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.
WESTFIELD — Athens used a 9-0 run early in the first quarter, and a 16-2
blitz that bridged the first two quarters to build a 26-point halftime
lead in a 62-40 win over Cowanesque Valley here Thursday night in NTL
boys basketball action.
With the scored tied at 2-2, senior Troy Pritchard, off a feed from senior J.J. Babcock, scored to give Athens the lead for good, at 4-2.
Moments later, Babcock scored back-to-back buckets, and senior Tucker Brown, off a feed from senior Nalen Carling, capped the nine-point run that left Athens up 11-2 midway through the opening stanza.
After a pair of free throws by McGwire Painter trimmed Athens’ lead to 14-6, Babcock scored back-to-back buckets, then assisted junior Mason Lister on a bucket in transition to make it 20-6 at end of the first eight minutes.
Painter scored a bucket in the opening moments of the second quarter, but Athens scored 10 straight points, including six by junior Chris Mitchell, to take a 30-8 lead.
Gage Tilton stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer to make it 30-11, but the Wildcats closed the first half with a 9-2 spurt, thanks in large part to a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws by sophomore Korey Miller, to make it 39-13 at the half.
Athens kept it rolling in the third quarter as Lister scored a pair of buckets to spark a 10-2 spurt that gave the Wildcats its biggest lead of the game — at 49-15 — with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter.
Cowanesque Valley closed the gap to 19, at 58-39, in the final minute.
Babcock led Athens with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two blocked shots, while Mitchell had 10 points and four rebounds, and Lister had nine points, three assists, and one blocked shot.
Brown had six points, four rebounds, and four assists in the win, while Pritchard had six points and five rebounds, Carling added five points, three assists, and three steals, and Miller chipped in with five points.
Painter led CV with 17 points, and Tilton added nine — all on 3-pointers.
Athens, now 12-4, hosts powerhouse Dallas Saturday in a non-league contest.
WESTFIELD — Athens used a big
second-quarter run to take total control of the game on its way to a
62-40 win over Cowanesque Valley Thursday evening in NTL junior varsity
boys basketball action.
Korey Miller scored six points in the first quarter, and Jase Babcock canned a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to help Athens to a 20-11 lead.
Miller scored seven more points, including a 3-pointer, in the second quarter, and Connor Mosher added five points, including a 3-ball, to fuel a 21-5 blitz that put the Wildcats up 41-16 at the half.
Xavier Watson scored four points in the third quarter, and Mat Aquilio knocked down his second 3-pointer of the game in a 15-11 spurt that extended the lead to 56-27 heading into the final seven minutes.
The Wildcats saw 11 of the 12 players on their roster put their name in the scoring column.
Miller led Athens with 15 points, three assists, and three steals, while Mosher had seven points and four assists, and Watson had six points, three rebounds, and two blocked shots.
Peter Jones and Aquilio scored six points apiece in the win, while Kolsen Keathley added five points, five boards, three steals, and one blocked shot, and Troy Rosenblpom chipped in with four points and three rebounds.
Athens returns to action Saturday when it hosts Dallas.
ATHENS — Athens overcame a slow start with a big third quarter, let a
14-point lead slip through its fingers, then pulled out a 56-49 win over
North Penn-Liberty here Tuesday night in NTL boys basketball action.
It was the second win in as many nights for the Wildcats, who topped division-leading Troy Monday night.
“Whenever you win a big game, like we did (Monday) night, you’re always concerned when you have to come back and play another game 24 hours later, especially against a good team,” said Athens coach Jim Lister.
“It’s just not easy, but the kids battled through it tonight, and I’m proud of them.
“I hate to say it, but most times when you come off a big win that next game can be a bit of a struggle,” noted Lister.
“For us, it was a struggle offensively in the first half, but we had a big third quarter,” continued Lister. “We started pounding the ball inside and getting some lay-ups.
“We got a little sloppy and let them back into the game, but the kids were able to close it out,” added Lister. “Like I said, it’s not easy to come back and win 24 hours after a big win like last night.”
The win is also a bit of redemption for the Wildcats, who lost at North Penn-Liberty in each of the last two years.
“We’ve had to play down there (Liberty) the last two years, and we’ve lost down there the last two years.,” said Lister. “They’ve had our number.
“We did not take them lightly,” noted Lister. We knew they are a good team, and they are well-coached. We knew we’d have to play well to beat them.
“The kids are responding right now. I’ve been saying all season the NTL is extremely tough, there’s a lot of good basketball here, and you have to play well every night,” added Lister. “And, we’ve played pretty well the last two nights.”
Babcock knocked down a 3-pointer early in the first quarter, and scored five points to help to a 12-8 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Mountaineers rallied with a 15-10 run in the second quarter, taking the lead, at 23-22, in the closing moments of the first half on a pair of free throws by Derek Litzelman.
Athens re-gained the lead on its opening possession of the second half on a lay-up by senior Troy Pritchard, off a nice feed from Babcock.
The teams traded multiple turnovers over the next two minutes, before senior Nalen Carling came up with a steal and lay-up to make it 26-23 with 5:40 remaining in the third quarter.
After a bucket by Babcock in transition made it 28-23, NP-L’s Noah Shedden made 1 of 2 free throws to stem the tide momentarily.
Moments later, Babcock fed Carling for an uncontested lay-up, then a blocked shot by junior Mason Lister turned into a fast-break dunk by Babcock to make it 32-24 with 4:39 left in the third quarter.
Consecutive buckets in quick succession by Carling, Lister and Babcock made it 38-24 with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter.
Hunter Thompson’s 3-pointer with 3:04 left in the stanza was NP-L’s first field goal of the half, and also triggered a 17-2 run that gave the Mounties a 41-40 lead early in the fourth quarter. The run was capped by Kyle Davis’ 3-pointer with 6:58 remaining in the contest.
With 6:25 remaining, Babcock tipped-in an errant shot to give the Wildcats the lead for good, at 42-41. Carling, off a feed from Babcock, up the lead to 44-41 with 5:48 left.
Thirty seconds later, Carling scored from point-blank range, and added the free throw to complete the three-point play to extend the lead to 47-42.
A pair of free throws, and a driving lay-up by Litzelman closed the gap to 47-46 with 4:08 left in the contest.
After an Athens turnover, senior Tucker Brown came up with a steal and converted it into a lay-up to make it 49-46 with 3:40 left in the game.
Following a defensive stop, the Wildcats extended the lead to 51-46 on a tip-in by Babcock on the offensive glass.
After an exchange of turnovers, Lister converted an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 54-46 with 1:55 left in the game.
Davis drained a 3-pointer to close the gap to 54-49 with 1:16 left in the game, but Brown scored moments later, off a feed from Babcock to push the lead back to seven, at 56-49.
After NP-L missed its next shot, Athens rebounded and was able to run out the clock.
Babcock had 17 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, three steals, and two blocked shot, and Carling had 17 points and four boards to lead the Wildcats.
Brown had eight points, four rebounds, four assists, and five steals for the Wildcats, while Lister added seven points, seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals, and Pritchard chipped in with five points and five rebounds.
Shedden led NP-L with 17 points, and Litzelman added 13 points.
Athens, now 11-4, travels to Cowanesque Valley Thursday.
ATHENS — Athens used a strong second half to blow open a close game on
its way to a 44-20 win over North Penn-Liberty here Tuesday evening in
NTL junior varsity boys basketball action.
Kolsen Keathley scored five points in the first quarter, and Troy Rosenbloom knocked down a 3-pointer to help Athens to a 14-8 lead after the opening stanza.
The two teams played the second half evenly, and the Wildcats led 21-15 at the half, but Connor Mosher scored five points, including a 3-pointer, in the third quarter, and Keathley added four points in an 11-2 run that upped the lead to 30-17.
Matt Aquilio converted a rare four-point play in the fourth quarter, and Jack Cheresnowsky scored four points in a 12-3 run that put the game away.
Keathley led a balanced Athens attack with nine points and three rebounds, while Mosher had seven points, four assists, and four steals, and Korey Miller had six points, five rebounds, four assists, and six steals.
Aquilio had six points and four rebounds in the win, while Rosenbloom had four points, three steals, and one blocked shot, and Cheresnowsky had four points, three boards, and three steals.
Athens travels to Cowanesque Valley Thursday.
ATHENS — With two league losses already, and playing league unbeaten
Troy, Athens knew this game was do-or-die if it wanted to stay in the
hunt for an NTL title. And, with their backs against the wall, the
Wildcats did that, beating the Trojans 61-57 in boys basketball action
“We’ve been preparing all last week, and this week,” said Athens seniorJJ Babcock, who finished with 14 points, six rebounds, six assists, and a block. “We had a couple of games last week, but we were still preparing for tonight.”
ATHENS — Troy jumped out to a big lead early, then made its free throws
down the stretch to hold off Athens for a 40-33 win over Athens here
Monday night in NTL Large School junior varsity boys basketball action.
The junior Trojans knocked down five 3-pointers in the opening stanza, including two apiece by Jack Burbage and Joseph Frye, in a 19-10 game-opening run. Korey Miller and Connor Mosher canned 3-pointers for the Wildcats.
Xavier Watson scored five points in the second quarter, and Mosher connected on another 3-pointer, but Athens only trimmed one point off the Troy lead, and trailed 26-18 at the break.
Mosher drained his third 3-pointer in the third quarter to spark a 7-2 spurt that closed the gap to 28-25, but the Wildcats missed a golden opportunity to pull closer, or take the lead by doing 0-for-4 at the free throw line.
Mosher and Troy Rosenbloom made 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, but Troy was 8-for-8 from the free throw line, including a 6-for-6 performance by Lance Heasley, to sew up the victory.
Mosher led Athens with 12 points — all on 3-pointers, while Watson had nine points and five rebounds, and Miller had five points, five rebounds, six assists, and nine steals.
Rosenbloom had five points, three steals, and one blocked shot for Athens, and Jase Babcock added six rebounds and one blocked shot.
Heasley led a balanced Troy attack with 10 points, and Burbage added eight.
Athens hosts NP-Liberty Tuesday.
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.
“I thought both teams played very, very well,” said Wildcat coach Jim Lister. “I give a lot of credit to Wyalusing, they came to battle tonight.
“(Grady) 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 recovered.
“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.
“We’re 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.
WYALUSING — Korey Miller hit a pair of free throws to tie the game, then
knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer in the final 90 seconds to lift
Athens to a 36-33 win over Wyalusing here Friday night in NTL junior
varsity boys basketball action.
Troy Rosenbloom scored Athens’ only four points in the opening stanza, but the Wildcat defense was up to the task and the score was tied at 4-4 after the opening seven minutes.
Noah Hobday knocked down a 3-pointer and scored five points in the second quarter, and Miller connected on a 3-pinter to help Athens to a 14-13 lead at the half.
Wyalusing outscored Athens, 12-10, in the third quarter, despite six points by Xavier Watson, to take a 25-24 lead into the final seven minutes.
Watson scored five points early in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer, by Wyalusing led 33-31 with 1:30 left in the game, when Miller knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game.
With a little less than a minute remaining, Miller drained a 3-pointer to make it 36-33.
Watson led Athens with 11 points and three rebounds, while Miller had 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists, Hobday added five points, Rosenbloom chipped in with four points and two assists, and Connor Mosher had four assists and two steals.
Athens returns to action Monday when it hosts Troy.
ATHENS — Athens took a big lead early, and used balance scoring to pull
away from Williamson in a 45-28 win here Thursday night in NTL junior
varsity boys basketball action.
Seven different junior Wildcats found the scoring column in a 16-4 blitz in the opening eight minutes.
The second quarter was much the same as six different Athens players scored two points apiece, and stretched their lead to 28-11 at the half.
Conner Mosher led Athens with eight points, while Xavier Watson had seven points, three rebounds, and Kolsen Keathley had six points, three rebounds, and four steals.
Korey Miller scored five points and dished out four assists in the win, while Jase Babcock added four points, four steals, and one blocked shot, Nicholas Jacob and Matt Aquilio chipped in with four points apiece, and Jack Cheresnowsky grabbed a team-high five rebounds.
Athens returns to action Friday at Wyalusing.
ATHENS — Senior Caydence Macik and junior Emma Bronson helped Athens off
to a fast start, and the Lady Wildcats rolled to a 58-28 win over
Williamson here Thursday night in NTL girls basketball action.
Macik and Bronson scored seven points apiece in the first quarter, and junior Karlee Bartlow added five points to help Athens to a 21-9 lead.
Macik scored seven more points in the second quarter, and five of her teammates also found the scoring column in an 18-5 run that extended the lead to 39-14 at the half.
Bartlow and Emma Bronson combined for nine points in the third quarter as Athens used a 15-7 run to push its lead to 54-21 entering the final eight minutes.
Macik led Athens with 14 points, five rebounds, and six steals, while Bronson scored 13 points, and Karlee Bartlow had 10 points, three rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
Freshman Addy Wheeler had eight points, four rebounds, four assists, five steals, and one blocked shot in the win, while senior Olivia Bartlow had five points and four boards, sophomore Mya Thompson had four points, six rebounds, three steals, and one blocked shot, and junior Natalee Watson chipped in with four points and one blocked shot.
Athens, now 7-3, returns to action Saturday at Benton.
ATHENS — Seniors Tucker Brown and J.J. Babcock combined for 22 points in
the first quarter to help Athens to a 19-point lead en route to a 92-37
win over Williamson here Wednesday night in NTL boys basketball action.
“I’m very pleased with my team’s Intensity tonight.,” said Athens coach Jim Lister. “We played very good defense, moved the ball very well on offense, and got a very nice team win.”
Senior Troy Pritchard scored the first bucket of the game for the Wildcats, then Brown scored eight of Athens’ next 10 to give the Wildcats a 12-1 lead.
After a pair of free throws by Williamson, Babcock scored back-to-back buckets to make it 16-3.
The Warriors trimmed the lead to 18-9, and the teams traded buckets until it was 22-13.
Junior Chris Mitchell scored on an offensive rebound to trigger a 10-0 run to close out the first quarter. Brown scored the final two buckets of the stanza to give the Wildcats a 32-13 lead.
Athens also scored the first seven points of the second quarter, with freshman Kolsen Keathley scoring back-to-back buckets to open the stanza, and Lister capping Athens’ 17-0 run with a 3-pointer to make it 39-13.
Athens stretched its lead to 32 points, at 52-20, with a 7-0 spurt that bridged the second and third quarters.
The Wildcats closed the game with a 32-4 run, including a 24-1 blitz during an 8 1/2-minute span that bridged the third and fourth quarters.
Athens shot 62 percent (42 of 68) from the field in the win,
Babcock, who made 13 of 18 shots from the field, had 28 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals, and one blocked shot, and Brown had 20 points, four rebounds, three assists, and four steals to lead the Wildcats.
Lister had nine points, six assists, four rebounds, four steals, and one blocked shot in the win, while Pritchard and Mitchell each had six points and four boards, and Keathley scored six points.
Senior Nalen Carling had five points, five rebounds and four steals for the Wildcats, while Carson Smith and senior Ryan Thompson added five points apiece.
Tristan Parker led Williamson with 18 points, and Evan Dominick added 11.
Athens, now 9-3, travels to Wyalusing Friday night.
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.
WELLSBORO — Athens raced out to a 15-point first-quarter lead, and
cruised to a 42-9 victory over Wellsboro Friday night — one of three NTL
junior varsity boys basketball wins for the junior Wildcats since the
Conner Mosher scored seven points in the first quarter, and Xavier Watson added four to fuel a 17-2 Wildcat blitz in the opening eight minutes.
Matt Aquilio and Nicholas Jacob each canned 3-pointers in the second quarter as Athens used a 10-3 run to extend their lead to 27-5 at the half.
Troy Rosenbloom and Korey Miller scored four points apiece in the third quarter in a 10-4 spurt that pushed the lead to 37-9 heading into the final eight minutes.
Mosher led Athens with 11 points, while Miller and Watson scored six points apiece, Aquilio added five points, and Rosenbloom chipped in with four.
Athens hosts Troy Monday night.
Athens 45, NP-Mansfield 22
At Mansfield, Athens used a third-quarter blitz to blow open a close game on its way to a 45-22 win over North Penn-Mansfield Wednesday.
Korey Miller and Xavier Watson scored four points apiece in the first quarter to help Athens to a 12-2 win after the first eight minutes.
NP-M outscored Athens, 11-9, in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 21-13 at the half, but the third quarter was all Wildcats.
Watson scored eight points, Kolsen Keathley added five, and Conner Mosher knocked down a 3-pointer in a 16-0 blitz that gave Athens a 37-13 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Watson led Athens with 14 points, while Keathley scored nine, Mosher added six points, and Miller chipped in with four.
Athens 33, Towanda 32
At Athens, Athens led by 11 points after the first quarter, bit Towanda rallied to take a lead into the fourth quarter, only to have Athens answer in a 33-32 win.
Six different junior Wildcats scored in the first eight minutes, and the defense pitched a shutout in an 11-0 run.
Korey Miller knocked down a 3-pointer and scored five points in the second quarter, and Peter Jones added a 3-pointer, but Towanda used a 12-10 advantage to cut the deficit to 21-12 at the half.
The tide turned in the third quarter as Towanda held Athens without a field goal in a 12-2 blitz that gave the Black Knights a 24-23 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Towanda maintained its lead throughout the fourth quarter, despite a 3-pointer by Troy Rosenbloom, until Xavier Watson scored on a lay-up in the closing seconds for the win.
Miller led Athens with nine points, while Jack Cheresnowsky, Noah Hobday, and Conner Mosher added four points apiece.
MANSFIELD — Athens built a 20-point second-quarter lead, then used a
fourth-quarter run to fend off North Penn-Mansfield’s second-half
comeback efforts in a 55-39 win here Wednesday night in NTL Large School
boys basketball action.
Senior Nalen Carling hit an early 3-pointer, and scored six points in the first quarter, while senior Tucker Brown hit a 3-pointer late in the opening stanza and scored five points, and junior Mason Lister added four points to help the Wildcats to a 17-6 lead after the first eight minutes.
“I thought we played really good defense tonight,” said Athens coach Jim Lister. “We made it really difficult for them to run their offense, and get good looks at the basket.
“We held them to 14 points in the first half, and when you do that, good things are going to happen.”
Lister acknowledged that NP-M seemed to struggle with his team’s size, especially in the first half.
“That court is a little smaller,” he said. “Honestly, with our length and size, that kind of gives us a little bit of an advantage.
“It just made it really difficult for them to generate any type of offense,” Lister added.
The first quarter ended in dramatic fashion as Lister poked the ball away from NP-M’s Andrew Green from behind. Carling corralled the loose ball and heave up court to Lister, who threw up a runner from behind the 3-point arc at the buzzer.
The shot went in off the glass, but was ruled a 2-pointer to give the Wildcats a 17-6 lead.
The Athens defense limited NP-M to a pair of free throws over the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Lister drained a 3-pointer to make it 22-7 with 6:42 remaining in the first half, and senior J.J. Babcock scored on a putback a little more than a minute later to make it 24-8.
A pair of free throws by Carling, and a lay-up by senior Troy Pritchard, off a beautiful feed from junior Lucas Kraft, gave the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game, at 28-8, with 3:10 remaining in the first half.
NP-M closed out the first half with a 6-0 spurt, triggered by a short jumper by Karsen Dominick with 2:35 left in the half, to close the gap to 28-14 at the half.
Lister scored off a nice feed from Babcock in the opening moments of the third quarter, then Babcock knocked down a short jumper to make it 32-14 with 6:19 remaining in the third quarter.
Over the next eight-plus minutes, the Tigers reeled off a 20-6 run, featuring a pair of 3-pointers by Andrew Green, and capped by a Sam Lawrence 3-pointer, to close the gap to 38-34 with 6:15 remaining in the game.
“I think we got a little sloppy, a little lackadaisical in the third quarter, and let them claw their way back into the game,” said Lister.
The Wildcats would answer with a 13-0 blitz to re-gain control.
Babcock ignited the run with a spin move into the lane for a short jumper to make it 40-34. After a pair of free throws by Carling, resulting from a Lister steal, Lister followed his own miss in transition to make it 44-34 with 5:05 remaining.
Babcock kept the momentum going with a big blocked shot on the defensive end, and capped the run by shredding NP-M full-court press for a coast-to-coast lay-up to make it 47-34 with 3:46 remaining.
“I was real pleased with our effort in the fourth quarter,” said Lister.
“We keep talking about handling adversity. When you play four quarters of basketball against good teams, you’re going to have to face adversity,” noted Lister. “It’s going to happen, you have to deal with it, and you have to bounce back from it, and I think we did a really good job of doing that tonight.
“This is a really good win for us on the road,” he added.
Lister led Athens with 14 points, while Babcock scored 13 points, Carling added 10 points, and Pritchard and Brown chipped in with nine points apiece.
Brody Burleigh led NP-M with 10 points, while Eli Shaw had nine, Lawrence added seven, and Green chipped in with six.
Athens, now 7-2, returns to action Friday at Wellsboro.