By: Tim Birney | AthensWildcats.com | February 6, 2021


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.


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 Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020). Southern Tier Sports Report is set to launch in 2021.