Hornets escape Mansfield with win
Trailing at halftime and midway through the third quarter, the Wellsboro Varsity Boys Basketball team rallied late in the third and held on during the fourth quarter for a 42-40 win over rival North Penn-Mansfield on Tuesday, January 22.
Both teams came into Tuesday’s game undefeated in the NTL Large School Division and tied for first place. Tuesday’s win gives Wellsboro sole possession of first.
The Hornets took an early 4-0 lead before the Tigers got on the scoreboard, then pushed their lead to 7-2 as Brandyn Tuttle hit a three from the right corner. From that point on, however, the Tigers went on a 6-3 run to close the quarter with Wellsboro holding a 10-8 lead. Once the second quarter started the Tigers’ defense stiffened and forced numerous Wellsboro turnovers. In all, the Hornets turned the ball over 15 times in the first half and 24 for the game.
“We were pretty fortunate there,” Wellsboro coach Todd Outman said. “To turn the ball over 24 times and come out with a victory, especially against a team that is that good, usually doesn’t happen that way but we’ll take it.
“We have to have better judgement,” Outman said about the turnovers. “The way we’re throwing the passes, we’re not faking before throwing it, we’re just getting the ball and looking. I told the guys at halftime that a lot of our passes were one hand passes and once you start in the process of throwing it you can’t pull it back, so we need to keep two hands on the ball.”
Mansfield worked their way back to tie the game at 14-all by Brent Burleigh. Burleigh later went on to give the Tigers their first lead of the game, 16-14, late in the half. As the second half started Mansfield built up their lead by as much as five points before Wellsboro hit their first basket. A steal by Andrew Brelo and layup by Tanner Button cut it to a three-point game. Midway through the quarter the Tigers clung to a three-point lead but struggled to find the bottom of the net. Wellsboro’s defense held the Tigers scoreless over the course of the next four minutes and came back and tied the game up at 21-all on a foul shot by Holden Kennedy, then ran their way up to a 25-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Mansfield started the final quarter on a 6-2 run to tie the game back up at 27-27 on back-to-back baskets by Garrett David. Wellsboro managed to build their lead back up to four, 31-27, from the foul line as the Tigers were in trouble from late in the third quarter. That didn’t stop Mansfield as Burleigh drilled a three-pointer from the left corner with 4:34 left to cut it to 31-30. Wellsboro went back up 34-30 after a layup by Brelo and foul shot by Joseph Grab.
Mansfield cut the lead back to two at 34-32 before Meyer tied up with with a turn-around layup over Tuttle with 2:46 remaining. A pair of foul shots by Tuttle put Wellsboro back up 36-34 and a pair of Kennedy foul shot pushed the lead back up to 38-34 with under a minute left. After Wellsboro ran off some clock Tuttle was fouled and went 1-of-2 from the line to make it 39-34 with 30 seconds left, but Meyer cut the lead back to three on the Tigers’ next trip down the court with 25 seconds.
On the next inbound Button got the ball into Tuttle, who was then intentionally fouled by Meyer to put him back on the line. With under 15 seconds left Wellsboro held a 41-37 lead. After a Button rebound off a missed Tiger shot a foul sent him to the line for two more shots. Button hit 1-of-2 shots to make it 42-37 but the Tigers weren’t done.
Logan Tokarz was fouled by Tuttle on the Tigers’ very next possession with 6.6 seconds left to send him to the line for two shots. Tokarz missed the first but hit the second to cut it to 42-38. On the final inbound play Jayden Andrews and Burleigh came up with a steal, Tokarz came up with the ball and got it over to Burleigh for a layup before time expired, but Wellsboro held on for the 42-40 win, their 13th straight.
“It’s disappointing the kids played with the correct effort and hard enough to win. We just missed too many easy shots and too many free throws,” Mansfield head coach Kipper Burleigh said. “We finished 7-of-17 from the line and missed the front end of three one-and-one’s. We make some free throws and a couple easy buckets and it’s a different basketball game.”
Tuttle led all scorers with a double-double of 18 points (11-of-14 from the foul line) and 16 rebounds. Brelo finished with 11 points and came away with 3 steals, Grab and Kennedy scored 5 points each, and Button finished with 3 points. Grab added 6 assists and 4 rebounds, Kennedy and Button grabbed 2 rebounds each, and Hunter Brown added 7 rebounds.
Burleigh led North Penn-Mansfield with 13 points, Meyer finished with 10, Andrews and David added 6 each, Tokarz and Brion Smith contributed 2 points each, and Sawyer Freeman rounded out the team with a point.
The win improves the Hornets to 13-2 overall (10-0 NTL Large School Division), giving them sole possession of first place in the league. Mansfield falls to 10-5 (8-1 NTL Large School Division). Both teams are back in action on Thursday, January 24. The Hornets travel to Towanda and Mansfield hosts Athens.
Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver
Videography: Jason Fletcher, Tim Crane, Ethan Chabala
Video Editing: Ethan Chabala
Writing: Ed Weaver
Anchor: Ed Weaver
Correspondent: Johanna Vogt
Produced by Vogt Media
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