Tigers claim third straight Berguson Memorial Trophy game
By: Ed Weaver / January 6, 2017
Tigers. Hornets. A rivalry game unrivaled by any other in District IV that plays out over the course of 32 minutes, but comes down to the final seconds.
Thursday night's game was no different.
Wellsboro hosted North Penn-Mansfield in the third annual Margaret (Peg) Berguson Memorial Trophy game, with the Tigers coming home victorious in a 62-59 NTL Large School Division win.
"We had to do a better job of taking care of the ball and we had to step up our defense," said North Penn-Mansfield head coach Kipper Burleigh. "They have so many weapons on the floor and I thought they shot really, really well which is a tribute to them. We just had to keep working to get hands in the face and to box out. I don't know if anyone hustles more than Wellsboro, and to get 50-50 balls and to box them out is a real difficult task and I think our kids got a little stronger as the game went on."
Wellsboro jumped out to an early 7-3 lead off buckets by seniors Brandon Lamphier, Alden Weiner, and Jacob Singer, but the Tigers found their stride and went on a 13-6 run to close out the first quarter as Brock Burleigh scored 8 points, 3 from Konnor Manikowski, and 2 from Shane Kelly to tie it at 13-13.
The Hornets played the best in the second as they outscored North Penn-Mansfield 19-14. Wellsboro did a good job of containing Burleigh in the quarter and forced 4 turnovers on defense, and hit big shots on the offensive side of the ball. Singer added two big three-pointers in the quarter, junior Nic Ingerick scored all 5 of his points off the bench, and Lamphier and Quinn Henry each had 4 points to give Wellsboro a 32-27 lead at the half.
The second half is when the Tigers hit their stride.
After junior Dalton Prough drew an early foul, North Penn-Mansfield rattled off 5 quick points to make up their halftime deficit and jump in front, 34-33. Wellsboro answered on a three from Weiner to retake the lead, and then later by junior Collin Pietropola to tie it at 39-39. Singer hit his fourth three-pointer of the game to push Wellsboro's lead to 42-39 and Pietropola added another bucket to get it to 44-39, before the Tigers added another three to close out the quarter with the Hornets leading 44-42.
North Penn-Mansfield saved their best for the last quarter as they closed out the win. The Tigers outscored Wellsboro 20-15 in the final frame, with 6 points from Burleigh, including going 4-for-6 from the foul line, and four points from Joel Whitteker.
The Tigers' Nick Kasper hit his third three-pointer of the game in the quarter to put them up for good, but Wellsboro wouldn't go down without a fight. Weiner hit his third three of the night to bring the Hornets back to within two.
The next few minutes were neck-and-neck and both teams traded baskets. Both teams were tied at 57-57 as Singer hit his fifth three of the night, but the Tigers hit 3 of their final 4 foul shot attempts after holding onto a 61-57 lead. Lamphier hit a basket in traffic to bring the Hornets back to within two, but the Tigers sank their final foul shot with just over 6 seconds remaining to hold on for the win.
Burleigh led all scorers with 22 points, Kasper had 10, and Kelly had 10 points and 14 rebounds for the double-double. Singer led Wellsboro with 15 points and 4 rebounds, Weiner had 13 points, and Lamphier finished with 11 points and 8 assists.
"The kids are hurting. We really wanted this one," said Wellsboro head coach Todd Outman. "Since they started doing the Berguson Trophy we haven't won it, and it's on our court and we wanted to come away with this victory but Mansfield outplayed us tonight. I take my hat off to them, they always play us tough and tonight they were the winners again."
In the JV game, Wellsboro beat North Penn-Mansfield 59-51 in overtime. Sophomore Brandyn Tuttle led the Hornets with 18 points, sophomore Holden Kennedy had 15, and sophomore Andrew Brelo had 12. Jayden Andrews led all scorers with 19 points, and Dylan Meyer had 16.
The win put North Penn-Mansfield at 8-3 (6-0 NTL) and in sole possession of first place in the NTL Large School standings. Wellsboro falls to 8-3 (5-1 NTL). The Tigers will be back in action this Saturday at home against Edison High School, while the Hornets host Athens on Tuesday, January 10.