Tigers claw their way past Athens, 79-66

North Penn-Mansfield overcomes Stein’s 30 points to top Wildcats

by Ed Weaver – January 25, 2018

In a classic NTL boys basketball showdown, the North Penn-Mansfield Tigers topped the Athens Wildcats, for the second time this season, 79-66 on Wednesday, January 24.

“We’re real tickled to get the win,” Tigers’ head coach Kipper Burleigh stated. “That puts us at 11-1 in the league, it’s a win that we had to have to keep pace for a league title, and it’s tough beating Athens twice. We had a really tough game on the road and they came over here short-handed, they had a kid severely sick with the flu and another that is out with a concussion. Tip it to their kids, they played extremely hard and we’re real fortunate to get the win.”

It was back-and-forth early on as both teams traded buckets. An early three-pointer from Brent Burleigh put the Tigers up 6-2 but the Wildcats battled back and eventually tied it at 10-all. Both teams continued exchanging baskets the remainder of the quarter, and Athens held a slight lead late, but a Jacob Green three with under 30 seconds remaining gave North Penn-Mansfield an 18-17 lead after the opening quarter.

Athens opened the second quarter with a quick bucket and would eventually build a 28-25 lead. The Tigers, however, fought back and went up four midway through the quarter. Mansfield kept their four-point lead throughout the rest of the half, leading 38-34.

Just like the second quarter, the Wildcats started the third with another quick basket. This time, however, Stein drilled a three-pointer to cut it to a one-point game. That didn’t phase Mansfield as they scored on a Dylan Meyer bucket their very next trip down the court. Athens would eventually tie the game up at 41-41, but two three’s from Green put the Tigers back in front as the Tigers took a 54-45 lead into the fourth quarter.

As the fourth quarter started the Tigers got an easy basket off the inbound play and eventually built their lead to 63-51 just a couple minutes in. Athens, however, kept fighting and tried to claw their way back. The Wildcats eventually cut Mansfield’s lead to 5, but the Tigers’ outside shooting was just to much to handle. Athens kept fighting but couldn’t get past a nine-point Tiger lead as they fell to 9-6 (7-4 Large School Division).

Stein led all scorers with a game-high 30 points, but North Penn-Mansfield had five players score in double figures. Nick Kasper led the Tigers with 18 points, Garrett David had 15, Green and Meyer both scored 12, and Burleigh rounded out with 11.

Jayden Andrews also contributed 6 points and Sawyer Freeman pitched in 5. Meyer also grabbed 12 rebounds to register a double-double.

The win improves the Tigers’ record to 11-5 overall and keeps them a game back of Wellsboro (12-0) at 11-1 in the Large School Division standings. The team will be back in action on Friday, January 26 as they travel to Williamson.

Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver
Videography: Jason Fletcher, Ethan Chabala
Video Editing: Ethan Chabala
Writing: Ed Weaver
Anchor: Ed Weaver
Correspondent: Megan Thomas

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