Short-handed Athens falls to Troy

Athens’ Emma Bronson and Troy’s Alyssa Parks chase down a loose ball during Thursday’s NTL contest.

TROY — After a 7-12 season in 2020, the Troy girls basketball team has turned a page in 2021, sitting atop the NTL Large School division with a 6-0 league record after defeating Athens 35-28 on Thursday night.

Troy head coach Marshall McNeal couldn’t help but get emotional after watching his team play one of its best games in recent memory.

The Lady Trojans opened the game with a 5-0 lead. Athen’s Caydence Macik scored a layup and Addy Wheeler nailed a three pointer to tie the game back up at 5-5.

Athens didn’t stop there. Macik scored seven straight points keyed by two fast break layups and an and-one free throw.

Troy felt the game slipping away, so McNeal called a timeout to stem the tide and shift momentum.

At the 6:03 mark of the second quarter, Troy’s Rachel Kinglsey hit a turnaround jump shot and was fouled, getting the home crowd back into the game.

Kingsley made the free throw and cut Athens’ lead to 13-9.

On the next Troy possession, Kingsley worked her way into great scoring position again and was fouled again. Kingsley converted both free throws putting the game back in reach.

After a Macik layup, Troy’s Sydney Taylor stripped the ball away from an Athens player to score a layup, and then Taylor slipped a beautiful bounce pass into Kingsley to tie the game at 15-15 with just over a minute to go in the half.

Troy’s Caitlyn Hoffman scored an and one layup and made the free throw, and Taylor scored a layup right before the break and Troy led 20-17 at halftime.

Athens head coach Brian Miller was disappointed that his team gave up the 12-5 lead.

“We had a nice lead in the second quarter and we let them get back in the game instead of extending it beyond where they could catch us,” Miller said. We had too many peaks and valleys today. We played really good for several minutes and really bad for around 12 minutes.”

The Lady Trojans kept it rolling to start the third quarter extending their lead to 24-17.

Macick and Wheeler willed Athens back into the game. Wheeler made a deep three pointer at the buzzer to make it a 26-26 game heading into the final quarter.

Troy switched from man-to-man defense to a 2-3 zone in the fourth quarter.

It worked to perfection and Athens struggled to finish its chances in the fourth quarter.

Kingsley scored a layup with 1:42 remaining in the game to give Troy a 34-28 lead.

Troy missed three straight one-and-one free throw attempts, but the Lady Trojans played hard on defense and did what they had to do to close out the victory.

Macik scored 14 points and Wheeler finished with eight.

Kingsley scored a team-high 16 points for Troy.

Athens and Troy both face one of their toughest tests of the season playing Towanda in their next game.

Athens travels to play Towanda on Monday at 7:30 p.m. and Troy hosts Towanda on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Wylausing 57, Sayre 20

WYALUSING — The Sayre girls basketball team fell 57-20 against Wyalusing on Thursday night.

The Lady Rams led 27-10 at halftime and pulled away farther in the second half to win by 37.

Kendra Merill scored a team-high nine points for Sayre, and recorded four steals and four rebounds, which were both team-highs, as well

Abbie McGaughey scored seven points and grabbed two boards for Sayre.

Also for Sayre, Jazz DeKay and Liz Shaw each scored two points, and Gabby Shaw pulled down three rebounds.

Wyalusing’s Bryn Zionkowski led all players with 17 points, and Olivia Leichliter added 13.

Marissa Johnson also hit double-digits for the Lady Rams, scoring 10 points in the game.

Sayre will travel to North Penn-Liberty for a game at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Wyalusing also plays on Saturday, with a game slated for 2:30 p.m. on the road against Towanda.

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