ATHENS — When two teams play good man-to-man defense, points can be hard to come by.
That proved to be the case Thursday night as sixth-seeded Lewisburg edged third-seeded Athens, 21-18, in the quarterfinals of the District 4, Class 4A girls basketball playoffs.
“We knew as a coaching staff that it was going to be a low-scoring game,” said Athens coach Brian Miller.
“Lewisburg plays very, very good half-court man-to-man defense, and they run their (offensive) man sets for a long time. They are very patient to get the best shot, and sometimes they shoot and miss and get the rebound, and you have to keep playing defense.
“We knew the number of shots we were going to get was going to be low, and the quality of shots we were going to get was going to be lower,” added Miller. “And, that did come to fruition.”
The Lady Wildcats only took 24 shots from the field, making seven for a 29-percent clip. Worse yet, they were just 1-for-3 from the free-throw line.
“If you told me we were going to hold them to 21 points, I’d take that every single night,” said Miller. “We didn’t execute offensively, .
“Caydence (Macik) didn’t shoot any foul shots. We tried to pound the ball into her because she was a mismatch to them,” added Miller. “Unfortunately for us, she didn’t get to the foul line at all.”
The game was a very physical affair with one Athens player sustaining a black eye, and another a bloody mouth.
“They let us play big-time,” said Miller. “The nature of the officiating tonight, letting them play, worked in their favor, not ours.
“We need to score points from the foul line,” noted Miller. “Unfortunately, we only shot three foul shots, and Caydence (Macik), our best interior player who usually gets to the foul line 5 to 10 times per game, didn’t shoot a free throw.”
Athens led 7-6 after the first eight minutes, and, thanks to a 3-pointer by Macik late in the second quarter, the two teams entered the halftime locker room tied at 12-12.
Kealey Baker scored on Lewisburg’s first possession of the second half to give the Lady Green Dragons a 14-12 lead with 6:44 remaining in the third quarter.
It took Athens nearly two more minutes to get on the board in the second half, but Macik and junior Emma Bronson scored in transition about 30 seconds apart to give the Lady Wildcats a15-14 lead with 4:15 left in the third quarter.
With 2:50 left in the third quarter, Sophie Kilbride canned a 3-pointer to give Lewisburg the lead for good, at 17-16.
Anna Baker added a pair of free throws in the final minute of the stanza to give the Green Dragons a 19-16 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Junior Karlee Bartlow hit a driving baseline runner with 6:48 remaining in the game to trim the deficit to 19-18, but missed a free throw to complete the traditional three-point play.
Lewisburg took 2 1/2 minutes off the game clock in its next possession before Athens came up with a steal. However, the Lady Dragons returned the favor at half court to regain possession.
About 30 seconds later, Lewisburg miss the front end of a one-and-one. The Dragons would miss the front end of two more one-and-ones, and with 26 seconds remaining, Kealey Baker rebounded a miss and scored on a putback to make it 21-18.
Athens’ last-ditch effort to tie the game, a 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining was blocked.
Macik, who ends her Athens career with 1,283 points — third all-time in program history — led the Lady Wildcats with nine points, three rebounds, and six steals, while Emma Bronson added four points, and Karlee Bartlow chipped in with three points, four rebounds, and two assists.
Senior Olivia Bartlow had five rebounds, three steals, and one blocked shot, and freshman Addy Wheeler chipped in with two rebounds, two steals, and two blocked shots.
The Lady Wildcats lose just two seniors from this season’s 17-7 team.
“Caydence had a tremendous career, and Olivia came back and had a nice season for us,” said Miller. “They will both be missed.”
Miller said losing his two best low-post players will result in a different-looking team in 2022-23.
“We’ll be smaller and faster next year year.,” he said. “Sara Bronson and Mya Thompson will get more playing time … Natalee Watson will step into the center position and get more playing time.
“We have girls like Ella Coyle who will see more time.
“We’ll kind of be like Lewisburg — small and fast, and have to pressure the basketball to create opportunities to score in transition,” added Miller.
SAYRE — For two-and-a-half quarters, Athens was able to hang with
Towanda, but a Black Knight run late in the third quarter, and early in
the fourth, helped them edge the Wildcats, 43-37, for the NTL Showdown
“That was a nice thing we took that lead, but, again, Paige (Manchester) had some big threes in the second half, and then we had some mistakes in our half-court, where we turned it over, and they got transition baskets,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “That’s the two things we were concentrating on — don’t let Paige beat us from the perimeter, and don’t let them get transition baskets, and that hurt us a little bit.”
Karlee Bartlow had 15 points to lead Athens, while Olivia Bartlow added 11 points and nine boards. Caydence Macik had six points to go with seven boards, and five assists, while Addy Wheeler added five points and six boards.
Manchester finished with 15 points for Towanda and Porschia Bennett added 14. Bella Hurley scored six, Gracie Schoonover netted four, Destiny Brennan notched three, with Eliza Fowler added one.
“We’ve gotten better,” Miller said. “They beat us by 30 at their place, they beat us by 11 at our place, and then we lost by six, and we were ahead in the third quarter, so I’m using it as motivation that we’re getting better.”
Athens came out and took a 4-0 lead on buckets from Olivia Bartlow and Wheeler. Hurley would answer with a 3-ball, then Manchester made a lay-up to give them their first lead.
Schoonover would make it 7-4 with a jumper, but a Karlee Bartlow lay-up cut it to 7-6. Manchester then found Bennett for a bucket to take a 9-6 lead at the first horn.
The lead would get as high as 14-7 early in the second on a Bennett 3-point play.
Athens, though, would get a lay-up from Olivia Bartlow, followed by a 3-ball from Wheeler, to cut it to 14-12.
Schoonover would get a lay-up to make it 16-12, but a 3-0 Athens spurt to end the half cut it to 16-15 at the break.
Bennett opened up the quarter with a lay-up, but Karlee Bartlow answered with a 3-ball to make it 18-18.
The two teams would trade baskets, with Athens getting a lead when Karlee Bartlow hit a jumper with 4:12 on the clock.
But that’s when Towanda made their move, beginning with a Manchester 3-ball. She then found Bennett on the run out, followed by another 3-ball from her to put the Knights up 28-22.
After a Macik free throw Brennan then hit a 3-pointer with under a minute left in the quarter to put them up by eight points. A Macik lay-up cut it to 31-25 with one quarter left.
Athens would cut it to a 4-point game on a Karlee Bartlow 3-ball, but Manchester followed with a 3-pointer of her own. Karlee Bartlow would get a lay-up, followed by Bennett going 1-of-2 from the line.
After two Athens misses at the charity stripe, Hurley hit her second 3-ball of the game to Towanda a 39-30 lead with just over four minutes to play.
Olivia Bartlow would get a putback, but Manchester got to the line at the other end to keep it at nine points.
An old-fashioned 3-point play from Olivia Bartlow cut it to 41-35 with 2:28 left to play, but that’s as close as it got.
Athens wouldn’t score again until there were 18.8 seconds left to play, and by that time Towanda had added two freebies to go up 43-35.
Karlee Bartlow’s final lay-up made it a 43-37 final.
The Wildcats will be hosting a district game next week, possibly Lewisburg, and they hope they can continue their strong play into the postseason.
“We’re going to use this to get ready for probably Lewisburg on Thursday night,” said Miller.
ROME — A dominant defensive effort, and a 28-point showing by Caydence
Macik helped lead the Athens Wildcats past Northeast Bradford 37-25 in
the semifinals of the NTL Showdown on Thursday night.
The Wildcats advance to the finals where they will take on Towanda in the final on Saturday.
“Girls are excited, we played a great defensive game as a team,” Athens coach Brian Miller said. “And, Caydence scoring 28 points was a stellar offensive game. She was 11-16 from the floor, exceptional shooting and scoring.
“Beating NEB at home is a tough thing to do and we are happy and excited to get back in the NTL overall championship game.”
The Athens defense held the Panthers scoreless in the first quarter.
“I was really happy with our defense,” Athens coach Miller said. “We played hard, communication was outstanding and we executed our defense very well like we practice it on a daily basis. So, to hold a team like that to 25 points makes me proud as a coach.”
Macik got four of the six opening quarter points for the Wildcats as they led 6-0 after one.
Athens led 16-10 at the half after both teams scored 10 in the second quarter.
Macik and Karlee Bartlow each had five points in the second quarter for Athens and Alana Beebe had five points for the Panthers in the quarter.
In the second half it was Macik taking over as she had seven points in the third quarter and 12 in the fourth to help the Wildcats secure the win.
Both teams stayed even in the third quarter at nine points each, but in the fourth quarter Macik scored all of her team’s points to help seal the win. Beebe had two threes in the fourth for the Panthers to try and keep them in the game.
Bartlow finished with five points for Athens and Emma Bronson had four points.
Macik had a double-double, finishing with 10 rebounds, and adding three steals. She was 11-for-16 from the floor in the win.
Addy Wheeler had a strong game leading the Wildcats offense, racking up five assists and seven steals in the game.
Bartlow had two rebounds, two steals and she blocked two shots and Bronson and Olivia Bartlow each had four rebounds in the game.
The Panthers were without leading-scorer Maisie Neuber, who was out with an ankle sprain.
Beebe led Northeast Bradford with 16 points and Kayleigh Thomas had seven, with three steals.
Kate O’Connor had two points and eight boards for NEB and Julia Brown also had eight rebounds.
The final is at 7 p.m. at Sayre on Saturday. Towanda made the final with a 46-11 win over Canton.
ATHENS — Freshman Addy Wheeler scored a career-high 18 points to lead
Athens to a regular season-ending, 45-12, win over North Penn-Mansfield
here Monday night in NTL Large School girls basketball action.
With the win, the Lady Wildcats, now 16-5, clinch the second spot in the Large School Division, and advance to a semi-final round match-up Thursday against Northeast Bradford. Towanda will host Canton in the other semifinal.
Senior Caydence Macik scored four points in the first quarter, and Wheeler canned a 3-pointer to help Athens to a 9-4 lead after the first eight minutes.
Wheeler buried a pair of 3-pointers, and scored eight points in the second quarter, and junior Emma Bronson added four points to fuel a 16-0 blitz that upped the Athens advantage to 25-4 at the half.
Wheeler knocked down her fourth 3-pointer, and scored seven points in the third quarter, and Macik added six points in a 15-3 run to extend the Athens lead to 40-7 entering the final eight minutes.
Macik scored 10 points in the win, while junior Karlee Bartlow had four points, three rebounds, four assists, and three steals, and senior Olivia Bartlow had four points, eight rebounds, and two blocked shots.
Emma Bronson had four points and one blocked shot, while junior Natalie Watson hauled down six boards, and freshman Sara Bronson added three rebounds.
Shaina Sparrow led NPM with five points.
ATHENS — Athens dished out a large dose of senior Caydence Macik, and an
even bigger dose of defense in a 45-26 win over Troy here Thursday
night in NTL Large School girls basketball action.
“I really love to coach defense, and we have a philosophy,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “We all believe in it, and the girls really played to that philosophy tonight.
“We wanted to limit them driving the ball to the basket, because they are more of a driving, slashing team,” noted Miller. “We made sure we were outside on their shooters, and we did a nice job fronting the post because they love to enter the ball into the post.
“That might have been our best defensive performance of the year as a team,” added Miller. “To hold that team to 25 points … even the shots they made were highly-contested.”
The win also avenges a 35-28 loss at Troy earlier this season. In that loss, the Lady Wildcats played without junior Karlee Bartlow.
“Having Karlee (Bartlow) was the huge difference,” said Miller. “She’s one of our better guards and scorers and has experience; that was a huge difference.
“We also executed offensively against their zone, and then against their man-to-man,” he added. “And, we scored in transition.“
Macik scored 15 points in the first quarter to help Athens to a 17-9 lead after the first eight minutes.
“We got the ball Caydence a lot, especially early on, and she finished,” said Miller. “She had a really good offensive night.”
Athens stretched its lead to nine points, at 22-13, on a 3-pointer by Addy Wheeler with 2:10 remaining in the first half.
Karlee Bartlow scored on a driving lay-up early in the opening minute of the second half, and Macik scored off a steal under the bucket to give the Lady Wildcats a 27-15 lead with 6:18 remaining in the third quarter.
A jumper by Troy’s Katie Lackey with 3:10 remaining in the third quarter trimmed the deficit to 30-21, but Athens closed the quarter with a 6-2 spurt — on a jumper by Macik, and back-to-back driving lay-ups by Karlee Bartlow — to take a 36-23 lead into the final eight minutes.
Sophomore Mya Thompson scored four points, and Macik converted an old-fashioned three-point play as the Wildcats used a 9-2 spurt to take its biggest lead of the game, at 45-25, in the final minute of the game.
Macik led Athens with 28 points, six rebounds and one blocked shot, while Karlee Bartlow had eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, and one blocked shot, and Wheeler added five points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Thompson chipped in with four points and one blocked shot in the win, while senior Olivia Bartlow grabbed five rebounds and blocked four shots, and junior Emma Bronson contributed five rebounds, three assists, and six steals.
Lackey led Troy with 12 points and six rebounds.
Athens, now 15-5, moves into a tie with Troy for second place in the Large School Division, but currently holds the third tie-breaker, which is power points.
Athens closes out the regular season Monday when it hosts North Penn-Mansfield, while Troy plays at division champion Towanda.
ATHENS — Athens shook off a slow start, then pulled away for a 56-29 win
over Wyalusing here Tuesday night in NTL Large School Division girls
Olivia Spencer scored four points, Brin Zionkowski canned a 3-pointer, and Olivia Leichliter converted an old-fashioned three-point play to help the Lady Rams to a 10-6 lead after the first eight minutes, but the Lady Wildcats dominated the final three quarters.
Senior Caydence Macik, who moved past Janet Gabriel and Kayleigh Miller into fifth all-time on the program’s scoring list, pumped in 14 points in the second quarter after being shutout in the first half, while junior Karlee Bartlow canned a 3-pointer and added five points to fuel a 19-8 run that gave the Lady Wildcats a 25-18 lead at the half.
Junior Natalee Watson scored six points, while junior Emma Bronson and Macik added four points apiece in a 17-6 run that extended the Athens lead to 42-24 heading into the final eight minutes.
Bronson scored six points in the fourth quarter, and senior Olivia Bartlow added four points as Athens sealed its victory with a 14-5 game-closing run.
Macik, who now has 1,202 career points, led Athens with 20 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, two assists, and two blocked shots, while Karlee Bartlow had 12 points, four assists, and three rebounds, and Bronson scored 12 points.
Watson added six points in the win, while Olivia Bartlow chipped in with four points, three boards, and one blocked shot, freshman Addy Wheeler had four rebounds, four assists, and four steals, and sophomore Mya Thompson chipped in with three rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots.
Zionkowski led Wyalusing with 17 points and five 3-pointers, while Leichliter added five points, and Spencer chipped in with four points.
Athens, now 13-5, hosts Troy Thursday.
WELLSBORO — Thanks in part to a switch back to full-court pressure with
five minutes remaining, Athens closed the game with a 16-2 run in a
52-37 win over Wellsboro here Monday night in NTL Large School Division
girls basketball action.
After Wellsboro’s Ella Posada scored with 6:02 remaining to trim the Athens lead to one point, at 36-35, the Wildcats had three offensive rebounds in a row in an attempt to push the lead back to three points, but turned the ball over before it could get off its fourth shot of the possession.
Athens coach Brian Miller then called a time out, and put his team back into a full-court press.
“We wanted to pressure them the whole game, but we got into a little bit of foul trouble, so we had to take it off, which hurt our scoring opportunities,” he said.
“We wanted to turn up the pressure after the time out to create some more scoring opportunities, which we did,” added Miller. “And once (Emma) Coolidge fouled out, we dialed it up a little bit more.”
Wellsboro turned the ball over on its first possession after the time out when freshman Addy Wheeler came up with a steal and full-court pass to junior Emma Bronson for a lay-up to make it 38-35 with 4:09 remaining.
After a steal in the press, Macik scored in the low post off a nice entry pass from Wheeler, then added a free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play to make it 41-35 with 3:43 left in the game.
After another turnover, Bronson knocked down two free throws to make it 43-35 with 3:17 remaining, prompting a Wellsboro timeout.
Wellsboro quickly beat the Athens press on its next possession with Maddy Mascho’s lay-up closing the gap to 43-37 with 3:06 left in the contest.
After an Athens timeout, the Lady Wildcats began to milk the clock, and made 4 of 6 free throws to take a 47-37 lead with 1:20 remaining.
Following a Wellsboro turnover, Bronson connected with Macik on a “TD pass” off the in-bounds pass for a lay-up to make it 49-37 with 1:01 left in the game.
“Emma Bronson had a nice fourth quarter, and went 3-for-4 from the foul line,” said Miller, “And, Caydence (Macik) was dominant in the second half.
“Aside from scoring, Addy (Wheeler) had the most solid game from start to finish — pressuring the basketball, getting the ball to girls in areas they can score, and not turning the ball over,” noted Miller.
“As a coach, I appreciate what she does,” added Miller. “It’s not all about scoring. She played a great floor game.”
Junior Karlee Bartlow made a free throw and a 3-pointer in the opening 70 seconds of the game to give the Lady Wildcats a 4-0 lead, and they never trailed.
On several occasions, Athens built their lead to six or seven points, only to have Wellsboro close the gap to one or two points.
“That’s a credit to them and their coach,” said Miller. “They are a good team, and coach Davis is an outstanding coach, who has been doing it for years.
“He knows how to keep the game close with his game plan, and give his team a chance to win.
“Every time we got the lead to a point where I thought we’d be in control, all the sudden here comes Wellsboro — they’re executing and we’re not,” added Miller. “Fortunately, we finished the game strong on a nice run.”
A bucket by Thompson pushed the Athens lead to 9-4 with 1:50 left in the first quarter.
After a bucket by Emma Coolidge trimmed the deficit to 9-6, junior Natalee Watson scored off a feed from Bronson, and sophomore Mya Thompson, off an assist from Wheeler, scored her third bucket of the opening stanza to make it 13-6 with just 10 seconds remaining.
The teams traded buckets until a pair of free throws by Coolidge with 1:53 remaining in the half, and a 3-pointer by Chloe Brandenburg with 20 seconds left closed the gap to 21-19 at the half.
Macik made 3 of 4 free throws in the opening 80 seconds of the second half to give Athens a 24-19 lead.
With 4:50 left in the third quarter, Brandenburg knocked down another 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 26-24, but senior Olivia Bartlow, off an assist from Wheeler, and a Wheeler lay-up following a steal and coast-to-coast drive extended the lead to 30-24 with 3:45 left.
Wellsboro closed the gap to 34-33 in the opening moments of the fourth quarter on a pair of free throws by Coolidge, but Thompson scored on the break to make it 36-33, and Posada scored to set the stage for Athens’ game-closing blitz.
Macik led Athens with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Karlee Bartlow had 10 points and five boards, and Thompson had six points and one blocked shot.
Wheeler contributed seven assists, five rebounds, seven steals, and two blocked shots, while Bronson added five points, three rebounds, and three assists, and Watson chipped in with four points.
Coolidge led Wellsboro with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Brandenburg added eight points.
With the win, the Wildcats keep their hopes alive for a second-place finish in the Large School Division, and a berth in the NTL Showdown.
“We have four games left and they will dictate whether we make the Showdown or not,” said Miller. “Hopefully, we beat Wyalusing, and the next game means something.”
Miller says his team is approaching every game as a playoff game, and he believes it will beneficial once the postseason rolls around.
“Playing games that count down the stretch to make your league final four is going to give us the pressure we need when it comes to the Showdown, or District play, where every possession determines whether we game to play another game or not,” he said.
Athens hosts Wyalusing Tuesday, with the varsity game at 6 p.m., and the JV game to follow.
LAPORTE, Pa. — Athens scored the first 21 points of the game, and
cruised to a 51-19 win over Sullivan County Saturday afternoon in
non-league girls basketball action.
Junior Karlee Bartlow knocked down a 3-pointer and scored five points in the first quarter, and Caydence Macik an and junior Natalee Watson scored four points apiece as the Lady Wildcats raced out to a 17-0 lead after the first eight minutes.
Freshman Addy Wheeler, sophomore Mya Thompson, and Karlee Bartlow scored four points apiece in the second quarter in an 18-7 run that stretch the Lady Wildcat lead to 35-7 at the halftime intermission.
Macik scored five points, including an old-fashioned three-point play, and Karlee Bartlow connected on a 3-pointer as Athens used a 10-5 spurt to extend its advantage to 45-12 heading into the final eight minutes.
Karlee Bartlow led Athens with 12 points and five assists, while Macik had 11 points and six rebounds,and Wheeler had six points and three steals.
Thompson had six points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots in the win, while Watson had six points and one blocked shot, and junior Emma Bronson and sophomore Sara Bronson added four points apiece.
Athens, now 12-5, returns to action Monday at Wellsboro.
Missed opportunities haunted Athens on Monday as their defense kept them
in the game against the league unbeaten Towanda, but they didn’t hit
the shots they needed to to get the win, falling, 43-32. to the Knights
in NTL Large School girls basketball action.
“First of all, I thought we played much better defense this time than last time,” Athens coach Brian Miller said, referencing his team’s 52-25 loss at Towanda four days ago.
“To be honest with you, it was a blow out last time, they smoked us down at their place,” noted Miller. “Today, we came in and we wanted to prove ourselves that we were better than that team that played down there, and I think we did.
“The foul shots, and not just open lay-ups, open shots, you play against a team like Towanda you’ve got to make big shots when you’re open, and we just didn’t. We wanted to keep that game in the 40s, and, win that game, but we just couldn’t get to the 40s offensively,” said Miller.
In the fourth quarter, it was a 10-point game for nearly two minutes when the Wildcats came up empty in three straight possessions. They created some turnovers to cut it to 36-29 with just over two minutes to play, but two more empty trips on the offensive end followed.
Towanda’s Eliza Fowler then hit an open 3-ball with 1:12 left on the clock, and that pretty much sealed it.
“We got it to six, and then one of their role players made that big three at the top of the key,” said Miller. “We need girls like that to step up and make big shots in certain situations, and we just didn’t tonight.
“But, kudos to Towanda, they’re the best team in the NTL, they’re a very good team in District IV, so, we proved we could play with them for a lot of minutes,” noted Miller. “We just needed to make some shots, make some foul shots, and limits their easy baskets.”
Karlee Bartlow had 12 points to lead Athens, including two 3-balls, while Caydence Macik added nine. Addy Wheeler finished with five, Olivia Bartlow had four, and Natalee Watson rounded out their scorers with two.
The Wildcats finished 8-for-14 from the charity stripe, while also seeing a few uncontested lay-ups rim out.
Paige Manchester and Porschia Bennett had 15 points apiece to lead Towanda, with Gracie Schoonover netting six. Bella Hurley scoring four, and Fowler hitting the dagger three.
The Knights opened an 8-0 lead in the first half of the first quarter. Manchester opened with a 3-ball, followed by a Hurley jumper off a Manchester pass. Bennett then went 1-of-2 from the line, followed by a coast-to-coast driving lay-up.
Macik got the Wildcats on the scoreboard with a free throw, sparking a 5-0 run as that was followed by buckets from Olivia Bartlow and Wheeler, cutting git to 8-5.
In the final minute, though, Bennett had the final say, netting a lay-up, and going 1-of-2 from the free throw line to put Towanda up 11-5 at the first horn.
She finished with six in the quarter, then opened the second with a lay-up to make it 13-5. Athens would counter with two free throws, but a Schoonover jumper off an Aziza Ismailova assist began a 5-0 run for the Knights. Manchester followed with a lay-up, while Bennett went 1-of-2 from the line to make it 18-7.
Athens, though, didn’t let them get too far ahead, going on a 6-0 spurt, as Karlee Bartlow began it with a free throw, and ended it with a 3-ball, closing the gap to 18-13.
Schoonover had the final bucket for Towanda, bagging a jumper to make it 20-13 at the half.
The Knights opened the third quarter with a 4-0 run as Schoonover had a putback, followed by a Manchester steal and lay-up, making it 24-13.
Macik ended the run with a bucket. Then came some free throws — Hurley went 1 of 2, Macik went 2-for-2 - followed by a Manchester 3-ball to put the Knights up 28-17 midway through the third quarter.
Towanda went to some high-low action as Schoonover found Bennett for a lay-up, followed by Hurley getting another free throw, and it looked like the Knights would run away again, gong up 31-17.
Karlee Bartlow, though, got a steal and lay-up for the final score of the quarter to cut it to 31-19 heading into the final eight minutes.
A Macik jumper to start the fourth made it a 10-point game again. Manchester came back with a 3-ball, but a Watson lay-up off a Macik assist kept Athens within in shouting distance, at 34-23.
Manchester would get a put back, ballooning the lead to 13 points, but that’s as big as it would get.
On the other end, Karlee Bartlow banked in a 3-pointer, cutting it to 36-26, with 4:21 left to start a 6-0 Wildcat run.
After scoring three points off two steals they cut it to 36-19 with just over two minutes left to play, but that’s when Fowler hit the dagger.
Athens didn’t go away, though, at one point cutting it to nine points on an Olivia Bartlow lay-up with 50 seconds to play.
However, it was Towanda getting the final bucket — a Manchester lay-up off a Hurley pass — to end the game.
Going forward Athens will try and lock up the second spot in the division to make the NTL Showdown. They’re a game behind Troy, but get them at their place next week.
“We have six games left, so we’re going to try to win those six games,” said Miller. “Hopefully, try to make the showdown, and probably go to Northeast and play, which will get us ready for districts,
“Who knows, we could win at Northeast, and get another good game, then try to get ready for districts, and focus on that,” added Miller.
Regardless, he was glad to see the fight in his team on its home floor.
“I told them, ‘be proud of the way you played tonight,’” he said. “If we could have taken care of some little things, it could have been a different game down the stretch.”
Athens, now 11-5, travels to Wellsboro Thursday.
ATHENS — Athens kept Cowanesque Valley off the board in the first
quarter, and built a quick double-digit lead en route to a 47-12 win
here Friday night in NTL girls basketball action.
Freshman Addy Wheeler knocked down a 3-pointer and scored five points, and senior Caydence Macik added four points as the Wildcats opened the game with a 16-0 blitz.
The Indians scored in the opening moments of the second quarter, and the teams played even the rest of the quarter, and Athens took a 26-8 lead into the halftime locker room.
Macik and junior Emma Bronson scored seven points apiece in the third quarter, and junior Karlee Bartlow drained a 3-pointer to fuel a 19-2 blitz that extended the lead to 45-10 heading into the final eight minutes.
Macik led Athens with 14 points, while Wheeler scored 11 points, and Karlee Bartlow had eight points, and Bronson added seven points.
Athens, now 11-4, hosts Towanda Monday in a rematch of its 52-25 loss at Towanda Thursday.
TOWANDA — Athens dug itself a big hole early, and Paige Manchester and
Porscia Bennett made sure the Lady Wildcats wouldn’t get out of it,
leading Towanda to a lopsided 52-25 win here Thursday night in a key NTL
Large School girls basketball match-up.
“(Towanda) came ready to play, and we didn’t,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “Porscia (Bennett) and Paige (Manchester) had 18 of their 26 points in the first half … they stepped up in the big game and did a great job — kudos to them.
“We got in a hole, and against two good players like that, it’s tough to get out of that hole,” he added.
Miller made no excuses after the loss.
“(Towanda) outplayed us,” he said. “Their game plan was to pressure the ball to get some turnovers, and it worked.
“Their plan was to focus on Caydence (Macik), and make other girls hit some shots, and, unfortunately, we didn’t hit those open shots,” Miller noted.
“When Caydence Macik only gets six shots, that is not a good thing for us,” he continued. “They were focused on her, and Bennett did a good job on her … she used her quickness and athleticism to make things difficult.
“We had our opportunities. We made 1 of 10 free throws in the first half … and we missed some open shots, but their role players made some key 3s.
“Kudos to Coach (Rob) Gentile and his girls.,” added Miller. “They played good, and we did not.”
Bennett scored seven points in the first quarter, while Manchester added four, and Destiny Brennan canned a 3-pointer to help Towanda to a 16-4 lead after the first eight minutes.
Manchester scored four points in the second quarter, and Aziza Ismailova drained a 3-pointer in a 10-5 spurt that gave the Knights a 26-9 lead at the break.
Bennett scored from close range, and Manchester drained a 3-pointer and made 1 of 2 free throws to give Towanda a 32-9 lead with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Junior Karlee Bartlow led Athens with eight points and four rebounds, while senior Caydence Macik had seven points, four rebounds, two steals, and two blocked shots, and freshman Addy Wheeler added five points and four rebonds.
Senior Olivia Bartlow had five boards and one blocked shot for the Wildcats, and junior Natalee Watson grabbed three rebounds.
Manchester led Towanda with 20 points, and Bennett added 19.
Athens, now 10-4, hosts Cowanesque Valley Friday night.
TOWANDA — Sara Bronson pumped in 22 points to lead Athens to a 32-11 win
over Towanda here Thursday evening in NTL Large School junior varsity
girls basketball action.
Bronson scored four points in the first quarter as Athens took an 8-2 lead, then scored 10 points in a 10-2 run in the second quarter that pushed the junior Wildcat lead to 18-4 at the half.
Bronson scored eight more points in the second half as Athens continued to add to its lead.
Bronson had four rebounds to go along with her 22 points, while Izzy Davis had four points and seven rebounds, Mya Thompson added two rebounds, three steals, two assists, and two blocked shots, Ella Coyle had three rebounds, six steals, and one blocked shot, and Ravyn Glisson chipped in with three steals and two assists.
Athens returns to action Friday when it hosts Cowanesque Valley.
LIBERTY — Athens raced out to a quick double-digit lead, and blew the
game wide open by halftime on its way to a 58-21 win over North
Penn-Liberty here Wednesday night in NTL girls basketball action.
Junior Emma Bronson scored seven points in the first quarter, while senior Caydence Macik had six points, and junior Karlee Bartlow add four points in a 17-6 run in the opening stanza.
Freshman Addy Wheeler canned a trio of 3-pointers in the second quarter, and Macik added six points to fuel a 24-6 blitz to extend the lead to 41-12 at the half.
Athens’ starters played just three minutes in the third quarter, and exited the game with the Lady Wildcats up 54-16.
Macik led Athens with 16 points, five rebounds, and five steals, while Wheeler had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and three assists, and Karlee Bartlow had 11 points, seven assists, and four steals.
Bronson added seven points and three boards in the win, while junior Natalee Watson chipped in with four points and three rebounds, senior Olivia Bartlow grabbed six rebounds, sophomore Mya Thompson had five rebounds, three steals, and one blocked shot, and Izzy Davis pulled down four rebounds.
Elizabeth Ritchie and Jaclyn Nelson led NP-L with seven points apiece.
Athens, now 10-3, returns to action Thursday at Towanda.
LIBERTY — Athens held North Penn-Liberty scoreless in the second half to
pull away for a 25-12 win here Wednesday night in NTL junior varsity
girls basketball action.
The teams played to a 6-6 draw in the first quarter, but Mya Thompson scored six points in the second quarter to help Athens to a 14-12 halftime lead.
Six different Lady Wildcats put their name in the scoring column in the second half, outscoring NP-L after the break.
Thompson led Athens with 10 points, seven rebounds, five steals, and two blocked shots, while Izzy Davis had four points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and one blocked shot, and Sara Bronson had four points, eight rebounds, and six steals.
Ella Coyle added three rebounds, five steals, and one blocked shot in the win, while Ravyn Glisson had three rebounds and two assists, and Savannah Persun had three boards.
Athens returns to action Thursday at Towanda.
BENTON — Athens took the lead early, maintained the lead throughout, and
pulled out a 27-20 win over Benton here Saturday afternoon in
non-league junior varsity girls basketball action.
Sara Bronson scored five points in the first quarter to help Athens to a 10-7 lead after the first seven minutes.
Both teams struggled to score in the second quarter, with Athens outscoring Benton, 3-1, to take a 13-8 lead into the halftime locker room.
Bronson scored four more points in the third quarter in a 6-5 advantage to stretch the lead to 19-12 entering the final stanza.
Mya Thompson scored five points int he fourth quarter, including an old-fashioned three-point play to help Athens maintain the lead.
Thompson had nine points, 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and five blocked shots, and Bronson had nine points, seven rebounds, and six steals to lead Athens.
Izzy Davis had six points and five rebounds in the win, and Ella Coyle grabbed five rebounds.
Athens returns to action Wednesday at North Penn-Liberty.
North Penn-Mansfield 36, Athens 26
At Mansfield, Athens fell behind early, and never made up the difference in a 36-26 loss at North Penn-Mansfield Thursday.
NP-M led 115 after the first quarter, and 17-10 at the half. The Lady Tigers stretched their lead to 12 points, at 28-16, with an 11-6 run in the third quarter.
Sara Bronson led Athens with 11 points, four rebounds, seven assists, and nine steals, while Mya Thompson had six points, four steals, and two blocked shots, Ravyn Glisson had six points and two assists, and Ella Coyle grabbed five boards.