By: Ed Weaver | NTL Sports | February 1, 2017
The Wellsboro Varsity Girls Basketball team scored a big rivalry win over North Penn-Mansfield during Senior Night on Tuesday, January 31.
The game started off slow as both teams turned the ball over numerous times but eventually senior Janessa Davis got the Lady Hornets on the scoreboard with a three-pointer. Wellsboro was then off to the races as they scored 20 more points, and were in double figures before the Lady Tigers scored their first points, for a monster 23-point first quarter.
Shaelyn Berguson hit North Penn-Mansfield's lone shot from the floor and foul shots from Miranda Hampsher and Sara Swingle brought the score to 23-5 in favor of Wellsboro after the opening quarter.
North Penn-Mansfield's shooting woes continued the remainder of the game. The Lady Tigers had plenty of open looks at the hoop, but couldn't get anything to fall.
"We're a very young team and we're trying to get experience each time and trying to get to the level that Wellsboro's at," said North Penn-Mansfield head coach Nate McNamara. "They're playing good basketball going into district play so it's nice to get exposure for all of our players so they can see the level they have to play on."
The Lady Hornets held their rivals to just 3 points in the second and scored 12, 6 of which came from junior Lizzie Poirier to lead 35-8 at halftime. Wellsboro had another big quarter in the third scoring 19 points while holding the young North Penn-Mansfield team to 7 points. Up 54-15 entering the fourth quarter, the Lady Hornet JV team played the fourth and outscored the Lady Tigers 8-2 for the 62-19 win.
"It was a very good team win for us," senior Autum Kitajima said. "We came together as a team and we were looking for each other on the court and that will help us prepare for Athens."
In the last four years, this is only the second time the Lady Hornets have beat their rivals.
"It felt nice to beat this team that have always been our rival all through middle school and high school," Davis said.
During their four years at Wellsboro the trio of Davis, Kitajima, and Jessica Grab have won 51 games and were runners up in District IV playoffs last year as juniors. The trio were also freshman when head coach John Davis started with the team back in 2013.
"Autum, Jessica and Janessa are special to me since we all started this high school basketball adventure together," said Coach Davis. "I had the honor and privilege to watch them grow in not only basketball, but as young women as well. However, their time here is not done yet and we have big games coming up. I'm looking forward to them finishing this season strong."
Davis led all scorers with a game and career-high 18 points, Lizzie Poirier had 10, Grab finished with 9, and sophomore Emma Poirier and junior Rachael Tuttle had 6. Kitajima scored 5 points, freshman Cathryn Brought had 4, and sophomore Luna Alexander and freshman Liza Manning rounded out the scoring with 2 points each.
Tuttle grabbed 10 boards, Kitajima made 7 assists, Davis had 4 steals, and Lizzie Poirier blocked a shot.
For the Lady Tigers, Berguson scored a team-high 6 points, Lauren Smith had 4, Brittany Weiskopff had 3, Joanne McNamara and Swingle each had 2, and Hampsher and Ellie Fry rounded out the scoring with a point. Weiskopff and Berguson grabbed 5 rebounds each, Abi Welch had 3 rebounds, and Swingle had a steal.
North Penn-Mansfield won the JV game 35-25. Berguson scored a game-high 12 and Brought had 9 for Wellsboro.
The win improves the Lady Hornets' record to 13-7 (12-2 NTL). The Lady Hornets remain one game back of Athens for second place in the NTL Large School Division, while the Lady Tigers fall to 6-13 (5-9 NTL). Wellsboro hosts Athens on Thursday and North Penn-Mansfield travels to Towanda.