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Valley Sports Report
ROME — Athens got off to a fast start, but it was Northeast Bradford that finished strong in a come-from-behind, 52-47 win here Saturday evening in NTL boys basketball action.

Athens jumped out to a 9-0 lead in a run capped by a 3-pointer from sophomore Mason Lister.

Sam Abell and Ethan Finch each canned 3-pointers for the Panthers in an 8-3 spurt that trimmed the deficit to 12-8 with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter.

Lister scored five points, including a 3-pointer, in the final minute to give the Wildcats a 17-8 lead after the first eight minutes.

Athens led by nine again, at 19-10, but the Panthers scored six straight points as part of a 12-2 run to take a 22-21 lead with 2 minutes remaining in the first half.

A bucket and a free throw by junior Tucker Brown gave Athens a 24-22 lead, and Lister knocked down a 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds to give the Wildcats a 27-22 lead at the intermission.

The Athens lead ranged from three to seven points through the third quarter, with a free throw by Brown making 38-34 entering the fourth quarter.

Athens stretched its lead to 42-34 on a bucket by junior Troy Pritchard, and two free throws by junior J.J. Babcock, but the Panthers closed the game with an 18-5 run to pull out the win.

Lucas Crown scored seven points in the decisive run for the Panthers, and Nick Beers added five points.

NEB took its first lead midway through the final stanza at 45-44, and stretched the lead to 48-44 on an old-fashioned three-point play by Beers. The Panthers took their biggest lead of the game at 50-44.

Beers led NEB with 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals, while Crown had15 points, six steals, and four assists, Dan Williams had eight points and seven boards, and Abell chipped in with five points and six assists.

Lister led Athens with 14 points, including four 3-pointers, four assists, three rebounds, and one blocked shot, while Babcock had 12 points, 14 rebounds, four steals, three assists, and two blocked shots, Pritchard added 11 points and four rebounds, and Brown chipped in with 10 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and one blocked shots. Senior James Benninger-Jones grabbed four boards.

Athens, now 10-9, hosts Sayre Tuesday, while

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