By: Tim Birney | | December 29, 2021 | Photo courtesy David Alliger


WAVERLY - Junior Karlee Bartlow and sophomore Mya Thompson sent short-handed Athens off to a fast start on its way to a 50-14 win over Sayre here Wednesday evening in the consolation game of the girls Valley Christmas Basketball Tournament.

"The kids stepped up and played well," said Athens coach Brian Miller. "Missing two starters, we had to play different positions on offense and defense, but the girls adjusted quite well.

"Mya Thompson played a well-rounded game, and Karlee Bartlow did a great job finishing at the basket," added Miller.

The Lady Redskins, who did not field a team in 2020 due to a lack of numbers, are 0-3, with two of those losses to Athens and the other to Towanda - the preseason favorites to battle for the NTL Large School title this year.

Longtime Sayre coach Eileen Sparduti is of the opinion "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."

"We made it," she said. "We survived maybe the toughest season opening we could have ever had.
"We were able to  work on our half-court defense tonight, which really improved," noted Sparduti. "That's not reflected in the score because many of their points were scored off our ball-handling errors. 

"Offensively, we are still adjusting to the speed and pressure of varsity play and are still too hesitant about attacking, but that will come.

"Next week, we will see what we benefited from in these "˜trials by fire,'" added Sparduti. "It certainly did not consume us."

Karlee Bartlow netted 10 points and Thompson added six to fuel an 18-4 run in the first eight minutes for the Lady Wildcats, who were playing without seniors Caydence Macik and Olivia Bartlow.

Six different Lady Wildcats put their names in the scoring column in the second quarter, led by four points apiece from Bartlow and freshman Addy Wheeler, in a 16-6 run that extended the lead to 34-10.

Bartlow led Athens with 21 points, seven steals, and three assists, while Wheeler had 10 points, three rebounds, six steals, and one blocked shot, and Thompson had eight points, four rebounds, and six steals.

Junior Emma Bronson added five points and three rebounds for the Lady Wildcats, and freshman Ravyn Glisson chipped in with four points and four boards.

Gabby Shaw had four points and five rebounds, and Jazz DeKay had four points and three boards to lead Sayre, while Liz Shaw had five rebounds and three steals, and Kendra Merrill added four boards and three assists.

Athens, now 4-2, is scheduled to open the New Year at Towanda Jan. 5, while Sayre (0-3) is slated to host North Penn-Mansfield Jan. 3.


About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio
Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.

Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.

River Road Media Group includes five sites in "The Sports Reports" family that cover 24 school districts in five counties: Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020); Northern Tier West Sports Report (March 15, 2021) Southern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 16, 2021).