Wellsboro girls edge Sayre on buzzer beater; Athens girls, Wellsboro and NP-Mansfield boys also in NTL Showcase final.
By: The Review | Towanda Daily Review | February 11, 2017
By: The Review | Towanda Daily Review | February 11, 2017
SAYRE — After a rough first quarter and a steady climb that led to an amazing comeback for Sayre, the Lady Redskins fell to the victim of the buzzer beater — as they lost 50-48 to Wellsboro Friday evening in the Northern Tier League Showdown semifinal on Lizzie Poirier's clutch three-pointer for the Lady Hornets.
"By the time we came back, that ending wasn't the way I wanted it to go," Sayre coach Eileen Sparduti said.
Sparduti would like to think the last seconds of the fourth quarter were just tough luck, but the first quarter set up the tempo for rest of the matchup.
"The way things were going in the first, if you would've told me 'Hey, don't worry Eileen, you're going lose on a buzzer beater.' I would've thought, 'geez I hope so!,'" Sparduti said. "I just wanted us to make a basket early on."
Aside from the countless turnovers in the first, the Lady 'Skins couldn't get any of their shots in the basket.
Managing just one field goal and three free throws, Sayre found themselves in a 20-5 hole after the opening quarter.
Almost a good chunk of the second quarter and Sayre was still down a good amount. Poirier increased the Lady Hornets' lead to 26-12 on a nifty two-point shot.
From there, the Lady Redskins began their road to getting back into the swing of things. Andrea Noldy was fouled under the basket, but got the two-point roundabout. After she sunk a free throw, Sayre cut the deficit to 26-15.
With the clock winding down, Steph Klovekorn floated a two-point basket to make it 26-17 Hornets.
Sparduti and her assistant coaches gave their team a much needed pep talk at the half.
"We counted the turnovers we had in the first half at halftime...we had 15 of them," Sparduti said. "I don't know where that came from. I think when the shots didn't fall early, they got rattled. When they get rattled, they get tentative. They also press too hard and try to make too many things happen that aren't there."
Something clicked right away for Sayre, as they went into the third quarter with a purpose.
Down just 26-21, Sayre's Chloe Tracy drove to the side of the basket and dropped in a two-pointer to make it 26-23.
With that basket, Sayre was on a 17-2 run since the final minutes of the second quarter.
Wellsboro suddenly found their stride again and went on a run of its own. Up 28-25, the Lady Hornets outscored Sayre 12-5 to end the third with a 40-30 lead. Cathryn Brought provided two big free throws at the end of the quarter to bring Wellsboro back to a double-digit advantage.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady Hornets clung to a 47-42 lead. Little did they know, that would be wiped clean in a matter of minutes.
Camry Lane drove hard to the basket for a layup to slice Sayre's deficit to 47-44. Not even a minute later, Kaeli Sutryk dropped a mid-range jumper to bring it to 47-46, screaming "Let's go!" as she went back down to Wellsboro's half of the court.
Less than 30 seconds left, Tracy worked a fastbreak that led to a layup. With that, the Lady Redskins took their first lead of the night at 48-47.
Everything was hunky dory for Sayre, but too much time was left for Poirier, hitting a three for Wellsboro like a work of art as time ran out.
Still buzzing from the shot, Poirier couldn't hold back her excitement.
"It felt really good and super adrenaline rushing to hit that shot," Poirier said. "Just going into the championship it feels good to get a good team win altogether."
The end of the game result was still processing for Wellsboro coach John Davis, but he still found the words to praise Sayre's effort.
"Sayre brought on the fourth quarter with intensity," Davis said. "They found new life and we had trouble handling their pressure. They took the lead, but thankfully we got the shot we needed. It worked out from there."
"We drew it up for Lizzie to get an open look, but she was all creative with her shot. Sayre played great defense, but Lizzie took such an amazing shot," said Davis, speaking highly of Poirier. "I couldn't be more proud of her."
As for Sparduti?
"Disappointed? Yes, absolutely, especially to come that far and fought that hard," Sparduti said. "We had the lead and thought we had a good one. Some nights you get the bears, and other nights the bears get you."
More or less, what Sparduti said to her players at the half gave them a whole new meaning the rest of the way.
"We told them at halftime, 'you're only down nine. This game isn't over,'" Sparduti said. "We came out in the third quarter and things were really going our way. The momentum just swung at the end of these bleachers. I'm really proud for them fighting back. They're really disappointed, but it's the first time we really had to fight hard to come back from behind."
Wellsboro takes on Athens in the NTL Showdown final today at Mansfield University. Game time is set for 6 p.m.
ATHENS — Emily Lunger had 20 points as the Wildcats won to reach the NTL Showcase final Friday.
Athens will face Wellsboro today at 6 p.m. at Mansfield University.
Breana Gambrell and Shanell Baglini had 15 points each with Ariana Gambrell adding nine. Kara Chapman chipped in with two points.
Lilly Fitzmartin led Williamson with 10 points while Bethany Boyce added eight.
Andrea Sheive netted four, Makayla Butz had two while Brittany Boyce and Breanna Padgett had one point each.
Brandon Lamphier had 17 points and five boards as the Hornets advanced to the NTL Showcase final.
Collin Pietropola added 10 points and six rebounds, Jacob Singer had eight points, two assists and two steals, Dalton Prough had seven points, four assists, three steals and four boards, Nic Ingerick had six points, two assists and two steals and Brandyn Tuttle had six points and seven boards.
Ridge Moore led Canton with 11 points while Byron Matthews added seven.
Michael Smithers netted six, Jacob Aumick had five and Kobe Walker notched two.
Wellsboro faces NP-Mansfield at 8 p.m. at Mansfield University today.
ROME — Shane Kelly had a double-double of 18 points and 13 boards as the Tigers advanced to the NTL Showcase final Friday.
Kelly also had three assists and two steals while Brock Burleigh added 26 points, nine boards, five assists and two steals.
Nick Kasper had 13 points with Konnor Manikowski adding four points.
Joel Whitteker had two points, three assists and three steals while Jayden Andrews, Derek Herbst, Brent Burleigh, Dylan Meyer and Garrett David had two points apiece.
Zak Smith had 13 points to lead NEB while Garret Smith and David Ford had 12 points each.
Austin Senn-Bishop added nine, Tommy Rought scored six, Andy Crown had four and Nick Vrabel netted two.
"Our boys played hard, but unfortunately not well enough to pull off the upset tonight," said Panther coach Paul Burgert. "Mansfield was more aggressive and pushed us around a bit. Hats off to coach Burleigh and his team. He does a heck of a job with them."
NP-Mansfield will face Wellsboro in the final today at 8 p.m. at Mansfield University.