Hornets End Two-Game Skid, Edge Athens 49-46
By: Ed Weaver / January 26, 2024 / Photo: Brendan Claypool
Trailing 29-23 at halftime, Wellsboro outscored Athens 26-17 to rally past Athens and sweep the season series on Thursday, January 25.
Athens jumped out to an early lead thanks to some good shooting behind the three-point line and took an 18-12 lead after the opening quarter. Both scored were even on the scoring front in the 2nd, scoring 11 points apiece to keep the six-point spread at the half.
"We manned up and had each others backs," commented head coach Ron Doughtie. "The guys helped and recovered, the hedges on screens were better. We got back in transition so nothing was easy."
The Hornets, led by senior Hayes Campbell, came alive in the second half. Defensively, Wellsboro held the Wildcats to just four made baskets in the 3rd quarter. Campbell, who led all scorers with 25 points, scored 9 of those points in the third and got a three-point shot from fellow senior Caden Smith. Wellsboro outscored Athens 12-8 in the quarter, cutting the Wildcats lead down to 37-35 to start the fourth.
Campbell continued his offensive assault in the 4th, scoring 8 more points, half of them coming from the foul line while junior Mitchel Lechler, sophomore Luke Rothermel and Smith all contributed. The Hornets held Athens to just two field goals over the final eight minutes, both three pointers. The also shot 3-for-4 at the foul line. Wellsboro went on a 7-0 run to begin the 4th quarter. Athens would close the gap to a two-point Wellsboro lead with under a minute to go, however Campbell hit one-of-two from the free throw line with 10 seconds to go, to preserve the win.
Smith and senior Ian Hoose added 8 points each to go along with Campbell's 25 while Rothermel finished with 4 points, and Lechler and sophomore Marek Mascho rounded out the scoring with 2 points each. Campbell added 5 assists and a blocked shot, Smith grabbed a pair of rebounds and made 3 assists, and Rothermel, Hoose, and Campbell all grabbed 6 rebounds apiece.
Connor Mosher led Athens with 16 points and Korey Miller finished with 9.
In the JV game Wellsboro won 34-29 to improve to 12-2 on the season. Junior Lucas Cuneo led the way with 10 points while sophomore Jonathan Carl and Mascho added 6 points each.
The win in the Varsity game improves the Hornets to 10-5 (8-4 NTL Large School Division). The team is back in action on January 30 against Towanda.