By: Ed Weaver | NTL Sports | February 6, 2018 | Photo courtesy Dr. Robert Bair
In another classic rivalry game between Wellsboro and North Penn-Mansfield, the Hornets edged the Tigers 52-47 on Monday, February 5.
After a couple early baskets by the Tigers the Hornets lit it up from behind the three-point line as seniors Dalton Prough, Quinn Henry, and Nic Ingerick, and junior Brandyn Tuttle pushed the Hornets out in front 18-10 after the first quarter ended. Wellsboro continued their hot shooting in the second as Prough, Ingerick and junior Andrew Brelo combined for 14 points.
Brent Burleigh and Garrett David paced the Tigers throughout the first half as they combined for all 18 of the Tigers' first-half points. Turnovers got the best of both teams throughout the game, but the Hornets held a 32-18 lead after the first 16 minutes of play.
"I'm not sure how we built a first-half lead with 16 turnovers. Our shots were falling," said Hornet head coach Todd Outman. "The second half we weren't making our shots, we turned the ball over. It's like I've said before, when it comes to this game you can throw records right out the window because it's just that big rivalry game and Mansfield played a great game."
Once the second half started, however, the Tigers flipped the script. Turnovers got the best of Wellsboro as they struggled to score. North Penn-Mansfield's front court of Dylan Meyer and David scored all 9 of the Tigers' points in the quarter. Mansfield held the Hornets to just 8 points to trail 40-27 entering the fourth.
Mansfield finally caught fire from behind the three-point line in the final frame as the team combined for 5 three's. Burleigh started things off but Henry answered right back for Wellsboro. Jacob Green drained two from behind the line, one from the left wing then one from the right corner, to keep cutting into the Hornets' lead.
Ingerick kept the Hornets in front as he drained back-to-back three's but the Tigers' Nick Kasper pulled them to within 49-45. On the Hornets' next couple possessions the Tigers fouled junior Hunter Brown to send him to the line. Brown missed both font end's of the resulting one-and-one's. With just over 20 seconds remaining, Meyer drew a foul on Henry to go to the line. Meyer hit both foul shots to cut it to 49-47, but as the Tigers continued to foul, Ingerick, Henry, and Prough went 3-for-6 at the line to seal the Hornet victory.
"We shot the ball better in the second half," said Tigers' head coach Kipper Burleigh. "I thought the effort was the same from the kids in the first half and second half but we started shooting the ball better. Credit to Wellsboro. We get their best and they shot extremely well and knocked down 10 three's. I thought our defense was pretty good but they lit it up."
Prough led all scorers with 18 points, Ingerick finished with a career-high 17, including 4 three-pointers, Henry scored 9, Tuttle added 6, and Brelo rounded out the scoring with 2. Prough added 3 rebounds and 4 assists, Tuttle and Brelo each grabbed 3 boards, and senior Collin Pietropola had 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
David led North Penn-Mansfield with a double-double of 15 points and 12 boards, Burleigh finished with 14 points, and Meyer, Kasper, and Green all scored 6 points each. Jayden Andrews made 5 assists, Sawyer Freeman had 3 steals, and Meyer added 9 rebounds.
In their final JV game of the year, the Hornets fell to Mansfield 41-32 to finsh the season at 11-9. Freshman Joseph Grab scored 11.
The win caps the Hornets' regular season with a 21-1 record (20-game win streak), and a perfect 16-0 record in the NTL Large School Division. The Tigers fall to 13-8 (13-3 NTL Large School Division). The Hornets now have a 9-day layoff until next Thursday's opening round game of the NTL Showdown.
"We haven't really accomplished that (finishing undefeated in the league). We might have done that once back when it was the NTL East and West, but it's good," continued Outman. "Our kids deserve it. They're working hard, there's still things we have to work on, but they've put a lot of time in to put themselves in this position. I'm proud of them and happy for them, especially the seniors. (The seniors) they're a great bunch of kids. This whole group, especially the seniors, three of them are our captains, they just do a good job in setting a good example for the younger kids. They're just a great bunch of boys and I couldn't be more pleased."