WILLIAMS, FISHER LEAD ATHENS TO 6TH-PLACE FINISH AT DISTRICTS

WILLIAMS, FISHER LEAD ATHENS TO 6TH-PLACE FINISH AT DISTRICTS

March 4, 2021 Tim Birney

WILLIAMSPORT — Sophomores Taegan Williams and Taylar Fisher each had four top-8 finishes to lead Athens to a sixth-place finish here Thursday night at the District 4 Girls Swimming & Diving Championship at Williamsport High School.

Danville cruised to the team title with 383 points, well ahead of runner-up Danville, which tallied 315 points. Central Columbia was third with 249 points, while Bloomsburg was fourth with 229 points, Shamokin was fifth with 181 points, and Athens tallied 180.

Williams finished third in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 2:04.39, and freshman Emily Marshall was eighth in 2:23.82. Williams also finished sixth in the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 58.56 seconds.

Fisher finished sixth in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:08.86. She was seventh in the 200-yard IM in a time of 2:28.64.

Williams teamed with sophomores Alli Thoman and Taylar Fisher, and junior Raven McCarthy-Gardner to finish sixth in the 200-yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:58.42.

Williams teamed with Marshall, sophomore Macaria Benjamin, and freshman Grace Cobb finished eighth in the 400-yard freestyle relay in a time of 4:34.94.

Fisher teamed with Thoman, Marshall, and McCarthy-Gardner to finish fifth in the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 2:14.13.

McCarthy-Gardner was eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:22.44.

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FAULTY FREE-THROW SHOOTING DOOMS ATHENS IN 60-58 LOSS TO TROY

FAULTY FREE-THROW SHOOTING DOOMS ATHENS IN 60-58 LOSS TO TROY

February 10, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Junior Ty Barrett’s driving lay-up with 2.4 seconds remaining lifted Troy to a 60-58 win over Athens here Wednesday night in NTL Large School boys basketball action.

“Ty is a special basketball player,” said Troy coach Steve Renzi. “When the game is on the line, we can depend on Ty (Barrett) to get to the rack.”

Athens coach Jim Lister pointed to his team’s fourth-quarter performance at the free-throw line (1-for-6) after the loss.

“You have to make your foul shots at the end of the game when you’re tired; that’s the key.

“We had them in double-bonus, and we missed five foul shots at the end of the game,” said Lister. “We make those foul shots, we win the game.

“It’s the little things, we need to make lay-up, make foul shots, and play defense,” he added.

The Trojan win, however, wasn’t all Barrett, who was held to 19 points — about seven points below his season average. Jake Deitrick scored a season-high 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Mason Imbt had 10 points and 12 boards.

“We challenged our big guys to be better tonight,” said Renzi. “We go as our big guys go.

“They came out in the second half, and really pounded the boards.

“Jake Dietrick played the best game he’s played all year, and Mason Imbt played his best game of the year,” Renzi noted.

“Usually, you see the box score is a little lopsided, with our guards getting all the points, and our big guys not producing much, but tonight was pretty much opposite,” he added.

Lister said his team executed the game plan.

“When we played Troy the first time, we were in a box-and-one on Ty Barrett, and Tucker Brown did a really nice job,” said Lister. “He held him to seven points in the first half.

“But where Troy got us was (Ethan) VanNoy in the corner. He killed us from three-point land,” noted Lister. “Tonight, I wanted to take a different approach. I put Mason (Lister) on VanNoy, and he didn’t score many points.

“The game plan was to meet them at half court, play defense, and make them earn every shot they got,” added Lister. “I think we did that.”

The teams traded scores over the first six minutes of the game, until Deitrick scored back-to-back buckets to give the Trojans an 11-9 lead with 1:33 remaining in the first quarter.

After a pair of free throws by Athens sophomore Chris Mitchell tied the game, Nick Williams scored his only bucket of the game with 6 seconds left in the first quarter to give Troy a 13-11 lead.

Ethan Vannoy came up with a steal and lay-up on the first possession of the second quarter to give the Trojans a 15-11 lead, but a pair of free throws and a bucket by 6-5 Wildcat junior J.J. Babcock tied the game at 15-15 with 6:48 remaining in the first half.

After Deitrick gave Troy a 17-15 lead with a nifty one-hander in the lane, Babcock drained a 3-pointer to spark a 9-2 Athens spurt that gave the Wildcats a 24-17 lead with 3:27 remaining in the first half.

Troy trimmed the deficit to 24-20, but Nalen Carling’s old-fashioned three-point play pushed the Athens advantage back to seven points, 27-20, with 2:48 left in the first half.

A 3-pointer by Barrett with 1:45 remaining made it 27-23, but junior Troy Pritchard made a free throw to push the Athens lead to 28-23 at the half.

The Wildcats maintained their lead, and pushed it to seven points, at 37-30, on a nice low-post bucket by Pritchard with 4:03 remaining in the third quarter, but a top-of-the-key 3-pointer by Zeb Oldroyd — his only bucket of the game — with 1:55 left capped an 8-0 spurt that gave the Trojans a 38-37 lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Babcock and junior Tucker Brown scored back-to-back buckets to give the Wildcats a 41-38 lead with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.

A pair of Barrett free throws cut the deficit back to one point, but a driving baseline lay-up by Mason Lister with 5 seconds remaining gave Athens a 43-40 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

A spinning move in the lane resulted in a bucket by Pritchard in the opening moments of the fourth quarter, but he missed the free throw to make it a three-point play, and Athens led 45-40.

Moments later, Imbt scored on a putback and made the free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play to trim the deficit 45-43.

Imbt and Deitrick then added putbacks on the offensive glass on consecutive trip down the floor for the Trojans, giving them a 47-45 lead with 6:35 remaining in the contest.

Babcock gave the Wildcats the lead back moments later on a fast-break lay-up and a free throw to make it 48-47 with 6:12 left in the game. It was Athens’ last lead of the contest.

Deitrick scored on an offensive rebound, then made two free throws after collecting an offensive rebound, giving the Trojans a 51-48 lead with 5:13 remaining.

Pritchard scored in the low blocks, thanks to a nice pump fake, but missed the free throw after being fouled on the shot.

A driving lay-in down the lane by Barrett with 4:13 remaining gave the Trojans a 53-50 lead.

Athens missed the front end of a one-and-one with 3:31 remaining, but a fast-break lay-up by Babcock, off a steal by Lister, trimmed the deficit to 53-52 just 26 seconds later.

A bucket by Deitrick, and a long 3-pointer by Vannoy gave the Trojans a 58-52 lead with 1:50 remaining.

Things seemed dire for the Wildcats moments later after a pair of missed free throws, but they turned up the defensive pressure and scored three quick buckets to tie the game with 36 seconds remaining.

Carling started the spurt with a steal and breakaway lay-up, then Brown scored on a putback of an errant lay-up in transition, and Babcock scored on a lay-up, off a long outlet pass on the break from Pritchard, to cap the 6-0 run.

Troy milked the clock into single-digits, then Barrett took the ball near the Troy bench, cut across the top of the key, and down the lane, kissing the ball off the glass for the game-winner.

After a time-out, a long in-bounds pass for Athens was batted away from Babcock, and the final horn sounded as the ball rolled out-of-bounds.

“The kids had a hell of an effort tonight. I think that’s the first time this season we’ve played four full quarters,” said Lister.

“I’m proud of the guys, they’ve played very well the last two games. I told them after the game, if they continue to play the way they did tonight, we’ll be right there in the end,” he added.

Carling led Athens with 17 points and six rebounds, while Babcock had 16 points, five rebounds, four assists, and one blocked shot, Pritchard scored 11 points, Brown added eight points and six rebounds, and Lister chipped in with eight assists, three rebounds, and one blocked shot.

Athens, now 8-6, travels to Wellsboro Friday night.

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COACH MILLER NETS 300TH WIN, KAYLEIGH MILLER REGISTERS 200TH CAREER 3-POINTER; ATHENS ROLLS OVER TROY, 53-22

COACH MILLER NETS 300TH WIN, KAYLEIGH MILLER REGISTERS 200TH CAREER 3-POINTER; ATHENS ROLLS OVER TROY, 53-22

February 9, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens shook off a sluggish first half, and outscored Troy, 40-8, in the second half to deliver coach Brian Miller his 300th career victory — a 53-22 decision over Troy — here Tuesday night in NTL Large School girls basketball action.

Miller, who is in his third year at Athens, won 254 games as head coach at Waverly.

“It has been a great journey for the last 19 years,” said Miller. “I have enjoyed coaching young athletes and having so many successful teams at both schools.

“I have made so many friendships over the years with coaches, referees, parents, media, and many more.

“It has been a great ride and I am lucky person,” added Miller.

It was also a milestone night for Coach Miller’s daughter, Kayleigh, who knocked down her 200th (and 201st) career 3-pointer, and is just one away from tying the school record held by Mallory Hafer.

Senior Megan Collins knocked down a 3-pointer and scored five points in the first quarter to help the Lady Wildcats to a 9-5 lead, but the Lady Trojans used a 9-4 seconds-quarter run to take a 14-13 lead into the halftime locker room.

“We missed some shots versus the triangle-and-two in the first half, and looked a little slow,” said Miller. “Maybe the long road trip to Benton was a factor in that.

“We came out with a lot of energy in the second half and used a lot of pressure to create some nice scoring opportunities,” he added.

Kayleigh Miller knocked down her milestone 3-pointer, and was also 3-for-3 from the free-throw line after being fouled on a shot from behind the 3-point arc, and junior Caydence Macik also scored six points in the frame, while Collins buried her second 3-pointer and scored five points to fuel a 19-4 run that gave Athens a commanding 32-18 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

In the fourth quarter, Collins canned a pair of 3-pointers, and Miller once again connected on a 3-pointer and was 3-for-3 after being fouled on a 3-point attempt. The Lady Wildcats outscored Troy, 21-4, in the final stanza.

Collins led Athens with a career-high 16 points, including four 3-pointers on just six shots from behind the arc, while Macik scored 15 points and hauled down nine boards, and Miller, who was held scoreless in the first half, had 12 points and four steals.

Sophomore Karlee Bartlow added four points, five rebounds, and four assists, while freshman Mya Thompson had four points, three boards, and three steals, sophomore Emma Bronson dished out five assists, and senior Rachel Stephens chipped in with five rebounds, and two blocked shots.

Sydney Taylor led Troy with 14 points, and Hannah Zimmerman and Rachel Kingsley added four points apiece.

Athens, now 11-3 overall and 4-2 in NTL Large School divisional play, hosts Wellsboro Thursday.

NOTES: The Athens Lady Wildcats all donned T-shirts prior to the game that read “No One Fights Alone” to honor coach Miller, who is successfully battling cancer. … The girls basketball program raised $1,000 for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and donated it in Coach Miller’s name.

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ATHENS CLOSES DUAL SEASON WITH 50-13 WIN OVER TROY

ATHENS CLOSES DUAL SEASON WITH 50-13 WIN OVER TROY

February 9, 2021 Tim Birney

TROY — Athens wracked up bonus points in all eight of its victories, which included six falls, in a 50-13 win over Troy here Tuesday night in NTL wrestling action here at the Commons Building.

Unbeaten junior Gavin Bradley, now 28-0, got the Wildcats off to a fast start with a 30-second fall over Kenyon Slater at 113 pounds.

At 120 pounds, freshman Mason Vanderpool built an 8-2 lead early in the second period, then put Joseph Schwenk on his back for a fall at 2:45 to give Athens a 12-0 lead.

Seth Seymour put the Trojans on the board with an 8-0 major decision over sophomore Josh Courtney at 126 pounds.

Seymour scored a takedown midway through the first period, and an escape early in the second period to take a 3-0 lead into the third period.

Seymour scored another takedown early in the third period, and turned Courtney to his back late to secure the major decision.

Freshman Emiliano Mallare got the Wildcats back on the winning track with a 13-4 major decision win over ben Randall at 132 pounds.

Mallare scored a takedown midway through the second period to break a 2-2 tie, then turned Randall to his back to increase his lead to 7-2 entering the final two minutes.

A takedown and two near-fall points upped Mallare’s lead to 11-2 midway through the third period.

Randall scored an escape, and Mallare was penalized for locked hands to trim the deficit to 11-4, but Mallare scored another takedown at the buzzer for the 13-4 major decision.

At 138 pounds, Kaden Setzer scored a pair of quick takedowns, then turned Peyton Bellows to his back for a fall at 36 seconds to give Athens a 22-4 lead.

Junior Lucas Forbes kept it rolling for the Wildcats with a 10-2 major decision over Lacey Hitman at 145 pounds.

Forbes scored five takedowns in the match as his win increased the lead to 26-4.

Sophomore Chris Bathgate registered four first-period takedown, and added three near-fall points in the final seconds to take a 13-4 lead into the second period of this 152-pound match-up with Eli Randall.

Bathgate scored another takedown early in the second period, and finished off the pin at 2:31 to give the Wildcats a 32-4 lead.

At 160 pounds, junior Karter Rude locked a cradle in one Jayden Renzo for a 46-second fall to extend the lead to 38-4.

Senior Zach Stafursky made it six wins in a row for the Wildcats with a fall over Mason Woodward in 3:01 to make it 44-4.

After a scoreless first period, Stafursky scored a takedown and quickly locked in a cradle for the fall.

Josh Isbell stopped the bleeding for the Trojans with a 10-3 win in their 189-pound bout.

Isbell scored a takedown midway through the first period, and added two sets of near-fall points for an 8-0 lead after the first two minutes.

Isabel led 10-2 deep into the third period, but was banged for stalling in the final seconds to take away the major decision.

Athens freshman Josh Nittinger received a forfeit at 285 pounds, and Troy’s Caleb Schwenk received a forfeit at 106 pounds to end the night.

Athens, which finishes off the dual season with a 17-10 record, returns to action Saturday when it hosts the North Section Tournament.

—————

ATHENS 50, TROY 13
113: Gavin Bradley (A) by fall over Kenyon Slater (T), 0:30;
120: Mason Vanderpool (A) by fall over Joseph Schwenk (T), 2:45;
126: Seth Seymour (T) major dec. Jacob  Courtney (A), 8-0;
132: Emiliano Mallare (A) major dec. Ben Randall (T), 13-4;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) by fall over Peyton Bellows (T), 0:36;
145: Lucas Forbes (A) major dec. Lacey Hinman (T),10-2;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) by fall over Eli Randall (T), 2:31;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Jayden Renzo (T), 0:46;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) by fall over Mason Woodward (T), 3:01;
189: Josh Isbell (T) dec. Colin Rosh (A), 10-3;
215: No Match;
285: Joshua Nittinger (A) won by forfeit;
106: Caleb Schwenk (T) won by forfeit.

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TUNKHANNOCK'S CHILSON POURS IN 50; WILDCATS FALL, 88-70

TUNKHANNOCK'S CHILSON POURS IN 50; WILDCATS FALL, 88-70

February 8, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Sophomore Ben Chilson put on a show here Monday night, knocking down 12 3-pointers — nine in the first half — en route to a 50-point performance in leading Tunkhannock to an 88-70 non-league boys basketball win over Athens.

“I’m not unhappy in how we played tonight,” said Athens coach Jim Lister. “Normally, when you put up 70 points in high school basketball you win.

“Not tonight, though, because I watched one of the best shooting performances I have ever had the pleasure of watching,” noted Lister. “We contested every shot, but it didn’t matter.

“(Chilson) and his teammates just could not miss tonight,” Lister added.

Lister said this game, like the Wildcats’ other non-league contests, will benefit them in the long run.

“We will continue to keep playing these very good teams down south .. it's just going to make us better.”

Chilson, who connected on 12 of 18 shots from behind the arc, hit four 3-pointers and scored 15 points in the first quarter, and his teammate Ryan Harder drained two 3-pointers to help the Tigers to a 25-14 lead after the first eight minutes.

The lead was nearly 14 points at the end of the first quarter, but Athens junior Shayne Reid’s shot from well behind the mid-court line found nothing-but-net at the buzzer.

Chilson, who also had a pair of big dunks in the game, scored 21 more points, including five 3-pointers, in the second quarter to give him 36 points in the first half. Tunkhannock outscored Athens 30-18 in the stanza to take a 55-32 lead into the halftime locker room.

Juniors Tucker Brown and Troy Pritchard scored six points apiece in the third quarter, and senior James Benninger-Jones and junior J.J. Babcock added 3-pointers for the Wildcats, but Ben Chilson countered with seven points, including two 3-pointers, and senior Jack Chilson scored five points, including his second trey of the game. Both teams scored 21 points in the third quarter, and the lead remained at 23 points, at 76-53, entering the final eight minutes.

Brown scored a career-high 19 points, and had six rebounds and three assists, while Pritchard had 14 points and three rebounds, Lister had 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists, and Benninger-Jones scored 10 points.

Babcock added seven points, eight rebounds, and seven assists for the Wildcats, and junior Nalen Carling chipped in with six points and seven boards.

Harder added 19 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, and Jack Chilson chipped in with 10 points.

Tunkhannock shot 60 percent (18 of 30) from behind the 3-point arc.

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ATHENS RIDES DEFENSE, BALL MOVEMENT IN 50-17 WIN OVER BENTON

ATHENS RIDES DEFENSE, BALL MOVEMENT IN 50-17 WIN OVER BENTON

February 8, 2021 Tim Birney

BENTON — Athens built a double-digit lead in the first half, then blew the game wide-open in the third quarter of a 50-17 rout of Benton here Monday night in non-league girls basketball action.

The Lady Wildcats held to just one field goal in the first quarter, and seven points in the first half.

“We played great defense all night,” said Athens coach Brian Miller.

Athens also had 15 assists on just 20 field goals in the win.

 “We had outstanding ball movement tonight, to get some nice baskets,” said Miller. “We shared the ball very well tonight.”

Senior Kayleigh Miller and junior Caydence Macik combined to score all of Athens’ points in a 13-2 first quarter run.

Athens used an 8-5 spurt in the second quarter to stretch its lead to 21-7.

Miller scored eight points, including a 3-pointer and an old-fashioned three-point play, in the third quarter, while Macik added six points, and seniors Megan Collins and Rachel Stephens chipped in with five and four, respectively, to fuel a 23-6 outburst that extended the Lady Wildcat advantage to 44-13 entering the final eight minutes.

Macik led Athens with 20 points, 10 rebounds, eight steals, five assists, and two blocked shot, and
Miller had 17 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, six steals, five assists, and three rebounds.

Collins added five points, three rebounds, and two assists in the win, while Stephens chipped in with four points, three boards, and one blocked shot, and freshman Mya Thompson recorded eight steals.

Gracey Baker led Benton with eight points.

Athens, now 10-3, hosts Troy Tuesday night.

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ATHENS GOES 1-4 AT LINE MOUNTAIN DUALS — BRADLEY RECORDS 100TH CAREER WIN

ATHENS GOES 1-4 AT LINE MOUNTAIN DUALS — BRADLEY RECORDS 100TH CAREER WIN

February 6, 2021 Tim Birney

HERNDON, Pa. — Athens went 1-4 here Saturday at the Line Mountain Duals, but junior Gavin Bradley went 5-0, including his 100th career victory.

Senior Zach Stafursky and sophomore Chris Bathgate each went 4-1 for the Wildcats, while senior Kaden Setzer and Karter Rude were both 3-2. Sophomore Jake Courtney, and freshmen Josh Courtney and Mason Vanderpool each won two matches.

Benton 46, Athens 30
Benton won the final four weight classes, including on by fall and two via forfeit, to rally for a 46-30 win over Athens in the first match of the day.

Bradley and freshman Mason Vanderpool picked up forfeits at 113 and 120 pounds to give the Wildcats a quick 12-0 lead, but the Tigers registered back-to-back falls at 126 and 132 to tie it at 12-12.

Kaden Setzer put Athens back ahead with a pin of Remington Morrow in 1:24 at 138 pounds, but a Benton pin at 145 tied it at 18-18.

Bathgate put the Wildcats ahead 24-18 with a pin of Nick Stevens in 63 seconds at 152, but Benton standout Nolan Lear answered with a pin at 160 to tie the match at 24-24.

Stafursky gave Athens its final lead of the match with a pin of Mason Michael in 5:28 at 172 pounds, but Benton pins at 189 and 285, alternating with forfeits at 215 and 106 put away the win.

West Perry 52, Athens 22
Once-beaten West Perry won five straight bouts late in the match to pull away for a 52-22 win over Athens.

After sophomore Jake Courtney tied the match at 6-6, with a pin of Adam Rea in 4:36 at 126 pounds, West Perry scored back-to-back-to-back falls at 132, 138 and 145 to take an 24-6 lead.

Bathgate stopped the bleeding with a pin of Joe Saylor in 1:56 at 152 pounds, and Rude followed with a pin of Dayton Seidel in 3:20 at 160 pounds to cut the deficit to 24-18.

West Perry logged a major decision at 172, pins and 189 and 285, and forfeits at 215 and 106 to take an insurmountable to 52-18 lead.

At 113, Bradley closed out the match with a 16-8 major decision over previously-unbeaten Deven Jackson.

Line Mountain 45, Athens 19
Line Mountain won the first five weight classes to take a 24-0 lead en route to a 45-19 win over Athens.

Junior Karter Rude put the Wildcats on the board with a pin of Chandon Maurer in 1:46 at 160 pounds, and Stafursky followed it up with a 4-3 win over Cale King at 172 pounds to cut the Athens deficit to 24-9.

Line Mountain won four of the next five weight classes, including two forfeits and a fall, to stretch its lead to to 45-13. Freshman Josh Nittinger picked up a forfeit at 285 pounds for Athens’ only win in that stretch.

Bradley, stepping up a weight class, closed out the match with a 12-3 major decision of Aidan Kritzer, who entered the day at 15-2.

Athens 45, Mifflinburg 24
Athens won six of the first seven weight classes to race out to a big lead en route to a 45-24 win over Mifflinburg.

Jake Courtney got the Wildcats off to a fast start with a pin of Jeremy Page in 1:26 at 132 pounds, then Kaden Setzer had his hand raised at 138 pounds — the first of four forfeits Athens would receive — to make it 12-0.

After Mifflinburg standout Troy Bingamann registered a fall at 145 pounds, Bathgate and Rude were awarded forfeits at 152 and 160 pounds, respectively, to make it 24-6.

Stafursky ended his 172-pound bout in 52 seconds with a fall over Jon Melendez, and junior Colin Rosh received a forfeit at 189 pounds to extend the lead to 36-6.

Mifflinburg piked up a forfeit at 215 and a fall at 285 ti cut the deficit to 36-12, but Josh Courtney forged a 9-0 major decision over Dylan Starr at 113 pounds to make it 40-12.

Bradley provided Athens’ final points of the bout with a 16-0 technical fall of Brady Struble at 120 pounds.

Jersey Shore 35, Athens 33
Athens only won one bout on the mat, but five forfeits kept them in the match until the final weight class in a 35-33 loss to Jersey Shore.

The Wildcats’ only win was at 172 pounds, where senior Zach Stafursky forged a 7-2 decision over Jon Smith.

Athens also picked up forfeits at 138 (senior Kaden Setzer), 152 (sophomore Chris Bathgate), 113 (junior Gavin Bradley), 120 (freshman Josh Courtney), and 126 (freshman Mason Vanderpool), and led 33-30 going into the final weight class.

In that final match, Jersey Shore’s Liam Goodrich pounded out a 16-1 technical fall win to secure the victory for the Bulldogs.

——————

IN PHOTO: Athens junior Gavin Bradley. … PHOTO PROVIDED.

——————

Benton 46, Athens 30
113: Gavin Bradley (A) won by forfeit;
120: Mason Vanderpool (A) won by forfeit;
126: Gable Strickland (B) by fall over Jacob Courtney (A), 2:54;
132: Caden Temple (B) by fall over Gavin McGrath (A), 1:23;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) by fall over Remington Morrow (B), 1:24;
145: Mason Smith (B) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 2:32;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) by fall over Nicholas Stevens (B), 1:03;
160: Nolan Lear (B) by fall over Karter Rude (A), 1:51;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) by fall over Mason Michael (B), 5:28;
189: Jacob Bobersky (B) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 2:25;
215: Zach Poust (B) won by forfeit;
285: Andrew Wolfe (B) major dec. Joshua Nittinger (A), 11-2;
106: Chase Burke (B) won by forfeit.

West Perry 52, Athens 22
120: Blain Puchalsky (WP) by fall over Mason Vanderpool (A), 4:32;
126: Jacob Courtney (A) by fall over Adam Rea (WP), 4:36;
132: Nolen Zeigler (WP) by fall over Gavin McGrath (A), 2:47;
138: Justice Hockenberry-Folk (WP) by fall over Kaden Setzer (A), 3:15;
145: Carter Nace (WP) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 0:55;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) by fall over Joe Saylor (WP), 1:56;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Dayton Seidel (WP), 3:20;
172: Tyler Wonders (WP) major de. Zachary Stafursky (A), 10-0;
189: Brad Morrison (WP) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 0:19;
215: Kaleb Cordell (WP) won by forfeit;
285: Josh Trostle (WP) by fall over Joshua Nittinger (A), 0:56;
106: Ashtyn Leigh (WP) won by forfeit;
113: Gavin Bradley (A) major dec. Deven Jackson (WP), 16-8.

Line Mountain 45, Athens 19
126: Lane Schadel (LM) tech. fall Jacob Courtney (A), 15-0 @ 5:56;
132: Max Bingaman (LM) by fall over Gavin McGrath (A), 1:50;
138: Mason Leshock (LM) major dec. Kaden Setzer (A), 18-6;
145: Ian Coller (LM) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 0:59;
152: Bryce Carl (LM) dec. Christopher Bathgate (A), 9-3;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Chandon Maurer (LM), 1:46;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) dec. Cale King (LM), 4-3;
189: Jacob Feese (LM) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 0:29;
215: Dominick Bridi (LM) won by forfeit;
285: Joshua Nittinger (A) won by forfeit;
106: Nolan Baumert (LM) won by forfeit;
113: Brody Long (LM) dec. Joshua Courtney (A), 13-6;

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TOWANDA RALLIES IN FOURTH QUARTER TO EDGE ATHENS JV, 38-35

TOWANDA RALLIES IN FOURTH QUARTER TO EDGE ATHENS JV, 38-35

February 6, 2021 Tim Birney

TOWANDA — Towanda knocked down a pair of key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to rally for a 38-35 win over Athens here Saturday afternoon in NTL junior varsity girls basketball action.

Karlee Bartlow scored five points and Abby Champion added four points to help Athens an 11-6 lead after the first quarter.

Destiny Brennan and Gracie Schoonover combined for 13 points in the second quarter to fuel a 13-8 spurt that tied the game at 19-19 at the half.

Emma Bronson scored four points in the third quarter in a 9-6 spurt that gave the junior Wildcats a 28-25 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

Brennan and Eliza Fowler each drained 3-pointers, and Bella Hurley made a pair of free throws as Towanda used a 13-7 run to pull out the win.

Bartlow led Athens with 16 points, six boards, four steals, two assists, and one blocked shot, while Bronson had 11 points, five steals, two assists, and one blocked shot, Champion added four points and three rebounds, and Mya Thompson hauled down 14 rebounds, recorded six steals, and blocked two shots.

Brennan led Towanda with 11 points, and Schoonover added 10 points.

Athens returns to action Monday at Benton.

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UNBEATEN NP-LIBERTY TOPS ATHENS, 79-59

UNBEATEN NP-LIBERTY TOPS ATHENS, 79-59

February 6, 2021 Tim Birney

LIBERTY — Noah Spencer poured in 34 points, including 16 points from the free-throw line, to lead unbeaten North Penn-Liberty to a 79-59 win over Athens here Saturday night in NTL boys basketball action.

The Mountaineers, now 7-0, shot 30 free throws (24 made) in the contest to the Wildcats’ 17 (12 made), and that fact was not lost on Athens coach Jim Lister.

“I am taking nothing away from (North Penn-Liberty) and Noah Spencer,” he said. “They are a very good, well-coached basketball team and we would had to be at our best to beat them.

“Our game plan tonight was to come out and be aggressive on defense and attack, but unfortunately some extremely inconsistent officiating took us completely out of our game plan,” noted Lister. “I believe we had 12 or 13 team fouls with 5 minutes left to go in the second quarter.

“I felt terrible for our kids who working there tails off,” added Lister. “Through it all, though, they did not quit and were never out of the game until the end, and for that I am proud of them.”

Spencer scored six points in the first quarter, and Koleton Roupp and Brandon Thompson each had five points to help NP-L to a 20-13 lead after the first eight minutes.

Thompson scored seven points in the second quarter, and Spencer added five, but the Mountaineers were only able to add one point to their lead, taking a 41-33 lead into the halftime locker room.

Junior Troy Pritchard scored six points in the second quarter, and junior J.J. Babcock, who had 10 points in the first half, added five points, including a 3-pointer, to keep the Wildcats in the game.

Athens had no answers for Spencer in the second half.

Spencer tossed in 14 points in the third quarter, including an 8-for-10 performance at the line, as NP-L used an 18-14 edge in the stanza to stretch its lead to 59-47 entering the final eight minutes.

Spencer made 5 of 6 free-throw attempts, and scored nine points in the fourth quarter to fuel a 20-12 Mountaineers advantage in the final stanza.

Spencer had eight assists and six boards to go along with his game-high 34 points for NP-L, while Thompson added 20 points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots, and Colton Litzelman added six steals, five rebounds, and four assists.

Babcock led Athens with 14 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals, while junior Shayne Reid had 14 points, five steals, and two blocked shots, and junior Mason Lister had 11 points, four rebounds, and four steals. Junior Nalen Carling and Pritchard each had eight points and five rebounds for the Wildcats,.

The Wildcats shot 31 percent (22 of 71) from the field.

Athens, now 8-4, hosts Tunkhannock Monday in a non-league contest.

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FOURTH-QUARTER RUN LIFTS TOWANDA TO 43-36 WIN OVER ATHENS

FOURTH-QUARTER RUN LIFTS TOWANDA TO 43-36 WIN OVER ATHENS

February 6, 2021 Chris Manning

Valley Sports Report
TOWANDA — For three quarters, Athens outplayed Towanda, taking a 31-26 lead into the fourth quarter. Then, disaster struck, as they were outscored 19-5 in the final frame to fall to the Knights, 43-36, in NTL girls’ basketball action Saturday.

“They went to that 2-2-1 three-quarters court trap,” explained Athens coach Brian Miller. “They ran that earlier in the game, and we handled it effectively, but we struggled big time with it.

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ATHENS CRUISES TO 53-23 WIN OVER WILLIAMSON

ATHENS CRUISES TO 53-23 WIN OVER WILLIAMSON

February 5, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Chris Mitchell and Carson Smith led a balanced Athens scoring attack in a 53-23 win over Williamson here Friday night in NTL junior varsity boys basketball action.

Mitchell scored six points in the first quarter, and Smith added four to help Athens to a 12-4 lead after the first eight minutes.

Seven different Wildcats scored in a 19-8 second-quarter run that pushed the lead to 31-12 at the half.

Smith scored nine points in the second half, and Mitchell added seven as the Wildcats added to their lead.

Mitchell led Athens with 15 points, and Smith added 13 points as all nine Wildcats put their name in the scoring column.

Connor Mosher and Ryan Thompson scored five points apiece in the win, while Lucas Kraft and Davin Spencer had four points apiece, Matt Aquilio added three points, and Korey Miller and Nicholas Jacob chipped in with two points each.

Kaufman led Williamson with 11 points.

Athens returns to action tonight at North Penn-Liberty.

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ATHENS ROLLS OVER WILLIAMSON, 73-27

ATHENS ROLLS OVER WILLIAMSON, 73-27

February 5, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens turned a close game into a rout with a second-quarter blitz on its way to a 73-27 win over Williamson here Friday night in NTL Large School Division boys basketball action.

Seven different Athens players put their names in the scorebook in the first quarter, led by five points from junior Nalen Carling, four points by senior Griffin Stein, and old-fashioned three-point play by junior J.J. Babcock, as the Wildcats built an 18-12 lead.

Babcock scored 10 points, including a 3-pointer and a conventional three-point play, in the second quarter, while junior Tucker Brown added seven points, including a trey, and juniors Shayne Reid and Troy Pritchard chipped in with four points apiece in a 28-4 run that extended the Wildcat lead to 46-16 at the intermission.

Athens added three points to its advantage in the third quarter, and sophomore Carson Smith buried a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to fuel a 15-2 game-closing run.

The Wildcats, now 8-3, opened the season with an 88-33 win over Williamson.

Babcock led a balanced Athens attack, which had 10 players score at least four points, with 13 points, five steals, three rebounds, and three assists, Brown had nine points, three rebounds, three assists, and three steals, and junior Mason Lister had eight points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and one blocked shot.

Stein had eight points and three rebounds in the win, while Carling had seven points and four rebounds, Pritchard scored seven points, Reid had six points and three assists, Smith scored six points, senior James Benninger-Jones added five points, and sophomore Chris Mitchell chipped in with four points and one blocked shot.

Tristan Parker led Williamson with 11 points, and Jacob Schmitt added 10 points.

Athens returns to action Saturday night at unbeaten North Penn-Liberty.

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THOMPSON'S DOUBLE-DOUBLE POWERS ATHENS JV IN WIN OVER WYALUSING

THOMPSON'S DOUBLE-DOUBLE POWERS ATHENS JV IN WIN OVER WYALUSING

February 4, 2021 Tim Birney

WYALUSING — Mya Thompson registered a double-double, and led three scorers in double-figures in Athens’ 45-21 win over Wyalusing here Thursday in NTL junior varsity girls basketball action.

Karlee Bartlow scored seven points in the first quarter, and Emma Bronson added five points, including a 3-pointer, to fuel the junior Wildcats’ 13-0 first-quarter run.

Abby Champion scored five points, including a 3-pointer, and Thomson added four points as Athens stretched its lead to 16 points, at 25-9, heading into the halftime locker room.

Thompson scored eight points in the second half, while Bronson had six points, and Bartlow added four to help Athens extend its lead in both quarters.

Thompson had 13 points, 13 rebounds, six steals, two assists, and two blocked shots to lead Athens, while  Bartlow had 13 points, four steals, and three assists, and Bronson added 12 points, five steals, and two assists.

Champion chipped in with five points, three boards, and one blocked shot in the win, and Izzy Davis grabbed four rebounds.

Athens, now 7-4, returns to action Saturday at Towanda.

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ATHENS PINS DOWN WINS OVER NP-LIBERTY, WILLIAMSON

ATHENS PINS DOWN WINS OVER NP-LIBERTY, WILLIAMSON

February 4, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS —  Athens picked up a forfeit-filled 57-9 victory over North Penn-Liberty here Thursday night in NTL wrestling action, then used a flurry of falls to pin down a 45-30 win over Williamson.

Athens 57, North Penn-Liberty 9
The Wildcats rode nine forfeits to a 57-9 win over North Penn-Liberty in their first match of the night.

Rude gave the Wildcats a 3-0 lead with an 8-1 decision over Gavin Sexauer at 160 pounds, but NP-L’s Kohen Lehman topped Stafursky, 7-2, at 172 pounds to tie the match at 3-3.

Rosh received a forfeit at 189 to give Athens a 9-3 lead, and after neither team sent a wrestler to the mat at 215, Wildcat freshman Josh Nittinger had his hand received for six free points to make it 15-3.

NP-L received a forfeit at 106, but the Wildcats took forfeits in the final seven weight classes — Bradley (113), Kyler Setzer (120), Courtney (126), Gavin McGrath (132), Kaden Setzer (138), Fornes (145), and Bathgate (152) — to provide the final margin.

Athens 45, Williamson 30
Athens won six bouts in a row, including five by fall, to take a commanding lead early en route to a 45-30 win over Williamson for its second win of the night.

After the Warriors notched a fall at 132 pounds, Athens junior Kaden Setzer started a Wildcat pin parade with a 17-second fall of Aidric Passerallo to tie the match at 6-6.

Junior Lucas Forbes and sophomore Chris Bathgate followed it up with back-to-back pins in 55 seconds, at 145 and 152 pounds, respectively, to give Athens an 18-6 lead.

After a forfeit to junior Karter Rude, senior Zach Stafursky registered a fall over Jacob Puffer in 50 seconds at 172 pounds, and junior Colin Rosh decked Ian Bump in 1:25 at 189 pounds to make it 36-6.

The Warriors won the next three weight classes, with a pair of forfeits sandwiched around 285-pound standout Kade Sottolano’s first-period fall, to trim the Athens lead to 36-24.

Junior Gavin Bradley, now 20-0, sealed the Athens win with a 14-second pin of Chelsea Hungerford at 113 pounds to make it 42-24.

After a Williamson pin at 120 pounds, sophomore Jake Courtney closed out the match with a 12-6 decision of Ayden Sprague at 126 pounds.

Athens, now 12-6, returns to action Saturday at the Line Mountain Duals.

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ATHENS FALLS AT WYALUSING ... AGAIN

ATHENS FALLS AT WYALUSING ... AGAIN

February 4, 2021 Chris Manning

LUSING — It just didn’t seem like it was going to be Athens’ night in Wyalusing.

The Wildcats missed three practices this week, their bus was late getting them there, and much of the game was looking like deja vu from a year ago when the Rams upset them to send the NTL title to Towanda.

And it ended up a lot like last year’s game as Wyalusing won 31-28 in NTL Division-I girls’ basketball action Thursday.

Both teams were sloppy, and struggled with shots they normally see go in the hoop. Athens’ also turned the ball over 16 times as Wyalusing focused on stopping Kayleigh Miller and Caydence Macik.

“A lot of things hurt us tonight,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “We looked lethargic at times after three days off … the bus got us here late and refs wouldn’t give us additional time to warm up — that’s unacceptable in my book. It’s about the players, not the refs.”

For much of the game, Wyalusing was content to milk the clock when they had the ball, making each possession count that much more, and making each turnover or missed basket hurt much worse.

“We made some bad passes and missed some basketball we normally make,” said Miller. “The nature of play favored Wyalusing. When we shoot four foul shots on the night, and they only commit two fouls in the first half …”

Macik and Miller both finished with 12 points. Miller added four boards, two steals and three assists, and Macik chipped in with five boards.

Miller shot the ball well, as she was 3 of 4 on 2-pointers and 2-for-4 from deep, but Wyalusing’s Hailey Jayne stuck to her most of the night, making it difficult to get her shot off.

And whenever Macik got the ball in the post, the Rams doubled her, forcing her into six turnovers.

Karlee Bartlow and Megan Collins had two points apiece. Collins also grabbed four rebounds, while Hannah Blackman had eight boards and two steals, and Rachel Stephens nabbed eight rebounds.

Madison Putnam had 11 points to lead Wyalusing, and Callie Bennett finished with eight. Catherine Brown scored six, Layla Botts netted four, and Jayne finished with two points.

The two teams opened the game by trading buckets. A Miller 3-ball gave Athens a 5-2 lead, an advantage they held until the 4:18 mark of the first quarter when Putnam scored on a driving lay-up. She missed the and-1, but it put Wyalusing 6-5.

A Brown bucket two minutes later saw the Rams lead increase to 8-5. A Collins jumper cut it to 8-7 but Wyalusing went on a 4-0 run in the last minute as Botts hit a lay-up, followed by Putnam draining two free throws with 1.9 seconds left in the quarter, extending Wyalusing’s lead to 12-7.

That lead evaporated quickly, as a Miller 3-ball and Bartlow jumper tied things up at 12-12 less than three minutes into the second quarter.

The Rams answered with back-to-back lay-ups from Putnam and Bennett, giving them a 16-12 lead.

Miller followed with a jumper, but a Putnam 3-point play — this time she hit the free throw after making the lay-up — saw the Rams keep Athens at arm’s length, taking a 19-14 lead.

Then, in the final three minutes, Athens went on a 5-0 run. Miller found Macik for a lay-up, then Macik got her own lay-up and foul combination to make it 19-all at the half.

Only six points total were scored in the third as the defenses settled in. Wyalusing continued to keep Macik and Miller from having clean looks, while on the other end, the Rams were patient, but struggled to penetrate Athens’ defense.

A Brown jumper at the 6:30 mark put the Rams up 21-19, but a Macik jumper with 4:35 left tied things back up again.

Then, with under a minute to go, Jayne hit a long jump shot to once again break the tie, giving the Rams a 23-21 lead going into the final stanza.

After a scoreless first two minutes, Miller tied things up with a runner for Athens. That was followed by Macik going 1 of 2 from the free throw line, giving the Wildcats their first lead since early in the first quarter.

It was short-lived as Bennett came alive for the Rams, scoring back-to-back lay-ups, the second with 1:30 left in the game, to put Wyalusing up 27-24.

On Athens’ ensuing possession, Macik hit a lay-up and was fouled, but missed the freebie, allowing the Rams to stay up 27-26.

The two teams traded turnovers as game went under a minute before Brown was fouled on a lay-up attempt. She hit both free throws to make it 29-26.

The two teams traded turnovers again before Miller hit another runner to cut it to 29-28 with 22 seconds left on the clock.

Taking the ball out on the side after an Athens foul, Jayne hit a streaking Bennett, who got behind the defense, for a lay-up, plus a foul. Bennett missed the free throw, giving Athens hope of a tying 3-pointer with 17.4 seconds to play.

On Athens’ final possession they tried to get Miller an open shot, but the Rams hounded her, at one point triple-teaming her. She finally got a shot off, but it was blocked. The Rams recovered the ball and watched time tick off the clock.

Miller was incensed at the officiating on their final possession.

“Three fouls on our last possession and nothing was called,” he said.

The loss drops Athens (7-1) behind Towanda (7-0) in the NTL Division-I standings with the two teams slated to meet in the first of two contests on Saturday with a 1:30 p.m. sta

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