By: Ed Weaver | NTL Sports | February 12, 2017
The Wellsboro Varsity Boys Basketball team won their 2nd NTL Showdown championship by beating rival North Penn-Mansfield 58-42 on Saturday, February 11.
Wellsboro trailed 13-5 in the first quarter to start the game as they struggled to get their shots to fall, but rebounded in the second. Senior Jacob Singer led the way in the second quarter with all 11 of his points in the game to bring the Hornets back. Senior Brandon Lamphier and junior Quinn Henry (right at the end of the half) had the Hornets' other 4 points in the quarter to erase the deficit and pull with 3 points, 24-21.
"It feels great. It's been awhile since we got here," said head coach Todd Outman. "We came in wanting a two-game series and that's what we ended up having. We pulled it out after working hard to tie for the NTL championship and we're meeting our goals, but we have more to go though."
The second half was Wellsbro's game. The Hornets out-physicaled North Penn-Mansfield and outscored them 15-4 to erase the halftime deficit and take a 34-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"We thought that they shot the ball really well and we were committing foolish turnovers," Outman said of the first half. "We didn't shoot real well so we were happy where we were at at the time knowing we were going to go our diamond-and-one, which caused some problems over there, and the kids executed that properly. The kids did a great job on (Brock) Burleigh, he's just an unbelievable player."
The Hornets saved their best quarter for last in the contest, as they put up 24 points, with 18 of those coming from the foul line. With the lead, the Tigers were forced to foul to extend the game but Wellsboro went a perfect 20-for-20 from the line, all in the second half, for the win.
"That is usually not like us," Outman said of the team's foul shooting. "I can hear my good buddy upstairs, Mr. Charles Griscavage, right now telling us that free throws win ball games and tonight was another situation for that, and as a result we end up pulling away."
"It was one of our goals and we achieved it finally," Lamphier said.
"It was a great game. We were down at the beginning, but we fought through it," said Singer. "First time in four years that we got the championship. Feels great in our senior year to get it done."
Lamphier led Wellsboro with 16, Singer had 11, and Henry had 10. Sophomore Brandyn Tuttle had 7 off the bench in the second half, senior Alden Weiner scored 6, junior Dalton Prough had 4, and juniors Nic Ingerick and Collin Pietropola rounded out the scoring with 2 points each.
Burleigh led the Tigers with 17 points and Shane Kelly had 10.
The win gives the Hornets their first 20-win season (20-3) since 2012-13. The team will be back in action on home on Monday, February 13 against St. John Neumann in their final regular season game before the start of District IV playoffs.