Redskins shut down Knights
The Lady Redskins led 23- 21 after a sequence in which Towanda’s Alaina Wickwire took a pass from Darien Lantz and scored, then got a steal on the inbound pass and scored again. She added another basket on a nice pass from Kaitlin Hallabuk to make it a twopoint game.
Mollie Robinson hit two free throws for Sayre to close out the third quarter, then Kelly Villanti grabbed a defensive rebound and beat the other nine players down the court to give the Redskins a six-point lead.
Kelsey Young, a force on the glass with eight rebounds and a defensive stalwart on Towanda’s Ashley Fleming, scored on an offensive rebound and added a basket on a pass from Elyse Skerpon for a 10-point bulge. Villanti then hit both ends of a one-and-one to put the Redskins up by a dozen with 3:33 to play and Towanda never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
“I’m very proud of our defense tonight,” said Sayre coach Bill Trump. “We knew that Lantz and Fleming were big-time scorers. Kelly did a great job keeping Lantz in check and when she did get by Kelly a few times, our helpside defense really stepped up and either forced the ball out of her hands or forced her into tough shots. The same thing with Fleming. When she got the ball, we put enough pressure on her to make it more difficult.”
Indeed, Lantz was held to two points, both on free throws, and Fleming finished with five points. Without much production from their two leading scorers, the Knights never got much going.
“(Young) is athletic and understands that she’s battling one of the best post players (in Fleming),” said Trump. “Athens has some, Wyalusing has some. She has to realize she has to come out prepared and she did a great job with that tonight.”
Sayre’s Robinson set the tone in the game’s first few seconds, nailing a threepointer off the opening tip. Towanda did get the lead on baskets by Wickwire, who led the Knights with 11 points, Michelle Aronson and Fleming, but Sayre answered with hoops by Young, Robinson and a trey by Villanti before Wickwire trimmed Sayre’s lead to three with a free throw to end the first period.
The teams traded baskets and steals through much of the second period before Young connected on a feed from Robinson with 49 seconds left in the half, sending the Redskins into halftime up 17-12.
Despite a conventional three-point play by Aronson early in the third, Sayre built an eight-point lead on a three by Skerpon off a feed from Young and a Skerpon deuce before the Knights made their third-period run.
Robinson finished with nine points, three assists and five steals, Villanti packaged 10 points and four steals, Skerpon had six points and five thefts and Adrienne Malorzo grabbed six big rebounds for Sayre (8-2), which will visit a very tough Cowanesque Valley team on Tuesday.
Fleming had seven rebounds, Michelle Hallabuk had five boards and Wickwire packaged six rebounds, two assists and a steal for the Black Knights.
Sayre’s win, combined with Wyalusing’s win over Canton Friday night, knots the Redskins, Rams (8-1 overall) and Athens’ Wildcats (8-2) atop the NTL East standings with matching 5-1 records at the end of the first half of league play. Towanda slips to 3-3 in the NTL action, two games arrears.
Tioga 56, Spencer-Van Etten 26
After a slow and evenly matched first quarter, the Lady Tigers bore their claws and won the cat fight against the Spencer-Van Etten Panthers, 56-26.
Tioga and SVE broke even in the first with eight points each, but Tioga opened up and found their flow ending the half 29-15.
In her game-high, 18-point showing, Hannah Marwaring drained four treys, three in the second period giving her 15 points on the half, and shot four for four from the charity stripe. Callie Patsellis and Emily Schweiger hit five and three baskets, respectively, and totaled 11 points a piece with Patsellis making good on five free throws.
Sierra Beebe added 10 points for Tiogaß while Sarah Whitney totaled four and Natalie Burns scored two.
Patsellis recorded 10 steals and two assists, Manwaring had eight caroms and three steals. Schweiger grabbed six rebounds and two steals and dished out for two assits, Beebe had five boards.
Alexa Duhly lead the Panthers with 11 points.
JV: Tioga fought into overtime in an attempt to find victory, but Spencer-Van Etten edged out Tioga for a 41-40 final.
Rachel Graham scored 13 points for Tioga.