WYALUSING — Athens may have played one of its best first halves
offensively this season, taking an 8-point lead on Wyalusing, but
couldn’t continue it in the second half as the Rams chipped away at the
lead. Then, with both teams going back-and-forth in the final minutes, a
technical foul against Athens set them back, and Wyalusing pulled out a
66-61 win in NTL boys’ basketball action Friday.
both teams played very, very well,” said Wildcat coach Jim Lister. “I
give a lot of credit to Wyalusing, they came to battle tonight.
Cobb was hot from the outside in the first half, and we made some
adjustments to change that — we went to a man defense, it kind of slowed
him down a little bit, but (Blake) Morningstar got us underneath, so it
just wasn’t our night.”
Athens was down 60-58 with 50.2 seconds
to play when Athens was called for a technical foul after a foul call
against the Wildcats. The personal foul put them in the bonus, and Cobb
went 3-for-4 from the line, extending the Ram lead, and Athens never
“I’m frustrated with that type of foul at the end of
the game,” Lister remarked. “You just don’t make that call with 45
seconds left to go in the game. The player said ‘it was a travel,’ he
didn’t say anything bad. You know, you don’t make that call — that won
the game. If we had a shot, you know, that was gone at that point.”
Lister was pleased with how well his team shot the ball — the ‘Cats were 6-for-11 from deep, and 45.5 percent overall.
going to get our points underneath because were long and tall, but we
have to be able to hit the outside shot, which we’re starting to do
now,” he said.
However, in the second half
Wyalusing switched from man-to-man to a zone, and it slowed Athens down.
They had 38 points at the half, but only scored 23 in the final two
“The second half, I just thought our offense stalled a
little bit,” he said. “We just kind of got out of what we normally do,
and it cost us the game tonight.”
Mason Lister had the hot hand
for Athens with 19 points, to go along with eight rebounds, five
assists, and two blocked shots, and Nalen Carling added 13 points, six
boards, and two assists.
Babcock finished with 11 points, five
rebounds, and six assists, while Troy Pritchard added eight points, and
seven boards, Tucker Brown had six points, and Chris Mitchell rounded
things out with four points, and five rebounds.
Blake Morningstar, Grady Cobb, and Isaiah Way scored 62 of the Wyalusing’s 66 points.
had 22 points, seven boards, and four steals, while Cobb netted 21
points, to go with four steals and two assists. and Way finished with 19
points, six rebounds, and three steals.
Athens jumped out
quickly, hitting three 3-pointers in the first quarter as part of nine
field goals for the Wildcats to take a 22-16 lead.
It was a team
effort for Athens as Lister had six points to lead the Wildcats, while
Babcock and Carling had five points a piece, and Pritchard scored four.
Cobb kept Wyalusing in it, netting 11 points himself, including three 3-balls, as Wyalusing had four bombs in the quarter.
kept up the pressure in the second quarter, out scoring Wyalusing
16-14, as five different Wildcats hit field goals, mostly in the paint.
kept Wyalusing in the game, netting 11 of his team’s point, including a
3-pointer, while Cobb hit a three, to keep it an 8-point deficit at the
Then, in the second half, the Rams held Athens to just
nine points in the third quarter, as Morningstar scored five, to cut it
to 47-44 after three.
To begin the fourth quarter, Way opened with a lay-up plus the foul to tie it up at 47-47.
then came back with a 3-ball, followed by Way hitting a bucket to cut
it to 50-49. That was followed by a Cobb lay-up to put the Rams up 51-50
with 4:14 left to go in the game.
Carling bagged a 3-pointer to go back up 53-51, and a Lister free throw would make it 54-51 with 3:24 left to play.
a Morningstar assist to Way cut it to 54-53, then another Way
three-point play followed, putting the Rams back up 56-54 with 2:40 left
Lister scored to tie things up, but back-to-back Morningstar baskets made it 60-56.
would come back with a lay-up to cut it to 60-58 with 1:03 left, but on
Wyalusing’s next possession Athens was pressing the Rams, and was
called for a foul on Cobb.
That’s when Athens
was whistled for the technical foul, putting Cobb on the line for four
free throws. He made three to put the Rams up 63-58.
would leave the door open for Athens, though, as they went on to miss
four straight free throws down the stretch, the streak ending on a
Bennett hit to push the lead to 64-58.
Brown hit a 3-ball with
two seconds to play to cut it to 64-61, but they couldn’t get the steal
they needed. Way was fouled, hit both free throws, and ended the game.
Things don’t get any easier for Athens, now 9-4, as it hosts Troy Monday.