Sullivan's Wylie has a bright future
Coming into this season Sullivan County coach Glen Vaughan knew they would need someone to step up.
They were bringing back three of the five starters from last year's district champion team but their biggest loss was go to scorer Sharif Welton.
But Vaughan knew that he had just the player in Conner Wylie.
"I've seen his talent and it was no secret in the Sullivan County boy's basketball program that he was going to be very good this year," Vaughan said.
While Wylie hasn't quite reciprocated what Welton did last season he's improved his scoring and rebounding from last season.
This year Wylie is averaging 13.8 points per game, second on the team, and leads the team in rebounding at 7.6 boards per game. He is also shooting a scintillating 68 percent from the field.
"Conner can be a force," Vaughan remarked. "A big kid with great hands, his upside is incredible. Certainly there is a couple of things he can get better at but we just need him to continue to try and be assertive."
For his first two seasons Conner was a role player off the bench for the Griffins and he's still trying to shake that mindset in games.
"He was so passive in the past," explains Vaughan. "He was unselfish to a fault. Now getting him to do a 180 has been difficult but so far this year he's been doing very good."
Vaughan also likes what Wylie brings to the team off the court as well.
"Conner is a very humble kid," he said. "He has a good sense of humor, a fun guy to have on the team."
As for the future, Vaughan believes the sky is the limit for his junior forward.
"When he starts to understand how good he is and develops more of a killer instinct teams are in trouble," he remarked.
GIRL'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cristen Mosier, NRCS
Mosier had a strong week as she led the Eagles to a 2-0 week.
She had 30 points, 15 rebounds and seven steals in a win against Triboro then turned around and had 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in a win over Ross Corners.
Mosier now leads the area in scoring with 19.5 points per game.
BOY'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Derek Wilkins, Sullivan County
Despite Sullivan's one set back this week Wilkins had one of the best weeks of his career.
In their loss to St. John Neumann Wilkins finished with 13 points, then added 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting with eight boards in a bounce back win against Montgomery.
In their final game Wilkins had a double-double of 19 points and 10 boards to keep them one game back of Neumann in their divisional race.
GIRL'S TEAM OF THE WEEK
The Rams had two big league wins this past week.
They began the week by beating Sayre 42-34, led by Mackenzie Martin's 13 points while Arielle Kneller had eight points and 11 rebounds.
Roni Morrison had a big game with nine points and five rebounds.
They turned around and beat NEB 70-59 led by Martin's 23 points. Kasey DeVoir added 15 while Kneller chipped in with 10 and 11 boards.
The sweep keeps them one game behind Athens for the NTL East title.
Williamson also had a big week, beating CV and Mansfield to start their league schedule 2-0.
BOY'S TEAM OF THE WEEK
Three league games, 3-0 the Wildcats went to stay perfect in NTL East play this season.
They started off the week by beating Wyalusing 86-52 behind 22 points from Brandon Fauver. Their big front line out rebounded the Rams 47-26 as Luke Wright, Garrett Clark, Dan Moyer and Curt Moore combined for 52 points.
In their next game the Wildcats topped Troy 84-46.
Clark led them this time with 22 points while Brandon Fauver added 19.
Their toughest game of the week was at Towanda, a 63-53 come from behind victory.
They held the Knights to just 17 second half points as they rallied from a nine point halftime deficit.
Wright had 21 points and six boards in the win while Clark added 13 points and nine boards with five steals.
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Tuesday, January 15
Sullivan County at Bloomsburg, 7:30 p.m.
The difficult stretch in Sullivan's schedule continues as they travel to 6-1 Bloomsburg.
The Panthers boast wins over big schools Central Columbia and Shamokin on the season but have recently loss to Muncy 65-58 to fall to 3-1 in the division.
They return four starters from last year's team as well.
Sullivan will likely need a win here to keep pace behind St. John Neumann.
Kelby Mullen leads the Griffins in scoring at 14.5 points per game while they boast three others - Conner Wylie (13.8), Derek Wilkins (13.6) and Zach Meyer (10.0) - in double figures.
Waverly at Odessa-Montour, 7:30 p.m.
This is a revenge game for the Wolverines.
Waverly lost to Odessa in their season opener but it won't be any easier this time around.
OM is 9-2 on the season, their only losses to Notre Dame and Watkins Glen.
With their full roster led by Patric Bronson (13.0), Dylan Perry (12.5) and Cody Marchese (5.9) Waverly will look to be successful this time around.
Towanda at Mansfield, 7:30 p.m.
This is a big game for the Black Knights if they want to get into districts.
Sitting at 4-6 they need to pick up all the wins they can get but Mansfield won't be easy.
While the Tigers are in a slump having lost their last two they boast a senior laden team led by Emily James (12.9), Molly Wood (12.5) and Jackie Hillson (10.2).
The uptempo Tigers will have to find a way to defend Towanda's forwards of Kaitlin Hallabuk (12.6) and Alaina Wickwire (11.0).
Sayre at Athens, 7:30 p.m.
The first of two meetings for these valley rivals.
Athens in comes 3-0 in league play but will put that to the test when they host 2-1 Sayre.
The Wildcats are coming off their first loss of the season to Seton Catholic but have a balanced offense of Christin Dunkling (16.1) inside with Monica Dougherty (10.4, 18 threes) and Danielle Dougherty (17 threes) outside. Danielle Stoppper (7.8) can also score when needed while Rachael Donnelly is one of the best defenders in the area.
Sayre found their three point stroke in the win over North Penn, hitting nine threes after a rough shooting stretch.
Mollie Robinson (11.5), Kelly Villanti (11.0) and Elyse Skerpon (9.2) can fill it up outside while Kelsey Young (5.1) and Adrienne Malorzo (5.4) are good grabbing offensive boards and laying them back in.
North Penn at Cowanesque Valley, 7:30 p.m.
An important game for both teams if they want to make districts.
Both teams sit under .500 - the Panthers at 4-8, the Indians at 3-7 - and need all the wins they can get to sneak into districts.
The Panthers are coming off three straight losses after upending Wellsboro in exciting fashion.
They are led by shooters Mariah Berguson (12.3, 20 threes) and Whitney Holdren (12 threes) while Kaitlyn Garverick (9.8) can slash to the basket.
Hayley Painter (11.7) and Grace Earle (10.0) lead the scrappy Indians in scoring while Amanda Painter (13.3 over her last three) has been filling it up lately.
Wednesday, January 16
Liberty at Williamson, 7:30 p.m.
Both teams have had their shares of near misses but now they need to string a few wins together to keep their district hopes alive.
Liberty (3-7) is led by sharp shooter Jacob Spring (13.3, 17 threes) and Cody Schmouder (10.1) while the Warriors have their own sharpshooter in Troy Adriance (14.9) along with forward Hunter Huyett (15.9).
Williamson (4-7) has lost four games by less than 10 points this season.
Mansfield at Towanda, 7:30 p.m.
Both teams are looking to bounce back from tough weeks.
The Tigers went 1-2 in the West while the Knights are looking to get back from their close loss to Athens.
Taylor Hillson (16.9) leads Mansfield in scoring while Bo Burleigh (13.2 ppg in the last five) has helped out.
After a rough stretch Noah Huff found his offense against Athens scoring 26 points while Dave Rodenhizer (18.3 ppg in the last four) continues to consistently find ways to score.
Sayre at Athens, 7:30 p.m.
No matter the records these two teams always each other tough.
The area's leading scorer Nate Williams (21.3) will have to be on for the Redskins to have a chance against the Wildcats.
The real test will be in the paint where Sayre's forwards of Jeremy Kyc, Gabe Nobles, Williams, Walter Wampole and Joey Galizia will have to keep Athens' big frontline from going off.
Garrett Clark, Curt Moore, Luke Wright and Dan Moyer have combined to average 48 points per game over their last three.
How well Athens' guards handle the quickness of Seth Murrelle will be another match-up worth watching.
Thursday, January 17
Williamson at Wellsboro, 7:30 p.m.
The top two teams in the NTL West standings.
The Warriors sit 2-0 in league play after holding off Mansfield.
Lori Horton and Kim Daugherty have combined to average 32 points over Williamson's last two games. Horton has also been pulling down double-digit rebounds on a regular basis.
The Green Hornets sit at 2-1 and have a chance to pull ahead.
Mackenzie Marple continues to lead all NTL West scorers at 17.3 points per game but they can also get points from Kim Acorn (7.2) and Hannah Zuchowski (6.0).
Athens at NEB, 7:30 p.m.
Another tough test for the Wildcats.
Despite falling to Wyalusing Northeast Bradford has proven they are a dangerous team with their up tempo play.
Guards MaKaylah Holbert (6.9), Calla Martin (12.1) and Maddy Johnson (7.1) can all score in double figures while forward Angelia Laudermilch (16.3) leads the team with her inside/outside game.
Athens' veteran guards of Monica Dougherty and Rachael Donnelly have the experience to handle the Panther's pressure but anything can happen in a tight game.
In the half-court Northeast will have to find a way to defend Christin Dunkling (16.1) in the post.
Friday, January 18
Canton at Sayre, 7:30 p.m.
As of the start of this week these two teams have one league loss each, both of which came against Towanda.
The Warriors may be the best outside shooting team in the league between Eddie Larcom (30 threes), Emmett Watson (24 threes) and Mason Moore (15 threes).
It looks like a shoot out as they may have trouble matching up with the NTL's leading scorer in Nate Williams.
A loss here would likely put that team out of NTL East title contention.