By: Ed Weaver | NTL Sports | February 21, 2020 | Photo courtesy The Home Page Network
After tying the game up at 49-all heading into the 4th quarter, Central Columbia went on a 25-16 run over the final 8 minutes to end the Wellsboro Hornets' season in the opening round of the District IV AAA playoffs.
The Hornets scored the game's opening basket but then quickly fell behind 10-2 with five minutes remaining on a pair of three-pointers by Central's Dylan Harris. Wellsboro got within 18-16 at the 2:45 mark but trailed 23-19 after the opening quarter. With 6:10 remaining in the 2nd Central held on to a 28-22 lead but the Hornet bagan to battle back. With 2:39 left to go before the half a long three by junior Joseph Grab cut the Bluejays' lead to 34-30 and would trail 39-36.
The 3rd quarter was when the Hornets did their most damage. Trailing 41-36 with 6:18 remaining Wellsboro mounted a charge and held Central Columbia to 10 total points to tie the game up at 49-all to start the 4th. Central saved their best quarter for the end. After both teams sunk baskets to open the quarter the Bluejays capitalized off of Hornet turnovers to go on a 6-0 run to swing momentum in their favor.
Wellsboro was unable to get back within five points the rest of the way as the Bluejays went on to win 74-65 to advance tot he Class AAA semi-finals and end the Hornets' season.
"We had a plan coming down and for the most part we were able to execute that plan," head coach Steve Adams said. "Central is a good basketball team and they are battle tested. Games like this make us battle tested and that is what we need to have happen to play against good competition, get battle tested, and work on some of our deficiencies. The guys did a nice job, they fought until the very end and I couldn't be more proud of them."
Grab finished with 24 points and 3 assists to lead Wellsboro. Freshman Conner Adams finished with 10, sophomore Liam Manning scored 9 to go along with 10 rebounds, sophomore Darryn Callahan had 7, sophomore Isaac Keane and senior Ty Morral scored 6 points each, and senior Andrew Larson finished with 3 points all from the foul line. Callahan added 5 rebounds and Adams pitched in 3 steals and 3 assists.
Harris led all scorers with 30 points and Patrick Yost finished with 26 for Central Columbia.
Grab finished with 552 points on the season giving him 900 for his career through 3 seasons. Manning was 2nd on the team in scoring with 231 points and led the team with 163 rebounds and 6 double-doubles. Adams (176), Keane (160), Callahan (127), and Morral (104) rounded out the top-6 scorers.
Morral finished his with career with 117 points, senior Daniel Mitchell had 55 points for his career, Larson had 19 career points, senior Carson Davis scored 13 career points, and senior Tyren Wetzel had 9 points.
The loss ends the Hornets' season at 12-10 while Central Columbia advances to face Warrior Run in the semi-finals at a date, time, and location to be determined.