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Hornets edge Troy, 55-52
Nine days ago Wellsboro and Troy battled on the basketball court. In the first meeting Troy edged Wellsboro by 3 points, 60-57. In the rematch at Wellsboro on Thursday, February 25, the Hornets got the better of the Trojans, winning 55-52.
The Hornets started Thursday’s game out shooting “lights out” as they jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and went on to hold the Trojans to just 5 first quarter points to lead by 10, 15-5 after the opening 8 minutes. Just as the first quarter belonged to Wellsboro, the 2nd belong to Troy. The Trojans scored 27 points in the quarter. Troy quickly cut in Wellsboro’s 10-point lead tying the game up at 15-all on an Ethan VanNoy layup. Over the next few minutes both teams traded buckets but eventually the Trojans pulled out a 5-point lead with under two minutes left to play before intermission. The Hornets clawed their way back to within a point, but a Ty Barrett half court buzzer-beating shot made it a four point game at the half, 32-28.
As the second half started the Hornets erased Troy’s lead as juniors Liam Manning and Isaac Keane hit a pair of three-point shots. Manning’s shot put Wellsboro up 37-36 and Keane’s pushed the Hornets’ lead to 5 points. Troy, however, went on a run and again cut Wellsboro’s lead and eventually took a 4-point lead at 45-41 to end the third. The fourth quarter started out in favor of the Hornets as shots by sophomore Conner Adams and junior Darryn Callahan tied the game at 45-all before sophomore Peyton McClure put the Hornets up 48-46 on a three-pointer. A minute later the Hornets pushed the lead to 4 as Adams found Manning for an easy layup but the Trojans battled back over the next few minutes to tie the game up at 50-50.
With just over 90 seconds remaining McClure broke the tie and gave Wellsboro back the lead, which they wouldn’t relinquish, at 53-50. Troy cut the lead back down to a point with under 30 seconds left on a steal and Zeb Oldroyd layup to make it 53-52. Troy was forced to foul, and got Manning on a sideline inbound. Manning missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to give the Trojans back the ball.
With 6.9 seconds left to play Mason Imbt was fouled and sent to the line for two shots. His first one missed. He made the second shot, but crossed over the foul line too soon, disqualifying the shot and giving Wellsboro the ball. The inbound went to Keane, who was fouled immediately. Keane sank both foul shots to put the Hornets back up three, 55-52. As Troy inbounded the Hornets fouled Barrett down by the Troy bench. Troy inbounded from there, got the ball into Barrett, but his game-tying shot attempt fell short to give the win to the Hornets.
“There were two very evenly matched teams in how they attack the game and us being home tonight definitely helped,” head coach Steve Adams said. “Isaac knocked down two very critical foul shots down the stretch, we shot 54%, which isn’t where we want to be yet, but we’ve said if we can shoot 55% or better we’re going to win most games so we were pleased. We talked a lot about shooting the ball with confidence and we expected Ty to score, we didn’t expect that half court shot at the end of the first half, but we did expect him scoring. We knew what we had to do in being willing to grind it out and finish and these guys did it. We’ve been talking about it all year, being able to finish is huge, and we did that tonight against the league champs so this is a great win for us.”
Manning recorded his 11th double-double of the season as he finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Callahan also scored in double figures with 12 points, and added 5 boards and 5 assists. Adams and Keane scored 8 points apiece, McClure finished with six points, all in the fourth quarter on a pair of three-pointers, and freshman Hayes Campbell rounded out the scoring with two points.
Barrett led all scorers with a game-high 27 points.
In the JV game Troy edged Wellsboro 50-46 in overtime. Sophomore Cameron Brought led Wellsboro with 23 points.
The win improves the Hornets to 14-3 (12-3 NTL Large School Division). Wellsboro hosts Towanda in their final regular season game Saturday night before they begin preparations for the PIAA District IV Class AAA playoffs starting Thursday of next week.