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NTL BOYS BASKETBALL: ATHENS RALLIES TO TOP TOWANDA, 63-51; SNAPS FOUR-GAME LOSING STREAK (17 PHOTOS) (2021-02-17)

Valley Sports Report
ATHENS — Athens used a strong second half to overcome a halftime deficit, and snap a four-game losing streak with a 63-51 win over Towanda here Wednesday night in NTL Large School boys basketball action.

“I will give credit to coach (Ryan) Napp and Towanda,” said Athens coach Jim Lister. “They came out ready to play tonight from the tip and we did not.

“After a little halftime motivation and a few adjustments, we woke up and played a very good second half of basketball,” added Lister. “We were proud of there intensity in the second half.”

Justin Schoonover scored six points in the first quarter, and Kirby Hoffman added four points to help Towanda to a 16-11 after the first eight minutes.

Junior Mason Lister knocked down a 3-pointer and scored seven points for Athens in the second quarter, but Towanda, with five different players putting their name in the scoring column, played the Wildcats even in the stanza, taking a 27-22 lead into the halftime break.

Junior Troy Pritchard scored seven points in the third quarter, and Lister, junior J.J. Babcock, and senior James Benninger-Jones scored four points apiece in a 21-13 run that gave the Wildcats a 43-40 lead entering the final eight minutes.

In the fourth quarter, Babcock pumped in 11 points, including a 3-pointer, and junior tucker Brown added five points, including an old-fashioned three-point play, to fuel a game-sealing 20-11 run in the final eight minutes.

Babcock led Athens with 21 pints, while Lister and Pritchard each scored 13 points, Brown had seven points, sophomore Chris Mitchell added five points, and Benninger-Jones chipped in with four points.

Schoonover led Towanda with 14 points, while Taegan Irish added 12 points, and Hoffman chipped in with nine.

Athens, now 9-7, hosts Canton Thursday night.

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IN PHOTO 1: Athens junior J.J. Babcock. … PHOTOS BY DAVID ALLIGER — TRAVELING PORTRAITS.

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