MACIK, MILLER PACE ATHENS IN, 62-23, ROUT OF WILLIAMSON

MACIK, MILLER PACE ATHENS IN, 62-23, ROUT OF WILLIAMSON

January 21, 2021 Tim Birney

TIOGA JUNCTION — Athens exploded for 47 first-half points, and cruised to a 62-23 win over Williamson here Thursday night in NTL girls basketball action.

“Caydence (Macik) and Kayleigh (Miller) shot the ball great tonight,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “We had over 20 assists as a team, so that shows we executed our offense and shared the ball with each other.”

The Lady Wildcats shot 57 percent (26 of 46) from the field, with Macik making 10 of her 13 shots, and Miller knocking down 8 of her 13 shots, including 3 of 6 from behind the three-point arc.

Miller canned a pair of 3-pointers and scored 12 points in the first quarter, and Macik added six points to fuel a 23-6 first-quarter run.

Macik scored eight points, and Miller added seven points in the Lady Wildcats’ 24-8 blitz that pushed the lead to 47-14.

Macik had 21 points, six rebounds, six blocked shots, and two steals, and Miller had 21 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals to lead the Lady Wildcats.

Sophomore Karlee Bartlow had eight points, three assists, and two steals in the win, while Natalee Watson scored six points, senior Megan Collins doled out a team-high six assists, sophomore Emma Bronson dished out five assists, and freshman Mya Thompson grabbed three rebounds, and blocked one shot.

Lateisha Peterson led Williamson with 11 points, and Taylor Rae Jones added 10 points.

Athens, now 5-1, returns to action Saturday at Troy in a noon start.

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ATHENS RACKS UP WINS OVER NEB, SAYRE

ATHENS RACKS UP WINS OVER NEB, SAYRE

January 21, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens earned a pair of forfeit-filled wins over Northeast Bradford and Sayre here Thursday night in NTL wrestling action.

The Wildcats improved to 7-3 season, including a 3-1 mark in the NTL.

Athens 63, NEB 6

Athens won both bouts on the mat, and picked up nine forfeits in a 63-6 win over Northeast Bradford.

Freshman Josh NIttinger gave the Wildcats a quick 6-0 lead with a pin of NEB’s Kamden Ricci in 28 seconds at 285 pounds.

Six consecutive forfeits — to freshman Josh Courtney, at 113 pounds, junior Gavin Bradley (120), freshman Mason Vanderpool (126), sophomore Jake Courtney (132), junior Kaden Setzer (138), and junior Lucas Forbes — gave Athens a 42-0 lead.

In the only other contested weight class, Athens sophomore Chris Bathgate earned a hard-fought, 8-4, win over Jack Shumway.

Forfeits to junior Karter Rude (160), senior Zach Stafursky (172), and junior Collin Rosh (189) extend the Athens lead to 63-0.

Kenric received a forfeit at 215 pounds for NEB’s only points.

Athens 60, Sayre 12
The Wildcats won two of three bouts on the mat, and picked up eight forfeits in a 60-12 win over Sayre.

Athens junior Kaden Setzer opened the match with a pin of Sayre senior Bobby Benjamin in 1:32 at 138 pounds.

Forfeits to Lucas Forbes (145) and Chris Bathgate (152) made it 18-0, and Athens junior Karter Rude decked Sayre’s Kaden Bennett in 13 seconds at 160 pounds to extend the Wildcat lead to 24-0.

Senior Zach Stafursky gave Athens a 30-0 lead with a pin of Sayre’s Aiden Reid in 2:32 at 172 pounds.

The Redskins got on the board at 189 pounds when sophomore Glen Romberger pinned Athens junior Collin Rosh in 3:38.

After neither team sent a wrestler to the mat for the 215-pound bout, Athens freshman Josh Nittinger picked up a forfeit at 285, and Sayre freshman Kendrick Ross had his hand raised at 106 pounds.

Josh Courtney, at 113 pounds), Gavin Bradley (120), Mason Vanderpool (126), and Jake Courtney (132) received forfeits for the Wildcats to close out the match.

Athens hosts the Jarvis Tournament Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.

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ATHENS JUNIOR HIGH GRAPPLERS DECK NEB, 54-18

ATHENS JUNIOR HIGH GRAPPLERS DECK NEB, 54-18

January 21, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens won all four contested weight classes, and received five forfeits in a 54-18 win over Northeast Bradford here Thursday night in NTL junior high wrestling action.

Karson Sipley won the first bout to take to the mat, pinning NEB’s Mason Alexander in 2:33 at 94 pounds.

At 138 pounds, Keegan Congdon pinned Jayden Crawford in 1:29.

Matthias Welles recorded a 28-second fall over NEB’s Conner Eastabrook at 170 pounds.

And, Cooper Robinson scored a fall over Hunter Comstock in 1:54 at 108 pounds.

Eli Chapman, at 115 pounds, Sean Peters (122), Trey Souder (130), Kolsen Keathley (145), and Caleb Nason (250) received forfeits for the junior Wildcats.

Athens gave up six points at 80 to NEB’s Anaiah Kolesar, at 101 to Russell Martin, and at 190 to Dominick Clark.

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ATHENS RIDES SECOND-QUARTER BLITZ TO 78-61 WIN OVER NP-MANSFIELD

ATHENS RIDES SECOND-QUARTER BLITZ TO 78-61 WIN OVER NP-MANSFIELD

January 20, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens used a 14-0 second-quarter run, fueled by eight points in 50 seconds from junior Shayne Reid, to overcome an early deficit on its way to a 78-61 win over North Penn-Mansfield here Wednesday night in NTL Large School boys basketball action.

The Wildcats built an 18-9 lead with 2 /12 minutes remaining in the first quarter, but the Tigers closed the stanza with 13 straight points, then scored a quick bucket in the second quarter to take its biggest lead of the game, at 24-18.

“We came out of the gate strong tonight, right from the get-go,” said Lister. “We were rolling, then we just took our foot off the gas, and let them get back in the game.

“I wasn’t real happy, so I gave the guys a real hard time, and they responded,” added Lister.

The Wildcats forced NP-M into 20 turnovers, which created plenty of fast-break opportunities in the contest. They combined for 19 assists.

“We moved the ball well, and we were attacking the rim — our transition game has been really good,” said Lister. “And, we’ve been playing really good defense.

“I keep going back to that same old formula: if you play defense, you make lay-ups, and you make free throws, you win basketball games. That’s what we’re doing right now,” added Lister.

Twelve of Athens’ 19 assists came from the Wildcats’ big men — juniors Austin Lister, J.J. Babcock, and Nalen Carling.

“It’s something we work on in practice,” said Lister. “It’s a team game, I want to pound it inside. I want my bigs touching the ball. When that happens, good things happen, and it did tonight.”

Babcock pumped in 12 points, and junior Nalen Carling added a pair of buckets as Athens jumped out to an 18-9 lead, but Alex Stein scored seven of his 12 first-quarter points in a 13-0 Tiger run to end the quarter.

Freshman Carson Dominick gave NP-M a 24-18 lead on its first possession of the second quarter, but it would be nearly five minutes before they scored again. By that time, Athens led 32-24.

Carling triggered the Athens run with a putback on the offensive boards, then added a lay-up in transition, as well as a free throw to convert the old-fashioned three-point play that trimmed the deficit to 24-23.

Babcock, off a feed from Lister, gave Athens the lead for good with a fast-break bucket, and a Carling steal moments later turned into a lay-up by junior Tucker Brown to give the Wildcats a 27-24 lead.

Reid then scored on a driving lay-up in transition, and drained a 3-pointer to cap the run.

After a 3-pointer by NP-M’s Curtis Craig, Reid answered with another 3-pointer to make it 35-27.

“If someone’s feeling it, get him the ball,” said Lister. “Shayne (Reid) was feeling it today.

“It was his best game of the season so far,” he noted. “He was pushing the ball hard, he was making things happen, and his jump shot was there today.

“I keep saying it about this team: it could be anyone,” added Lister. “I have nine or 10 kids who can play basketball, and on any given night one of those kids can step up and deliver, and tonight was Shayne Reid’s night.”

A pair of free throws by Stein cut the lead to 35-29, but junior Troy Pritchard answered for the Wildcats with two free throws, and Lister and Reid followed with back-to-back buckets to make it 41-29.

Dominick scored on a shot jumper to make it 41-31, but Brown and Reid scored on drives to the bucket in the final 30 seconds of the half to give the Wildcats a 45-31.

Brown, off a feed from Carling, and Carling, off a feed from Brown, scored in transition in the opening minute of the second half, and moments later Lister buried a 3-pointer to make it 52-31.

The teams would trade buckets, with Tucker Brown’s lay-up giving the Wildcats a 60-41 lead, until the Tigers reeled off nine straight points to make it 60-50 with 20 seconds left in the third quarter.

Reid stopped the bleeding with a driving lay-up off the glass to give the Wildcats a 62-50 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

Athens kept it going in the opening minute of the fourth quarter with buckets by Carling, Reid and Babcock to make it 68-50.

The closest NP-M would get the remainder of the game is 13 points, at 74-61.

Babcock pumped in 21 points — on 10 of 14 shooting from the field — and had six rebounds, five steals, three assists, and one blocked shot for the Wildcats, while Reid tallied a career-high 18 points on an 8 of 12 shooting performance, and Brown scored 15 points on 7 of 7 shooting from the field, with three rebounds and three assists.

Carling contributed 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists in the win, while Lister added seven points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists, and senior James Benninger-Jones grabbed four boards.

The Wildcats shot 49.3 (34 of 69) percent from the field.

Athens, now 5-2, has won four straight after losing two of its first three.

“I’m gonna go back to Tucker Brown’s 3-pointer against Wellsboro when we were down 16 in the fourth quarter,” said Lister. “Whatever was in that shot was magic, and the guys have responded ever since.”

Dominick led Mansfield with 20 points, while Stein scored 16, and Craig added 11.

Athens returns to action Friday when it hosts Wyalusing in a game that will be broadcast on Choice 102.1.

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ATHENS JVs BLOW GAME OPEN EARLY IN 55-17 ROUT OF NP-MANSFIELD

ATHENS JVs BLOW GAME OPEN EARLY IN 55-17 ROUT OF NP-MANSFIELD

January 20, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens raced to a 20-point first-quarter lead, stretched it to 33 at the half, and cruised to a 55-17 win over North Penn-Mansfield here Wednesday night in NTL Large School Division junior varsity boys basketball action.

Seven different players put their name in the scorebook in the first quarter for the junior Wildcats, led by six points from Carson Smith, and four apiece by Chris Mitchell and Lucas Kraft in a 24-4 blitz.

Smith scored five more points in the second quarter, and Mitchell and Connor Mosher added four apiece in a 15-2 run that put Athens ahead 39-6 at the half.

Smith led Athens with 11 points, while Nicholas Jacob scored 10 points, Mitchell had eight points, Mosher had seven points, Daven Spencer added five points, and Kraft, Korey Miller and Ryan Thompson chipped in with four points apiece.

Athens returns to action Friday when it hosts Wyalusing.

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ATHENS ROLLS TO 52-25 WIN AT NORTH PENN-MANSFIELD

ATHENS ROLLS TO 52-25 WIN AT NORTH PENN-MANSFIELD

January 19, 2021 Tim Birney

MANSFIELD — The Athens defense held North Penn-Mansfield scoreless for nine minutes to start the game, and built a 16-point halftime lead en route to a 52-25 win here Tuesday night in NTL Large School girls basketball action.

The first quarter was a defensive struggle with NP-Mansfield playing a defense designed to stop Athens senior Kayleigh Miller.

“Mansfield came out and played box-and-one on Kayleigh most of  the game,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “We adjusted from the second quarter on to get some good offensive looks.”

Senior Megan Collins buried a 3-pointer and junior Caydence Macik added a bucket to give the Lady Wildcats a 5-0 lead after the first eight minutes.

Macik scored five points, including an old-fashioned three-point play, and Collins knocked down another 3-pointer in the second quarter to fuel a 16-5 blitz that put Athens up 21-5 at the break.

In the third quarter, senior Kayleigh Miller buried a pair of 3-pointers, and Macik added four points as Athens added one point to its lead, taking a 34-17 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Macik scored eight points in the final eight minutes and Miller added four as Athens put the game away with an 18-8 run.

Macik led Athens with 20 points, nine rebounds, three steals, and one blocked shot, while Miller had 12 points, six steals, and five rebounds, and Collins added eight points and four assists.

Natalie Watson chipped in with four points and four rebounds in the win, while Mya Thompson had four rebounds and three steals, and Karlee Bartlow dished out four assists.

“Freshman Mya Thompson played a good game floor game tonight,” said Miller.

Elizabeth Kohl led NP-M with six points.

Athens, now 4-1, returns to action Thursday at Williamson.

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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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