ATHENS GIRLS, BOYS SWIM TO WINS OVER TOWANDA ON 'SENIOR NIGHT'

ATHENS GIRLS, BOYS SWIM TO WINS OVER TOWANDA ON 'SENIOR NIGHT'

January 19, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — The Athens swim teams both recorded wins over Towanda on “Senior Night” here Tuesday afternoon in NTL swimming & diving action.

“The seniors had a great night and lots of fun,” said Keister. “We had several very close races that made are nearly empty pool area roar. 

“Senior Emma Roe and junior Raven McCarthy-Gardner tried out some new dives,” he added. “And, we had an all seniors boys medley relay.

It wasn’t all about the seniors, though.

“The freshmen also did well,” said Keister. “For example, Grace Cobb dropped nearly 23 seconds in the 500 free from last week.”

GIRLS
Athens 110, Towanda 51

Sophomores Taegan Williams and Taylar Fisher won four events apiece, and junior Raven McCarthy-Gardner and freshman Emily Marshall were each triple-winners to lead Athens to a 110-51 win over Towanda.

Williams won the 200-yard IM in 2:40.98. She also won the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 6:04.97, and Cobb was second in 7:15.44.

Fisher won the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 1:16.59, and Marshall was second in 1:26.08. Fisher also won the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:13.56.

Marshall led a sweep in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 2:33.02, while freshman Isabella Potter was second in 2:33.97, and Cobb was third in 2:38.64.

McCarthy-Gardner won the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:25.03, and Potter was third in 1:35.77.

Williams, Fisher, McCarthy-Gardner, and Marshall teamed to win the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 2:00.59, while Fisher, Williams, McCarthy-Gardner, and sophomore Macaria Benjamin teamed to win the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 2:17.36.

Marshall, senior Kaitlin Kisner, Cobb and freshman Rebeca Gifeisman teamed to win the 400-yard freestyle relay in a time of 5:06.18.

Senior Emma Roe won the 1-meter diving competition with 153.7 points, and McCarthy-Gardner was second with 103.75 points.

Kisner finished second int he 50-yard freestyle in a time of 31.23, and Benjamin was third in 34.36 seconds. Kisner was also second in the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 1:09.74.

BOYS
Athens 75, Towanda 54

Senior Mason Henderson won four events and sophomore Chris DeForest was a triple-winner to lead Athens to a 75-54 win in the boys meet.

Sophomore Ethan Denlinger and senior Zac Gowin were double-winners for the Wildcats.

Henderson won the 200-yard IM in 2:37.11. He also won the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 58.6 seconds.

DeForest won the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 2:08.76, and sophomore Joe Blood was third in 2:31.95. DeForest also won the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 1:05.8.

Denlinger won the 500-yard freestyle in time of 6:0903, and Gowin was second in 6:19.89.

Henderson and Gowin teamed with seniors Joe Toscano and Lucas Aquilio to win the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 2:07.16.

Henderson, DeForest, Gowin, and Denlinger teamed to win the 200-yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:48.11.

Toscano finished second in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 26.32 seconds, and Aquilio was third in 30.71 seconds. Toscano also finished second in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:11.57.

Aquilio finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:31.43, and senior Asher Ellis was third in 1:37.16.

Athens is scheduled to swim against Danville at Towanda Saturday.

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ATHENS BEATS WYALUSING FOR FIRST TIME IN 12 YEARS

ATHENS BEATS WYALUSING FOR FIRST TIME IN 12 YEARS

January 19, 2021 Tim Birney

WYALUSING — Junior Gavin Bradley and sophomore Jake Courtney set the tone early, and senior Zach Stafursky clinched the win late in Athens’ 40-25 win over Wyalusing — the Wildcats’ first win over the Rams in 12 years — here Tuesday night in NTL wrestling action.

Athens coach Shawn Bradley, who has been with the Wildcat program in one capacity or another for more than two decades, could not recall the last time they had beaten the Rams.

“Honestly, I don’t remember the last time we beat them. It sucks that I have to say that, but it’s true” laughed Bradley. “Hats off to them, they have a good program.

“I told our guys after the match, the difference between this year’s team, and years in the past is that every kid went out there and battled their butt off,” noted Bradley. “There were two matches we should have won, and two more we were in.

“I’m proud of the guys. They are all working hard in the room,” added Bradley. “These guys really pushed themselves, and gave a great effort today.”

A major key to the Athens win was bonus points. Athens scored 13 bonus points to Wyalusing’s one.

“Our guys battled, and kept every match close,” said Bradley.

After an Athens forfeit at 106 pounds, and Wyalusing forfeits at 113 and 120, Gavin Bradley, who placed seventh at Hershey last year, and sixth as a freshman, took the mat against Wyalusing’s Hunter Manahan.

Bradley scored a takedown just 14 seconds into the bout, and rode Manahan for the remainder of the period, unable to turn him for additional points.

Bradley scored a takedown five seconds into the second period, and forced Manahan to his back with a turk for three near-fall points, and a 7-0 lead. He rode top for the final 80 seconds of the period.

Bradley escaped nine seconds into the third period, and scored a takedown 10 seconds later for a 10-0 lead.

Over the next 89 seconds, Bradley cut Manahan loose and scored takedowns until he secured a 20-5 technical fall at 5:56.

“Gavin (Bradley) had to give up 12 pounds, but if we’re going to beat that team, that’s what we have to do,” said Bradley. “We need to rely on our two-time state medalist to get it done, and he did.”

“Gavin wrestled very well,” added Bradley. “The best thing about that win is the kid who beat him first at States last year was about 6-foot tall … (Manahan) is quite a bit taller, so it was good to see Gavin handle him the way he did.”

Jake Courtney was next at 132 pounds for the Wildcats.

He fell behind Owen Hadlock, 4-2, after the first two minutes, but used three takedowns in the second period, including one with 3 seconds remaining following a scramble, to take an 8-6 lead into the final two minutes.

Courtney led 10-7 when he locked Hadlock up in a cradle for a fall at 4:45.

“Jake got a really big win for us. He started slow, but he has a huge gas tank, he has that Courtney gas tank,” said Bradley. “He kept scoring points, and kept wrestling.

“He wrestles hard in practice … now if we can get him to start a little bit faster, he’ll be there with some really good guys,” added Bradley.

With Athens up 23-6, junior Kaden Setzer put on a dominating display with a series of trap-arm tilts for a 16-0 technical fall of Cade McMicken to make it 28-6. The final two-point tilt came at the first-period buzzer.

Skyler Manahan gave the Rams their first win on the mat at 145 pounds, with a 10-2 decision over Lucas Forbes.

Manahan built a 4-0 lead with takedowns in each of the first two periods, and led 4-1 entering the third period after being dinged for a stalling point.

Leading 5-2, Manahan scored a five-point move in the final 10 seconds for the majority decision to trim the Athens lead to 28-10.

At 152 pounds, Wyalusing’s Nick Woodruff earned a hard-fought, 4-2, decision over Chris Bathgate to cut the Wildcat advantage to 28-13.

Woodruff scored a takedown midway through the first period, but Bathgate tied the bout at 2-2 with a reversal with just 18 seconds remaining in the second period.

Woodruff took a 4-2 lead on a takedown with 1:12 remaining in the third period, and was able to ride top for the remainder of the bout.

The Rams crept a bit closer at 160 pounds, thanks to Colbrin Nolan’s 7-5 win over Karter Rude.

After a scoreless first period, Nolan escaped to start the second, but a five-point move by Rude gave him a short-lived, 5-1, lead. Nolan reversed Rude to his back moments later to tie the bout at 5-5.

In the third period, Nolan scored a takedown on a go-behind with 52 seconds remaining, and rode out the remainder of the bout.

At 172 pounds, Wyalusing’s Brian Arnold scored a reversal midway through the second period to take a 2-0 lead, but Zach Stafursky was able to escape moments later to trim his deficit to 2-1.

With 1:10 remaining in the third period, Stafursky registered a reversal to take a 3-2 lead, then locked in a cradle for the fall at 5:16 to give Athens an insurmountable, 34-16, lead with three weight classes remaining.

“(Zach) finished that match nicely. He got it done when he had to,” said Bradley. “Now, if we can get him going in the first two periods, he’ll be tough.”

At 189 pounds, Wyalusing’s Alex Hunsinger turned in a workmanlike performance in a 10-4 win over Colin Rosh to cut the Athens lead to 34-19.

Hunsinger scored takedowns in each of the first two periods, and led 5-2 entering the final two minutes.

In the third period, he scored two more takedowns to secure the decision.

After an Athens forfeit at 215 pounds cut the Wildcat advantage to 34-25, freshman Josh Nittinger put the finishing touches on the win for Athens with a pin of Dereck Baldwin in 33 seconds to provide the final margin.

After the match, Bradley succinctly summed up the feelings of most coaches and wrestlers.

“I’m just glad we’re getting the chance to wrestle.”

Athens, now 5-3, returns to action Thursday when it hosts Sayre and NEB, while the Rams, now -1-1, travel to Towanda Friday.

——————

IN PHOTO 1: Athens junior Gavin Bradley. … PHOTOS BY DAVID ALLIGER — TRAVELING PORTRAITS.

——————

ATHENS 40, WYALUSING 25
106: Clayton Carr (W) won by forfeit;
113: Joshua Courtney (A) won by forfeit;
120: Mason Vanderpool (A) won by forfeit;
126: Gavin Bradley (A) tech. fall over Hunter Manahan (W), 20-5 @ 5:56;
132: Jacob  Courtney (A) by fall over Owen Hadlock (W), 4:45;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) tech. fall over Cade McMicken (W), 16-0 @ 2:00;
145: Skyler Manahan (W) major dec. Lucas Forbes (A), 12-2;
152: Nicholas Woodruff (W) dec. Christopher Bathgate (A), 4-2;
160: Colbrin Nolan (W) dec. Karter Rude (A), 7-5;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) by fall over Brian Arnold (W), 5:16;
189: Alex Hunsinger (W) dec. Colin Rosh (A), 10-4;
215: Zachary Shaffer (W) won by forfeit;
285: Joshua Nittinger (A) by fall over Dereck Baldwin (W), 0:33.

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ATHENS JVs FALL AT NORTH-PENN MANSFIELD, 38-23

ATHENS JVs FALL AT NORTH-PENN MANSFIELD, 38-23

January 19, 2021 Tim Birney

MANSFIELD — North Penn-Mansfield held a slim lead after the first eight minutes, but pulled away thanks in large part to a 14-5 third-quarter run for a 38-23 win over Athens here Tuesday night in NTL junior varsity girls basketball action.

The junior Tigers led 9-8 after the first quarter, and 17-12 at the half, before stretching their advantage to 31-17 heading into the final eight minutes.

Mya Thompson led Athens with seven points, five rebounds, and three steals, while Karlee Bartlow had five points, two assists, and two steals, and Natalee Watson had five points and seven rebounds.

Abby Champion added three rebounds and two blocked shots for the junior Lady Wildcats, while Braelynn Wood grabbed four rebounds, and Izzy Davis had three boards.

Athens, now 2-3, returns to action Thursday at Williamson.


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ATHENS KNOCKS OFF SAYRE, 54-41

ATHENS KNOCKS OFF SAYRE, 54-41

January 18, 2021 Tim Birney

SAYRE — Athens used a 15-5 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to blow open a close game en route to a 54-41 win over crosstown rival Sayre here Monday night in NTL boys basketball action.

The Wildcats were successful getting out in transition and converted several breakaway lay-ups throughout the contest.

“We really talk about pushing the ball, and attacking every time we have the ball,” said Athens coach Jim Lister.  “We have the speed and we have the size. We need to take advantage of that and use it … we did that at times tonight.

“It helps having kids who are 6-3, 6-4, 6-5,” added Lister. “It helps us get down the court, it helps us see over the defender, the press isn’t really bothering us.”

Sayre coach Devin Shaw also pointed to Athens’ fast-break success as the difference in the contest.

“I think our biggest problem was, we got beat on the fast break a lot tonight,” he said. “(Athens) got a lot of leak-out points, and I think that was the big difference.

“They built a lead, and it’s hard to come back, especially against a good team that can do that,” added Shaw.

Lister also pointed to his team’s performance on the defensive end of the floor, especially his big men getting out on Sayre’s shooters.

“I thought we had a good defensive night tonight,” he said. “Holding a team to 40 points is going to win you a lot of ball games.

“You have to look at the match-ups. Sayre likes to shoot the ball from the outside,” added Lister. “We had to take that away, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight.”

Sayre’s Lucas Horton buried a 3-pointer to give Sayre a 3-2 lead about 90 seconds into the game, and the teams traded buckets for the next 2 1/2 minutes.

Sayre senior Connor Young’s short jumper in the lane gave Sayre a 7-6 lead with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter. It was the Redskins’ last lead of the game.

Moments later, junior Mason Lister scored on a driving lay-up to give the Wildcats an 8-7, and sparking an 8-0 spurt.

Junior J.J. Babcock made it 10-7 with a putback on the offensive boards, then scored back-to-back uncontested lay-ups in transition to push the lead to 14-7 with 2:20 left in the first quarter.

“I thought we did a good job of attacking the rim in the first quarter, and played some really good basketball,” said Lister. “Then, we got a little complacent in the second quarter.”

After the teams traded buckets to end the first quarter at 18-11, Sayre junior Dom Fabbri drained a 3-pointer to start the second quarter and trim the deficit to 18-14.

Babcock then blocked a shot on the defensive end, and then finished off the fast break on the other end. Moments later, junior Nalen Carling scored in transition to make it 22-14.

Sophomore Jackson Hubbard scored on the offensive boards for the Redskins to spark a 7-0 spurt that was capped by senior Connor Young’s putback to trim the Athens lead to 22-21 with 2:31 remaining int he first half.

After a defensive stop, the Redskins had a chance to take the lead, but missed an open jumper. Athens junior Troy Pritchard rebounded the miss, and found junior Tucker Brown open downcourt with a baseball pass for an easy lay-up to make it 24-21.

Junior Shane Reid scored with 1.2 seconds remaining to give Athens a 28-23 halftime advantage.

Shaw took note of the play of Hubbard and Young.

“You need guys to be able to come of the bench and play a role, do their job when their number is called,” said Shaw. “(Jackson Hubbard) gave us a spark, and helped keep us in the ball game.

“And, Connor (Young) did a great job in the post,” added Shaw. “He’s getting better every day.”

The Redskins held Athens scoreless for nearly four minutes to start the second half, and again trimmed the deficit to one point, at 28-27, but Reid’s runner in the lane with 4:07 sparked a 6-0 spurt that ignited the decisive run.

Young scored from point-blank range with 1 second remaining in the third quarter, but Pritchard and Lister scored buckets in the first minute of the fourth quarter to give the Wildcats a 38-29 lead.

After Sayre senior Matt Lane knocked down a 3-pointer, the Wildcats used an 8-2 spurt that featured a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays by Brown to stretch their lead to 46-34 with 4:12 left in the game.

The Redskins had one final run in them as Fabbri made four consecutive free throws, and Lane added two to trim the Athens lead to 46-40 with 2:37 left in the game.

On Athens’ ensuing possession, Babcock popped open in the paint on an in-bounds play under the bucket for an easy score with 1:57 left in the game to make it 48-40.

After Sayre made 1 of 2 free throws 12 seconds later, Athens put the game away, scoring the final six points of the game.

Lister was pleased with the win, but notes there’s is room for improvement.

“I would just like to see us attack the basket a little bit more,” he said. “We just need to be more efficient on offense, and a little bit sharper, and attack the rim.

“Was it a perfect game? No, we still have to work on getting better,” added Lister. “This league is way too good, you just can’t take a night off.”

Babcock led Athens with 18 points, four rebounds, six assists, and four blocks, while Carling had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Pritchard added with points, three rebounds and three assists.

Brown had eight points and two steals in the win, while Lister had four points, four rebounds, and five assists, and Reid chipped in with four points and five boards.

Fabbri led Sayre with 12 points, while Young posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Hubbard added nine points and five rebounds, and Lane chipped in with five points.

Athens improves to 4-2, and has won three straight, while Sayre falls to 1-3, and has lost three in a row.

Shaw remains positive despite the losses.

“They were all winnable basketball games,” he said. “Obviously, Athens is a good team, but we’re still competing.”

Athens returns to action Wednesday when it hosts North Penn-Mansfield, while Sayre hosts Cowanesque Valley.

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ATHENS JVs FALL TO SAYRE, 33-29

ATHENS JVs FALL TO SAYRE, 33-29

January 18, 2021 Tim Birney

SAYRE — Sayre used a 14-5 second-quarter run to rally from an early deficit, and then held on for a 33-29 win over crosstown rival Athens here Monday evening in NTL junior varsity boys basketball action.

Connor Mosher knocked down a 3-pointer and scored five points to help Athens to a 7-5 lead after the first eight minutes.

In the second quarter, Kannon VanDuzer scored six points, and Josh Arnold added four points as the junior Redskins rallied for a 19-12 halftime lead.

Jackson Hubbard scored four points in the third quarter as Sayre used a 9-6 spurt to stretch its advantage to 28-18 heading into the final eight minutes.

Carson Smith, who knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter, scored four points in the fourth quarter, and Lucas Kraft canned his second trey of the game, but Arnold scored five points in the fourth quarter to help Sayre preserve the victory.

Arnold led Sayre with 17 points, while VanDuzer and Hubbard aded six points apiece.

Smith led Athens with 10 points, while Mosher scored seven, Kraft added six, and Chris Mitchell chipped in with four points.

Sayre improves to 4-0 on the season, while Athens falls to 2-4.

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BRADLEY, RUDE PACE ATHENS TO 3-2 MARK AT LINE MOUNTAIN DUALS

BRADLEY, RUDE PACE ATHENS TO 3-2 MARK AT LINE MOUNTAIN DUALS

January 16, 2021 Tim Birney

HERNDON, Pa. — Juniors Gavin Bradley and Karter Rude each went unbeaten Saturday to help Athens to a 3-2 mark at the Line Mountain Duals in District 4 wrestling action.

Junior Kaden Setzer and sophomore newcomer Chris Bathgate each went 4-1, and sophomore Jake Courtney, junior Colin Rosh, senior Zach Stafursky were both 3-2 on the day. Freshmen Mason Vanderpool, Josh Nittinger and Josh Courtney each had two wins.

The Wildcats knocked off Line Mountain, Hughesville, and Lewisburg, but dropped decisions to Benton and Selinsgrove.

Athens 41, Line Mountain 33
The Wildcats won three of the last four bouts, all by fall, to rally for a 41-33 win over Line Mountain Saturday morning.

Gavin Bradley registered a fall over LM’s Brody Long in 1:14 at 113 pounds, which pair with forfeits received by Nittinger, at 285, to open the match, and Vanderpool, at 120, gave the Wildcats, who issued a forfeit at 106, an 18-6 lead.

After LM’s Lane Schadel edged Jake Courtney, 8-6, at 126 pounds, Athens issued a forfeit at 132, and saw its lead shrink to 18-15.

After Setzer moved through Max Bingaman with a 16-0 technical fall in 3:35 to put the Wildcats ahead 23-15, Line Mountain won by fall at 145 and 152 to take a 27-23 lead.

The LM lead was brief, however, as Rude pinned Chandon Maurer in 1:21 at 160 pounds to move Athens back in front at 29-27.

Stafursky gave the Wildcats some cushion with a pin of Cale King in 2:40 at 172 pounds, and Rosh, at 189, clinched the win with a pin of Isaac Shaffer in 4:46 for an insurmountable 41-27 with one weight class left.

The Wildcats gave up a forfeit at 215 to provide the final margin.

Benton 52, Athens 13
The Wildcats managed just three wins against the powerhouse Benton squad in a 52-13 defeat.

Bradley dominated Dylan Granahan in a 6-0 decision at 120 pounds, but that was the only bout the Wildcats won through 145 pounds, and trailed 28-3.

Bathgate forged a 22-10 major decision over Nick Stevens at 152 pounds, and Rude followed with a 35-second fall over Derek Dietz at 160 pounds to trim the deficit to 28-13, but the Tigers won the next four weight classes, including three by fall to put the match away.

Athens 48, Hughesville 12
Athens won three out of four contested weight classes, and took advantage of a 30-point advantage in forfeit points to forge a 48-12 win over Lewisburg Saturday afternoon.

Junior Lucas Forbes opened the match with a hard-fought, 8-5, win over Reese Moon at 145 pounds to give the Wildcats an early 3-0 lead.

After forfeits to Bathgate (152), Rude (160) and Stafursky (172) pushed the lead to 21-0, Rosh worked a 4-2 decision over Chase Snyder at 189 pounds to make it 24-0.

Forfeits to Bradley and Vanderpool at 113 and 120, respectively, up the Wildcat lead to 36-6, the Jacob Courtney finished off Kadin Fetterman by fall in 5:34 at 126 pounds to make it 42-6.

The teams traded forfeits, with Setzer getting his hand raised at 138 pounds, to provide the final margin.

Athens 51, Lewisburg 18
Athens won five consecutive bouts early on, and improved to 3-1 on the day with a 51-18 win over Lewisburg.

After issuing a forfeit at 106, the Wildcats won five straight weight classes to take a 26-6 lead.

Josh Courtney started the roll with a pin of Quintonq Bartlett in 3:40 at 113 pounds to even the match at 6-6, and Bradley gave the Wildcats the lead for good with a 17-7 major decision over Thomas Lyons at 120 pounds.

Jacob Courtney put on an offensive display in a 24-10 major decision of Derek Gessner at 126 pounds, and, following a forfeit to Layla Bennett at 132 pounds, Setzer capped the Athens run with a pin of Daniel Leao in 23 seconds at 138 pounds.

After a Lewisburg pin at 145 cut the Athens advantage to 23-12, the Wildcats ripped off three more wins to take an insurmountable 39-12 lead.

Bathgate initiated Athens’ three-bout run with a hard-fought, 4-3, decision over Hagen Person at 152 pounds, and Rude followed by decking Hayden Runyon in 85 seconds at 160 pounds. Stafursky finished off the stretch with an 8-0 major decision of Derek Shedleski at 172 pounds.

Following a Lewisburg pin at 189, Athens received forfeits at 215 and 285 to close out the match.

Selinsgrove 45, Athens 21

Athens gave up three forfeits, and a slew of bonus points in a 45-21 setback to Selinsgrove in the final match of the day.

The Seals used a pair of forfeits (215 and 106), sandwiched around a technical fall at 285 pounds, to build an early 17-0 lead.

The Wildcats countered, however, with three straight wins to trim the deficit to 17-15.

At 113 pounds, Josh Courtney pinned Ryan Gavason in 4:40, and Bradley followed with a dominating 20-5 technical fall of Leo Martinez in 4 minutes.

Jacob Courtney finished if off with a 13-5 major decision of Trent Turner t 126 pounds.

Selinsgrove won the next three bouts, including a forfeit at 132 pounds, to push its lead back to 33-15, but Athens stayed alive with back-to-back wins.

Bathgate forged a 6-1 decision over Josiah Foss at 152 pounds, and Rude blanked Cale Bastian, 3-0, at 160 pounds to cut the deficit to 33-21.

The Seals finished off the win with pins at 172 and 189.

——————

ATHENS 41, LINE MOUNTAIN 33

285: Joshua Nittinger (A) won by forfeit;
106: Nolan Baumert (L) won by forfeit;
113: Gavin Bradley (A) by fall over Brody Long (L),1:24;
120: Mason Vanderpool (A) won by forfeit;
126: Lane Schadel (L) dec. Jacob  Courtney (A), 8-6;
132: Mason Leshock (L) won by forfeit;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) tech.fall over Max Bingaman (L), 16-0 @ 3:35;
145: Ian Coller (L) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 0:35;
152: Bryce Carl (L) by fall over Christopher Bathgate (A), 4:32;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Chandon Maurer (L), 1:21;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) by fall over Cale King (L), 2:40;
189: Colin Rosh (A) by fall over Isaac Shaffer (L), 4:46;
215: Dominick Bridi (L) won by forfeit.

BENTON 52, ATHENS 13
113: Chase Burke (B) tech. fall over Joshua Courtney (A), 16-0;
120: Gavin Bradley (A) dec. Dylan Granahan (B), 6-0;
126: Ethan  Kolb (B) tech fall over Jacob  Courtney (A), 15-0;
132: Gable  Strickland (B) won by forfeit;
138: Remington  Morrow (B) by fall over Kaden Setzer (A), 5:09;
145: Mason Smith (B) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 0:18;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) major dec. Nicholas Stevens (B), 22-10;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Derek Dietz (B), 0:35;
172: Nolan Lear (B) by fall over Zachary Stafursky (A), 5:00;
189: Mason Michael (B) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 1:24;
215: Jacob Bobersky (B) won by forfeit;
285: Zach Poust (B) by fall over Joshua Nittinger (A), 2:22;
106: No match.

ATHENS 48, HUGHESVILLE 12
145: Lucas Forbes (A) dec. Reese Moon (H), 8-5;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) won by forfeit;
160: Karter Rude (A) won by forfeit;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) won by forfeit;
189: Colin Rosh (A) dec Chase Snyder (H), 4-2;
215: No match;
285: Caleb Burkhart (H) by fall over Joshua Nittinger (A), 0:58;
106: No match;
113: Gavin Bradley (A) won by forfeit;
120: Mason Vanderpool (A) won by forfeit;
126: Jacob  Courtney (A) by fall over Kadin Fetterman (H), 5:34;
132: Caiden  Puderbach (H) won by forfeit;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) won by forfeit.

ATHENS 51, LEWISBURG 18

106: Jace Gessner (L) won by forfeit;
113: Joshua Courtney (A) by fall over Quintonq Bartlett (L), 3:40;
120: Gavin Bradley (A) major dec. Thomas Lyons (L), 17-7;
126: Jacob  Courtney (A) major dec. Derek Gessner (L), 24-10;
132: Layla  Bennett (A) won by forfeit;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) by fall over Daniel Leao (L), 0:23;
145: Logan  Bartlett (L) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 2:28;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) dec. Hagen Persun (L), 4-3;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Hayden Runyon (L), 1:25;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) major dec. Derek Shedleski (L), 8-0;
189: Trent Wenrich (L) by fall over Josiah Stringham (A), 1:58;
215: Colin Rosh (A) won by forfeit;
285: Joshua Nittinger (A) won by forfeit.

SELINSGROVE 45, ATHENS 21
215: Ryan Aument (S) won by forfeit;
285: Nate Schon (S) tech. fall over Joshua Nittinger (A),16-0 @ 1:50;
106: Blake Rising (S) won by forfeit;
113: Joshua Courtney (A) by fall over Ryan Gavason (S), 4:40;
120: Gavin Bradley (A) tech. fall over Leo Martinez (S), 20-5 @ 4:00;
126: Jacob  Courtney (A) major dec. Trent Turner (S), 13-5;
132: Andrew Sassaman (S) won by forfeit;
138: Aiden Gaugler (S) major dec. Kaden Setzer (A), 11-2;
145: Garrett  Paradis (S) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 1:26;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) dec. Josiah Foss (S), 6-1;
160: Karter Rude (A) dec. Cale Bastian (S), 3-0;
172: Coy Bastian (S) by fall over Zachary Stafursky (A), 3:03;
189: Steven Miller (S) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 3:07.

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NO LETDOWN FOR WILDCATS; ATHENS BESTS NEB, 65-56

NO LETDOWN FOR WILDCATS; ATHENS BESTS NEB, 65-56

January 16, 2021 Bob Baker

ATHENS – Going into Saturday’s NEB-Athens boys basketball contest both coaches were worried how much their respective teams might have left in the gas tank.

After all, just the night before, Northeast Bradford coach Paul Burgert had watched his Panther team erase an early 21-point deficit before eventually bowing to the undefeated Canton.

Athens coach Jim Lister cheered on his young Wildcat team as it overcame a fourth-quarter, 16-point deficit to take a hard-fought, one-point victory over Wellsboro.

Lister’s team had no letdown here as the Wildcats trailed just once – on the game’s opening basket – and scored a 65-56 win over the visiting Panthers.

J.J. Babcock’s 17 points led three Athens players in double-figures as the Wildcats improve to 3-2 on the year.

“I’ve been waiting for them to come out of their shell,” said Lister afterward. “Our last three games, we started slow. I’m happy we came right out at the opening tip.”

The Wildcats slowly built themselves a 21-14 advantage at the end of the opening eight minutes.

Employing some half-court trapping defense in the second quarter, the Wildcats were able to stretch their lead to 10 points – 34-24 – with a Babcock 3-pointer at the top of the circle.

Tucker Brown, off a steal of a Northeast inbounds pass, upped the gap to 12 before Lucas Crown answered for the Panthers. Another Babcock basket, with just four seconds remaining in the half, produced a 38-26 advantage at the break.

Babcock put together a seven of 11 outing from the floor as he produced a solid game from both the outside and taking the basketball to the bucket. He also would pull down nine rebounds.

“We didn’t handle their press well,” noted Burgert after watching his team commit 15 turnovers on the evening – 10 in the opening half. “That really took us out of our rhythm.”

Burgert added his Panther team is still learning how to play together.

“Lucas (Crown) is our one player returning with significant time from last year. We’re a new bunch of guys.”

Consecutive buckets from Mason Lister, Babcock and Shayne Reid, to open the third stanza, put the Athens lead at 44-26, while the Panthers went cold for the first 2:50.

Ethan Finch and Dan Seeley countered with back-to-back buckets for Northeast, but the Wildcats were calmly taking control.

The two teams exchanged baskets until Nalen Carling’s follow-up bucket and free throw, plus Lister’s basket gave Athens a 20-point lead. Athens would take a 57-39 advantage into the final eight minutes.

There, the Panthers found some leftover energy as they attempted to claw their way back into the game. Twice they got the gap down to 12 points – the first on consecutive baskets by Crown and Nick Beers. However, the second time occurred too late in the game on another Seeley basket at 63-51.

Griffin Stein netted an Athens basket prior to consecutive Northeast buckets to close out the final seconds.

“I was more worried about what we would have left after Friday’s game with Canton,” added Burgert. “One thing about us is, you never have to worry about a lack of effort.”

Crown set the pace with 18 points for the Panthers, off to a 0-3 start on the season. Beers, in his first season with Northeast after North Rome elected not to have a basketball season, chipped in with 12 points and nine rebounds. Seeley finished with eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Finch totaled seven points.

Lister added 14 points and six rebounds for Athens. Brown, on a 6 of 7 outing from the field, netted 12 points, while Reid finished with eight. Carling set the pace with a team-high nine rebounds. Stein totaled seven points.

Athens now gets ready for a Monday night showdown with Valley rival Sayre on the Redskins’ home court.

“It’s Athens-Sayre,” noted Lister in taking a quick peak toward Monday. “Both teams will be ready to go.”

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 ATHENS OVERCOMES SHOOTING WOES WITH DEFENSE; TOPS WELLSBORO, 28-22

ATHENS OVERCOMES SHOOTING WOES WITH DEFENSE; TOPS WELLSBORO, 28-22

January 16, 2021 Tim Birney

WELLSBORO — Athens overcame ice-cold shooting, thanks to a stingy defense, and rallied for a 28-22 win over Wellsboro here Saturday afternoon in NTL Large School girls basketball action.

“We played a very good defensive game today,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “Our offense struggled to make shots, but our defense kept us in the game, and we did make some keys shots down the stretch.

“It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win,” added Miller.

The Lady Wildcats, now 3-1, shot just 21 percent (9 of 42) from the field in the win, including an 18-percent (2 of 11) performance from behind the three-point arc.

Athens led 7-6 after the first eight minutes, but were outscored, 9-3, in the second quarter, and Wellsboro went to the halftime locker room with a 15-10 lead.

Senior Kayleigh Miller, who had five points in the stanza, and senior Megan Collins each knocked down a 3-pointer, and sophomore Karlee Bartlow converted an old-fashioned three-point play to fuel an 11-6 spurt that tied the game at 21-21 entering the final eight minutes.

The Lady Wildcats turned up the defensive intensity in the fourth quarter and allowed the Lady Green Hornets just one free throw. Meanwhile, senior Rachel Stephens and junior Cayden Macik scored buckets to put Athens up 25-22.

Macik made 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Macik led Athens with eight points and four boards, while Barlow had eight points and five rebounds, Miller had five points, four rebounds, four assists, and two assists, Collins had five points, three rebounds, and two blocked shots, and Natalie Watson chipped in with three rebounds.

Emma Coolidge led Wellsboro with seven points.

Athens, now 3-1, returns to action Tuesday at North Penn-Mansfield.

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ATHENS RALLIES FROM 16-POINT 4TH-QUARTER DEFICIT TO EDGE WELLSBORO, 54-53

ATHENS RALLIES FROM 16-POINT 4TH-QUARTER DEFICIT TO EDGE WELLSBORO, 54-53

January 15, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens wiped out a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit in less than three minutes, then needed a pair of 3-pointers by sophomore Mason Lister in the final 47 seconds to pull off a stunning, 54-53, come-from-behind win over Wellsboro here Friday night in NTL boys basketball action.

Through the first three-plus quarters, the Wildcats shot less than 30 percent from the field, and were out-rebounded by a smaller Wellsboro team, but junior Tucker Brown’s 3-pointer triggered a 17-1 blitz that pulled Athens even with just over 2 minutes to play.

“I’ve been waiting for these kids to get going for three games,” said Athens coach Jim Lister. “I know what they can do, I’ve seen it for years. They just needed to turn it up a notch, and to get excited.

“All of a sudden, I think Tucker Brown’s 3 sparked them,” he noted. “They started playing defense, they started attacking … it was a whole different team in the last five minutes.

“I’m proud of them, they didn’t quit,” added Lister. “We did a lot of things wrong tonight, but hopefully we can use this as a stepping stone to get going, and win some basketball games.”

Wellsboro jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, but Lister and junior J.J. Babcock scored fast-break buckets, and senior Griffin Stein canned a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give the Wildcats a 9-8 advantage.

Athens took a 13-12 lead on a pair of free throws with 4:36 remaining in the first half, but Wellsboro scored five straight points to take a 17-13 lead.

The team exchanged buckets, with Wellsboro’s Isaac Keane scoring with 5 seconds remaining to give the Green Hornets a 21-17 lead at the half.

Peyton McClure buried a 3-pointer on Wellsboro’s first possession of the second half, and Darryn Callahan added a bucket with 7:03 remaining in the third quarter to up the Hornets’ advantage to 26-17.

Lister scored a bucket in transition with 5:48 remaining, and Babcock followed with two fast-break buckets in the next 59 seconds to cut the deficit to 26-23. It could have been closer, but the Wildcats went 0-for-5 from the free-throw line in that stretch.

Keane stopped the Athens run with a 3-pointer with 4:10 left in the third quarter to make it 29-23.

Athens cut the deficit to 31-27 with 2:49 left on a fast-break bucket by Babcock, but Liam Manning scored the final four points of the quarter to give the Green Hornets a 35-27 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

McClure drained another 3-pointer on Wellsboro’s first possession of the fourth quarter to stretch the Wellsboro lead to 38-27.

After Lister knocked down a runner in the lane to cut the deficit to 38-29 with 6:55 left in the fourth quarter, Wellsboro used a 9-2 spurt — capped by an old-fashioned three-point play Callahan — to take a 47-31 lead with 5:07 remaining in the contest.

The Wildcats made just 14 of 51 shots to this point, but made 8 of 10 down the stretch, including four 3-pointers. They were also 3 of 10 from the free-throw line for the game..

“We can’t continue to miss easy lay-ups, and miss free throws,” said Lister. “It’s stuff we work on every single day, and talk about all the time.

“I’ve told you, it’s a simple formula: play defense, make lay-ups, make fouls shots, and win basketball games,” noted Lister. “We have to do that.”

With 4:51 remaining in the contest, Brown buried a 3-pointer, and junior Nalen Carling followed with an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the deficit to 47-37.

After a free throw by Connor Adams pushed the Wellsboro lead back to 11 points,  Carling knocked down a short jumper, and junior Tucker Brown drove through traffic for a lay-up to trim the deficit to 48-41 with 3:39 left in the game.

Carling kept it going with a long 3-pointer from behind the top of the key to cut the Wellsboro lead to 48-44 with 3:02 remaining.

On Wellsboro’s next trip down the court, Babcock blocked a shot, and then got out in front of the fast break for an uncontested lay-up. Moments later, Lister picked up a steal, and found junior Shayne Reid for a lay-up in transition to tie the game at 48-48 with 2:08 left in the game.

After an Athens timeout, Keane scored on a short jumper to put Wellsboro up 50-48 with 1:42 remaining. Moments later, Adams registered a steal and was fouled on his way to the bucket. He made 1 of 2 to up the Green Hornet lead to 51-48 with 59 seconds left.

With 47 seconds remaining, Lister buried a 3-pointer from deep in the corner to tie the game. After a defensive stop by the Wildcats, Lister drained another 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to give them a 54-51 lead.

Wellsboro’s game-tying 3-pointer rimmed out, and Manning’s tip-in at the buzzer provided the final margin.

Babcock led Athens with 16 points and three rebounds, while Lister had 14 points, nine rebonds, three steals, and two blocked shots, and Carling added 10 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Brown had five points, four assists, and three steals in the win, while Stein had five points, four boards, and one blocked shot, and Reid had four points and three assists.

Keane scored 15 points and grabbed 11 boards, and Manning tallied 14 points and hauled down 13 rebounds to lead Wellsboro, while McClure had 13 points, and Callahan added 11 points.

Athens, now 2-2, returns to action Saturday when it hosts NEB. The JV game tips at 4 p.m.

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ATHENS JVs FALL AT TROY; DROPS DOUBLE-OT DECISION TO WELLSBORO

ATHENS JVs FALL AT TROY; DROPS DOUBLE-OT DECISION TO WELLSBORO

January 15, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens dropped a pair of decisions this week, including a double-overtime heartbreaker Friday night, in NTL junior varsity boys basketball action.

Wellsboro 36, Athens 33, 2 OTs

Wellsboro took the early lead in the second overtime, and Caden Smith made 5 off 6 free throws down the stretch to help the junior Green Hornets to a 36-33 win Friday night.

Carson Smith scored five points and Lucas Kraft added four points in the first half to help Athens to a 15-11 halftime lead.

Wellsboro outscored Athens, 13-9, in the second half, including a 4-2 edge in the third quarter, to force extra play.

Smith and Chris Mitchell led Athens with 10 points apiece, while Nick Guiles-Vought added seven, and Kraft chipped in with four.

Troy 56, Athens 28
At Troy, the host junior Trojans used a 14-4 second-quarter run to take control in a 56-28 win Wednesday night.

The first quarter was even with Carson Smith and Korey Miller knocking down 3-pointers to pace Athens in a 10-10 deadlock.

Troy took over and outscored Athens, 28-7, in the middle two quarters to take a 38-17 lead into the final eight minutes.

Smith led Athens with eight points, while Miller added seven points, and Davin Spencer chipped in with four points.

Athens returns to action Monday at Athens.

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ATHENS RETURNS A SLEW OF DISTRICT QUALIFIERS IN 2021

ATHENS RETURNS A SLEW OF DISTRICT QUALIFIERS IN 2021

January 14, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Coming off NTL championship seasons, both Athens swim teams return a host of District 4 qualifiers, and look to be very competitive in 2021.

“We have some solid swimmers on the boys and girls team — several district qualifiers, who are normally year-round swimmers,” said Athens boys coach Mark Keister.  

“We do have a couple of swimmers who were top-10 point-earners and district qualifiers that decided not to come out this season.  

“The remaining swimmers are getting a good amount of attention and working hard to catch up in this ‘short’ season,” added Keister.

The boys were 7-3 last season, and return seniors Lucas Aquilio, Zac Gowin, Mason Henderson, and Joe Toscano, who were all District 4 qualifiers, as well as juniors Reuven Gifeisman, and sophomores Chris DeForest and Ethan Denlinger — also District qualifiers.

The newcomers are senior Asher Ellis and freshman Joe Blood.

“Asher (Ellis) is a good athlete,” said Keister. “He’ll likely swim freestyle and breaststroke.”

The Lady Wildcats also return a slew of District qualifiers, led by sophomore Taegan Williams.

“(Taegan) broke the 500 free school-record at Districts,” said Keister. “She has the potential to break additional records this year.”

Also returning are seniors Kaitlin Kisner and Raven Gardner, sophomore Mea Abbott, Taylar Fisher, and Allison Thoman, and well as senior divers Emma Roe, who finished fourth at Districts, and Katie Lynch.

The Lady Wildcats also have a long list of newcomers, including sophomore Meltem VanHelder, and freshmen Macaria Benjamin, Grace Cobb, Rebecca Gifeisman, Emily Henderson,
Madelyn Jones, Isabella Potter and Emily Marshall.

“Our newcomers have good potential that may produce a couple district qualifiers,” Keister said.

Keister is also excited there will be a postseason.

“We got word recently that we will have secured a district championship meet site this year and plans for States,” he said.

“We will again compete at Bloomsburg for diving — boys and girls split morning and afternoon as normal — and Williamsport High School for swimming, but the boys and girls meet will be separate days.

“Another new thing is a virtual swim meet.  We will be able to compete with any team in the Commonwealth,” added Keister.

Athens opens the season today at Towanda.

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ATHENS OPENS 'VIRTUAL' COMPETITION ERA AT TOWANDA

ATHENS OPENS 'VIRTUAL' COMPETITION ERA AT TOWANDA

January 14, 2021 Tim Birney

TOWANDA — Virtual competition is upon us, and the Athens swim team got its first taste of it Thursday.

The Wildcats swam, along with Towanda in the Black Knight pool, while Shamokin swam in its own pool. Shamokin actually swam on Wednesday, but the times won’t be merged until Friday morning to produce the team scores and individual placements.

The following are the times and places in the Athens-Towanda meet:

BOYS
Senior Mason Henderson and sophomore Chris DeForest won four events apiece, while seniors Joey Toscano and Zac Gowin, and sophomore Ethan Denlinger were each triple-winners to pace the Wildcats’ efforts.

Henderson and DeForest each swam on all three of Athens’ winning relays.

The duo teamed with Toscano and Denlinger to win the 200-yard medley really in a time of 2:21.98, then teamed with Toscano and Gowin to win the 200-yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:47.61. They teamed with Denlinger and Gowin to win the 400-yard freestyle in a time of 4:04.24.

Henderson won the 100-yard butterfly in a District-qualifying time of 1:07.46, while DeForest won the 100-yard freestyle in a District-qualifying times of 54.4 seconds, and Gowin placed third in 1:05.68.

Gowin won the 200-yard freestyle in a  time of 2:23.68, while Denlinger won the 200-yard IM in 2:36.42, and Toscano won the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 26.43 seconds.

Senior newcomer Asher Ellis posted his first varsity win in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:34.8, and senior Lucas Aquilio was third in 1:37.43.

Toscano finished second in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:17.55, and freshman Joe Blood was third in 1:28.21.

GIRLS
Sophomores Taegan Williams and Taylar Fisher, and freshman Emily Marshall were triple-winners, and sophomore Ally Thoman was a double-winner to lead the Lady Wildcats.

Williams led a sweep in the 200-yard freestyle in a district-qualifying time of 2:16.1, while freshman Isabella Potter was second in 2:35.03, and freshman Grace Cobb was third in exhibition in 2:40.64.

Williams also won the 500-yard freestyle in a District-qualifying time of 6:05.13, and senior Kaitlin Kisner was second in 7:10.58.

Fisher led a sweep in the 200-yard IM in a District-qualifying time of 2:41.67, while freshman Malaria Benjamin was second in 3:31.66. Swimming in exhibition, Marshall clocked in at 2:58.72.

Fisher also won the 100-yard backstroke in a District-qualifying time of 1:13.93, and freshman Emily Henderson was third in 1:58.1.

Marshall won the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 1:28.57, and Benjamin was second in 1:40.40.

Thoman won the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:26.41, and senior Raven McCarthy-Gardner was second in 1:27.32.

Fisher, Thoman, Benjamin, and Marshall teamed to win the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 2:20.39, while Kisner, Marshall, Potter, and Williams teamed to win the 400-yard freestyle relay in a time of 4:42.13.

Senior Emma Roe won the 1-meter diving competition with 156.1 points, and McCarthy-Gardner was second with 109.45 points.

Thoman finished second in the 50-yard freestyle in 31.44 seconds, and Kisner was third in 31.77, while Potter finished second in the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 1:08.35.

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TROY TAKES DOWN ATHENS, 70-53, IN EARLY-SEASON SHOWDOWN

TROY TAKES DOWN ATHENS, 70-53, IN EARLY-SEASON SHOWDOWN

January 13, 2021 Chris Manning

TROY — In a physical, foul-plagued game Athens came up short against Troy, dropping a 70-53 decision, in NTL Large School boys’ basketball action Wednesday.

The high profile match-up of the top two teams in the division a year ago was the Trojan season opener.

The Wildcats struggled the first three quarters to get anything going offensively as they had just 20 points at the half and 34 after three quarters.

However, their defense kept them in striking distance, down 47-34 with the final frame to go.

In the fourth, Athens’ offense got going, but so did Troy’s, and, after cutting it to a 9-point deficit with 5 minutes to go, the Wildcats hit a cold patch as they watched the Trojans pull away.

Athens was able to get Troy into the double-bonus in both halves, but also allowed Troy to nab several offensive rebounds and putbacks after they had gotten defensive stops.

Nalen Carling had the hot hand for the Wildcats, shooting 67 percent from the field and finishing with 15 points to go with six boards. J.J. Babcock added 14 points, four boards and three steals.

Troy Pritchard had six points and 11 boards, and Tucker Brown, Shayne Reid and Mason Lister had five points each. Carson Smith rounded out the scoring with three points.

Ethan VanNoy led Troy with 20 points while Athens kept Ty Barrett from going off, as he had just 17.

Jake Deitrick had 11 points, nine boards, three steals and two blocks, while Mason Imbt and Nick Williams had four points apiece. Imbt added four boards as Williams handed out four assists.

Devin Selleck finished with five points and six boards, while Owen Williams scored two. Morgan Madigan had one point to go with six rebounds.

Athens came out with a box-and-1 on Barrett, but Troy still took a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes, punctuated with a Barrett jumper.

Athens got on the scoreboard just before the halfway point of the first quarter on a Pritchard lay-up. A Deitrick lay-up off an assist from Imbt made it 9-2 Troy, then Babcock answered with a lay-up of his own.

After a Troy free throw, the two teams traded buckets as the Trojans went up 12-6. A pair of Reid freebies cut it to 12-8, but Barrett and VanNoy hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 18-8 Trojans. Carling had a putback at the end of the first quarter to cut it to 18-10.

The Wildcats came out strong in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to four points as Carling hit a jumper, followed by two free throws from Mason Lister.

A VanNoy driving lay-up extended the lead back to 20-14, but Carling hit two free throws to cut it to four points again.

An Imbt putback followed by another VanNoy 3-pointer extended the Troy lead to 25-16.

Athens, though, took advantage of Troy’s foul trouble as Pritchard went 2-for-2 from the line, followed by a Babcock lay-up, to cut it to 25-20.

VanNoy had the final answer of the half, hitting a driving lay-up for a 27-20 halftime lead.

Troy continued to extend the lead early in the third quarter as they went on a 8-2 run, punctuated by a Williams 3-pointer, to take a 35-22 lead.

Athens responded in kind, going on a 6-0 push themselves to make it 35-28 with five minutes left in the quarter.

That’s when Troy began to live at the line as they got the Wildcats in foul trouble. They would shoot 12 free throws in the third quarter, with their next five points all coming from the charity stripe.

With three minutes to play, Troy led 40-28 before Athens netted a freebie of their own to stop the bleeding.

A Deitrick putback, followed by a Madigan free throw, extended Troy’s lead to 43-29 with two minutes left in the quarter.

Athens, who had gotten Troy in foul trouble at this point, went 3-of-4 from the line after that to cut it to 43-32.

A Barrett jumper followed by another Trojan putback extended the lead to 47-32. Just as they looked to be running away with it, Babcock got to the line and hit both free throws to keep it a 13-point deficit with a quarter left.

A Carling old-fashioned 3-point play to lead off the fourth made it a 10-point game. Athens would cut it to nine points as Brown had a steal and lay-up.

Troy responded with a Williams free throw, followed by a Selleck lay-up to push the lead back to 51-39.

A Babcock lay-up off a Carling assist with six minutes left made it a 10-point game again, but Barrett answered with a jumper.

Carling came back with a putback seconds later, but a Williams-to-Barrett pass play ended with two more points to Troy.

Athens got their first 3-pointer of the game with five minutes to go as Brown hit a 3-ball to cut it to 55-46.

That’s as close as it got, though, as Troy rattled off a 6-0 run to extend the lead to 15.

Babcock cut it to 61-48 with a lay-up, but Troy out scored them 9-5 in the final 2:30 to seal the win.

The Wildcats fall to 1-2 on the year, but return home Saturday to host NEB in a 4 p.m. start.

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BLOOMSBURG TOO MUCH FOR ATHENS

BLOOMSBURG TOO MUCH FOR ATHENS

January 13, 2021 Tim Birney

BLOOMSBURG — Defending District 4 champion Bloomsburg jumped out to a big lead early, and rolled to a 59-29 win over Athens here Wednesday night in non-league girls basketball action.

“Bloomsburg is a very talented team,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “They were bigger and faster and played great team defense.

“It was good for us to get of our league and play a talented team like that,” noted Miller. “We won’t see a team that good unless we make it to the state tournament.

“We played hard and did some nice things against a very good team,” he added. “We will build off it learn and get better from it.”

Rylee Klinger scored 11 points, including a pair of 3-pointers and an old-fashioned three-point play, to fuel Bloomsburg’s 22-7 first-quarter blitz.

The Lady Panthers used a 15-5 second-quarter run to extend its lead to 37-12 at the half.

Senior Kayleigh Miller scored eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in the first half for the Lady Wildcats.

Bloom subbed liberally in the second half, and outscored the Lady Wildcats, 22-17. Junior Caydence Macik and senior Megan Collins combined to score all 17 of Athens’ points.

Macik led Athens with 12 points, including 10 in the second half, three rebounds, and four blocked shots, while Miller had eight points and three steals, Collins scored seven points, and sophomore Karlee Bartlow grabbed four rebounds.

The Lady Wildcats committed 25 turnovers in the loss.

Klinger led Bloom with 22 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, while Madeline Evans scored 15 points, and Kelsey Widom added 10 points.

Athens, now 2-1, returns to action Saturday at Wellsboro in a noon start.

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BLOOMSBURG CRUISES TO BIG WIN OVER ATHENS JVs

BLOOMSBURG CRUISES TO BIG WIN OVER ATHENS JVs

January 13, 2021 Tim Birney

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg raced out to a big lead early, an cruised to a big win over Athens here Wednesday night in non-league junior varsity girls basketball action.

Maize Aikey scored 12 points in the first quarter to fuel a 23-2 Bloomsburg blitz. Abby Champion scored Athens’ only bucket.

Braelynn Wood scored four points in the second quarter, and Karlee Bartlow added a pair of free throws, but Bloom used a 17-6 run to stretch the halftime advantage to 40-8.

The junior Panthers outscored Athens, 22-0, in the second half for a 62-8 win.

Wood led Athens with four points, and Mya Thompson had four rebounds, while Aikey led four Bloom scorers in double-figures with 17 points.

Athens, now 1-2, returns to action Saturday at Wellsboro.

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