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NTL GIRLS BASKETBALL: CENTRAL COLUMBIA HOLDS OFF ATHENS, 42-37 (2021-02-20)

Valley Sports Report
ATHENS — Central Columbia jumped out to an early lead, and held off Athens wire-to-wire in a 42-37 win here Saturday afternoon in non-league girls basketball action.

Athens coach Brian Miller was impressed his team kept the game as close as it did, considering the number of turnovers it committed.

“We had 33 turnovers, and we were only down two at half  and lost by five,” said Miller. “That shows we didn't ever give up. I’m proud of that, but we gotta correct the turnover issue.”

Miller doesn’t believe two games in less than 24 hours had anything to do with the loss.

“ don't think we were tired,” he said. “Central Columbia 9s an athletic team who has faced some siuff competition, like Bloomsburg, Mount Carmel, Loyalsock and Lewisburg.

“They forced us to make too many turnovers,” added Miller.

Ellie Rowe and Alyx Hicks combined to score 13 points in the first quarter to lead the Lady Blue Jays to an 18-10 lead. Junior Caydence Macik kept Athens in the game with six points.

Macik scored six more points in the second quarter, and seniors Kayleigh Miller and Megan Collins each knocked down 3-pointers to fuel a 14-8 Athens spurt that cut the deficit to 26-24 at the half.

Caitlyn Weatherill scored six points in the third quarter, and the CC defense limited Athens to just six points in the stanza as it upped its advantage to six points, at 36-30, entering the final eight minutes.

Athens held CC to just six points in the fourth quarter, but only seven of its own, with Miller providing five of those points.

Macik led Athens with 17 points, 10 rebounds, five blocked shots, and three steals, while Miller added nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers, three assists, and one blocked shot, sophomore Karlee Bartlow grabbed four rebounds, and senior Rachel Stephens chipped in with three boards.

Rowe led CC with 13 points, and Hicks added 12.

Athens is currently the second seed in the upcoming District 4, Class AAAA playoffs, while Central Columbia, now 6-9, is the fourth seed.

Athens, now 13-5, hosts Wyalusing Monday and Towanda Wednesday.

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IN PHOTO: Athens junior Caydence Macik.

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