By: Tim Birney | | January 29, 2022 | Photo courtesy David Alliger


ATHENS — Athens led by five points after the first quarter, but walked into the halftime locker room down by 21 in a 69-38 loss to Dallas here Saturday evening in non-league boys basketball action.

“Believe it or not, these are the type of non-league games I want,” said Athens coach Jim Lister. “This game will make us better, and we will be ready for the final two weeks of our season.”

Senior Nalen Carling knocked down a 3-pointer and scored five points in the first quarter, and juniors Mason Lister and Chris Mitchell added four points apiece to lead Athens to a 17-12 lead after the first eight minutes.

The next eight minutes was all Dallas.

Nick Nocito canned four 3-pointers for 12 points in the stanza, while Austin Finarelli pumped in 10 points, and Michael Cumbo canned a pair of 3-pointers to fuel a 32-point outburst that gave Dallas a 44-23 lead at the halftime intermission.

Nocito scored seven more points in the third quarter, including his fifth 3-pointer of the game, and Finarelli added four points in a 19-7 run that extended the lead to 63-30 heading into the final eight minutes.

Nocito led the Mountaineers with 21 points and five 3-pointers, while Finarelli added 17, and Cumbo chipped in with 11, including a trio of 3-pointers.

Mitchell led Athens with 10 points and three rebounds, while Carling scored seven points, Lister added six points, three rebounds, three assists, and three steals, and senior J.J. Babcock chipped in with seven rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots.

Athens, now 12-5, returns to action Wednesday at Towanda.


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.