the third quarter gave Wyalusing its biggest lead of the game, at 49-37.

A conventional three-point play by Babcock, and a free throw by junior Nalen Carling trimmed the deficit to 49-41 with 54 seconds remaining, but a driving lay-up Burke pushed the lead back to 10.

A point-blank jumper by Pritchard with 20 seconds remaining, pulled Athens within eight points, at 41-33, entering the fourth quarter.

A pair of free throws by Abram Bennett gave Wyalusing a 48-37 lead with 4:14 remaining, but Burke fouled out of the game 13 seconds later, and the Wildcats closed the game with a 15-3 blitz.

“Credit Athens, it was a great effort to get back in the game,” said Wyalusing coach Brent Keyes.

“When the game got going up-and-down, we got in foul trouble, and it took some of our leadership off the floor,”” he noted.

“We got sped up, and turned the ball over,” added Keyes. “We gave too many possessions away in the second half.”

Babcock started the run with a short jumper with 3:30 left in the game. After a pair of Wyalusing turnovers, Babcock scored on a baseline drive, and added a free throw to complete the three-point play, trimming the deficit to 48-42 with 2:59 left in the game.

After a Wyalusing time out, Babcock came up with a steal in the Ram end, and scored on a breakaway lay-up to make it 48-44 with 2:21 left in the game.

Following another Wyalusing turnover, Brown was fouled on a drive to the bucket, and converted both free throws to trim the deficit to 48-46 with 1:53 remaining.

After both teams came up with defensive stops, Babcock recorded a steal, and found Carling in the lane with a shovel pass for an open jumper to tie the game at 48-48 with 1:04 remaining.

With both teams in the double-bonus, Bennett made 1 of 2 free throws with 57 seconds remaining, but Babcock tipped in an Athens miss16 seconds later to give the Wildcats a 50-49 lead.

With 29.7 seconds remaining, Way went to the line and drained a pair of free throws to give the Rams a 51-50 lead.

With 10.7 seconds remaining, Brown found Babcock open in the lane, and he was fouled. Babcock drained both free throws to provide the final margin, but the game didn’t end without a bit more drama.

Wyalusing in-bounded the ball, and called timeout when it cleared half court with 4.3 seconds. After the time out, a baseline jumper by the Rams was long, and Blake Morningstar was johnny-on-the-spot on the weak side with an offensive rebound, but his short jumper spun off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Babcock led Athens with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Pritchard scored nine points, Brown had seven points, sophomore Mason Lister added five points, and senior James Benninger-Jones chipped in with four points.

Way led a balanced Wyalusing attack with 12 points, six rebounds, and one blocked shot, while Burke had 11 points and four rebounds, and Moss scored seven points.

Cobb scored six points for the Rams, while Morningstar added five points, five rebounds, three steals, and one blocked shot, Cameron had four points and three rebounds, and Bennett chipped in with four points.

Athens, now 6-2, returns to action Tuesday at North Penn-Liberty.

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ATHENS JVs ROLLS TO 41-18 WIN OVER WYALUSING

ATHENS JVs ROLLS TO 41-18 WIN OVER WYALUSING

January 22, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens took an early lead, and pulled away during the middle two quarters for a 41-18 win over Wyalusing here Friday night in NTL junior varsity boys basketball action.

Lucas Kraft scored six points in the first quarter to help the junior Wildcats to a 12-5 lead after the first eight minutes.

Chris Mitchell scored four points in the second quarter, Carson Smith knocked down a 3-pointer, and Kraft added an old-fashioned three-point play to account for the scoring in a 10-3 run that pushed the lead to 22-8 at the half.

The junior Wildcats duplicated the 10-3 run in the third quarter, with four points by Smith and a 3-pointer by Conner Mosher doing most of the damage. They led 32-11 heading into the final eight minutes.

Korey Miller buried a 3-pointer and scored five points in the fourth quarter as Athens added two points to its lead.

Mitchell led Athens with 11 points, while Kraft and Smith scored nine points apiece, and Miller and Mosher chipped in with five points apiece.

Trenton Hugo and Nick Vanderpool led Wyalusing with five points apiece.

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