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NTL GIRLS BASKETBALL: ATHENS OVERCOMES SHOOTING WOES WITH DEFENSE; TOPS WELLSBORO, 28-22 (2021-01-16)

Valley Sports Report
WELLSBORO — Athens overcame ice-cold shooting, thanks to a stingy defense, and rallied for a 28-22 win over Wellsboro here Saturday afternoon in NTL Large School girls basketball action.

“We played a very good defensive game today,” said Athens coach Brian Miller. “Our offense struggled to make shots, but our defense kept us in the game, and we did make some keys shots down the stretch.

“It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win,” added Miller.

The Lady Wildcats, now 3-1, shot just 21 percent (9 of 42) from the field in the win, including an 18-percent (2 of 11) performance from behind the three-point arc.

Athens led 7-6 after the first eight minutes, but were outscored, 9-3, in the second quarter, and Wellsboro went to the halftime locker room with a 15-10 lead.

Senior Kayleigh Miller, who had five points in the stanza, and senior Megan Collins each knocked down a 3-pointer, and sophomore Karlee Bartlow converted an old-fashioned three-point play to fuel an 11-6 spurt that tied the game at 21-21 entering the final eight minutes.

The Lady Wildcats turned up the defensive intensity in the fourth quarter and allowed the Lady Green Hornets just one free throw. Meanwhile, senior Rachel Stephens and junior Cayden Macik scored buckets to put Athens up 25-22.

Macik made 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Macik led Athens with eight points and four boards, while Barlow had eight points and five rebounds, Miller had five points, four rebounds, four assists, and two assists, Collins had five points, three rebounds, and two blocked shots, and Natalie Watson chipped in with three rebounds.

Emma Coolidge led Wellsboro with seven points.

Athens, now 3-1, returns to action Tuesday at North Penn-Mansfield.

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IN PHOTO: Athens junior Caydence Macik.

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