By: Tim Birney | | January 14, 2022


WELLSBORO — Peyton McClure knocked seven 3-pointers, including four in the third quarter, to lift Wellsboro to a 62-49 win over Athens here Friday night in a key NTL Large School boys basketball match-up.

The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on a 3-pointer by senior J.J. Babcock, and led 8-4 midway through the opening stanza on a putback by Babcock.

Wellsboro used a 7-0 spurt, capped by a 3-pointer by Connor Adams, to take an 11-8 lead with 2:38 remaining in the first quarter.

Athens answered with six straight points to take a 14-11 with 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but Adams knocked down another trey with 42 seconds left to tie the game at 14-14.

McClure’s first 3-pointer of the game gave the Hornets a 17-14 lead with 13 seconds remaining, but senior Troy Pritchard tied the game with an old-fashioned three-point play with 4 ticks left on the first-quarter clock.

Babcock scored on a putback a little more than two minutes into the second quarter, and Pritchard scored on an in-bounds play with 5:01 remaining in the first half to give the Wildcats a 22-17 lead.

McClure’s second 3-pointer, with 4:07 left in the half, put Wellsboro on the scoreboard for the first time in the second quarter and cut the lead to 22-20.

A 15-foot jumper by Darryn Callahan tied the game with 3:18 remaining in the first half, but Pritchard scored 10 seconds later to put the Wildcats back ahead at 3:08.

After a free throw by Cam Brought, McClure canned another 3-pointer to give the Hornets a 26-24 lead with 2:22 remaining in the half.

A free throw by Chris Mitchell cut the Wellsboro lead in half, then Kolsen Keathley, off a feed from Babcock, scored in transition to give the Wildcats a 27-26 lead with 1:31 left in the half.

The Hornets held the ball for the last shot of the half, but were unable to get a good look.

McClure knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, sandwiched around a bucket by Mitchell, to give the Hornets a 32-29 lead with 5:55 remaining in the third quarter.

A jumper from the free-throw line by Callahan extended the lead to 34-29 with 5:22 remaining in the third quarter, but Babcock connected from 3-point range to close the gap to 34-32

After the teams exchanged buckets, McClure drained his sixth 3-pointer with 2:45 left in the third quarter to make it 39-34.

McClure’s final 3-pointer came with 4 seconds left, and pushed Wellsboro’s lead to seven points, at 44-37.

Liam Manning scored the first bucket of the fourth quarter with 5:04 remaining to give the Hornets a 46-37 lead.

The teams exchanged points until Manning score a fast-break lay-up with 2:12 remaining to give the Hornets a 54-43 lead.

A pair of free throws by Babcock with 1:07 remaining cut the Wellsboro lead to nine, at 58-49, but that’s as close as the Wildcats would get.

Babcock led Athens with 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and two blocked shots, while Mitchell scored 10 points, and Pritchard had eight points and two steals.

Junior Mason Lister added five points and three assists for the Wildcats, while senior Tucker Brown and Keathley chipped in with four points apiece.

McClure led all scorers with 21 points, while Adams had 12 points and five assists, and Manning had 12 points and six rebounds.

Callahan added eight points, six boards, and four steals in the win, while Hayes Campbell chipped in with six points, seven rebounds and four assists, and Brought grabbed six rebounds.

Athens, now 8-3, hosts Troy Monday, while Wellsboro, now 8-2, hosts South Williamsport.


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).