Wildcats pull away from rival Redskins
Early on, both offenses struggled to get any kind of rhythm going and the Wildcats took a hit when starting guard Garrett Clark was forced to the bench with two fouls.
Athens jumped out to a 5-2 lead early, but Sayre scored six of the final eight points – including two from freshman Nate Williams and four from senior Trey Hildebrandt — in the first to take an 8-7 lead after one.
“Defensively, I thought we played well the whole game. Some close calls there got us into a little bit of foul trouble, but that’s to be expected when you’re going to play as aggressively as we did,” said Athens coach Bob Fauver.
Athens guard Ray McDougan also got into foul trouble in the second quarter and the Athens coach was forced to send in freshman Brandon Fauver.
With Sayre leading 11-7, the freshman guard hit two threes in a two-minute span to put the Wildcats up 15-13 — and they would never trail again.
“The bench came in and did a heck of a job and you can’t ask for anything more than that,” said Fauver. “Brandon came in and gave us a spark with some outside shooting and I think that really turned the tide.”
Sayre would come back to tie the game at 18-18 with 2:30 left in the half, but the Wildcats would finish the second quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 23-18 lead into the break.
Clark would return to the game in the second half and gave the Wildcats a spark — both on offense and defense. The junior scored just three points in the third, but his driving ability opened up the inside game for the Wildcats.
Mark Wright scored six points in the third and Adam McCauley and Mc- Dougan both scored on offensive rebounds to help lift the Wildcats to a 41-30 lead at the end of three.
Sayre was able to get back within 10 late in the game, but McCauley hit a three-pointer with 1:52 left to close the door.
Athens was led by Mark Wright with 12 points and eight rebounds and Craig Moore with 10 points and nine boards.
Brandon Fauver finished with 10 points, while McCauley added eight points and three rebounds and Robert Fauver and McDougan had five points each.
The Redskins got 15 points and four assists from Williams and 13 points and three assists from Hildebrandt. Riley Card added nine points and Alex Lyons and Jared Donovan had four points each.
Sayre coach Ben Gambrell was happy with his team’s performance.
“Overall, playing against a team like Athens, knowing their experience and how long they have played together, I was proud of our effort,” said Gambrell.
Athens will host Towanda on Thursday night, while Sayre will host Wyalusing on Tuesday.
JV: Athens won the junior varsity contest by a 35-27 count on Tuesday night.
Brandon Fauver led the Wildcats with 14 points, while the Redskins were led by Joe Galizia with eight points.