ATHENS SHAKES OFF ROUGH FIRST HALF; TOPS TOWANDA, 70-60
By: Tim Birney | AthensWildcats.com | January 6, 2022 | Photo courtesy David Alliger
ATHENS — Athens shook off a rough first half, and a poor shooting night
at the free-throw line to post a 70-60 win over Towanda here Thursday
night in NTL Large School Division boys basketball action.
we were not as crisp as I would have liked in the first half and we
missed a ton of foul shots tonight,” said Athens coach Jim Lister. “I
will never be happy about that.
“We made some halftime adjustments and came out and played a much better second half and got the win,” he added.
Lister also heaped praise on first-year Towanda coach Landon Henry.
I want to give a ton of credit to Coach Landon Henry,” said Lister. “He
is young and has ton of energy and his kids are buying in.
“They are going to beat some teams this season on just effort and hard work,” added Lister.
senior guard Tucker Brown scored the first seven points of the game,
but Towanda used an 18-4 blitz to take an 18-11 with 1:45 remaining in
the first quarter.
Senior J.J. Babcock scored five straight
points, and senior Nalen Carling made a free throw in the final seconds
of the opening stanza to draw within 18-17 at the end of the opening
Brown made one of two free throws early in the
second quarter to tie the game at 18-18, and Carling made one of two
free throws with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half to give
Athens the lead for good, at 22-21.
Athens made 20 of 41 free-throw attempts in the game.
by Brown and junior Chris Mitchell made it 26-21, and a pair of free
throws by junior Chris Mitchell with 55 seconds remaining in the half
gave the Wildcats a 30-25 lead.
Athens pushed its lead to six
points, at 34-28, in the opening moments of the second half on a bucket
by Brown, but the Black Knights used a 6-1 spurt to close the gap to
Carling, off an assist from junior Mason Lister, scored to spark a 6-0 spurt that pushed the Athens lead to 41-34.
technical foul against Towanda with 2 minutes left in the third quarter
resulted in a free throw by Brown, and two more by Babcock to push the
lead to 45-36.
The Black Knights then used a 7-0 spurt to close
the gap to 45-43 with 7:10 remaining in the game, but that was as close
as they would get.
Lister, off a feed from Carling, and
Pritchard, off an assist from Lister, scored back-to-back buckets to
spark a 10-2 run that put the Wildcats up 55-45 5 1/2 minutes remaining
in the game.
After a bucket by Towanda’s Logan Lambert made it
55-47, Athens scored 10 straight points to take a 65-47 lead with 2:15
left in the game.
The Black Knights closed the gap to 67-60 in
the final minutes, but the Wildcats mad three of six free throws down
the stretch to seal the win.
Brown led Athens with 20 points,
four rebounds, four assists, and three steals, while Pritchard had 13
points and six rebounds, Carling had 12 points, eight rebounds, four
assists, and four steals, and Babcock had nine points, six boards, and
one blocked shot.
Lister added eight points, eight rebounds,
seven assists, and three steals in the win, and Mitchell had eight
points and five boards.
Dante Ottaviano led Towanda with 29
points, including 13 points in the first quarter, and seven 3-pointers,
while Logan Lambert and Justin Schoonover added nine points apiece.
Athens, now 7-2, returns to action Wednesday at North Penn-Mansfield.