Tough week ahead for several local teams in league title hunts
It's going to be a tough week ahead for several local teams in division/league title hunts.
In the HAC-III boys division, Sullivan County will face St. John Neumann and Muncy this week while in the NTL West, Wellsboro travels to Mansfield.
In the NTL East, Towanda takes on Canton and Athens while in the IAC, Waverly and Notre Dame will take on a solid SVE squad.
On the girl's side, Wyalusing and Sayre will have part II on Tuesday with the Rams traveling to Northeast Bradford later in the week.
In the NTL West, Mansfield will travel to Williamson while up north Tioga will look to revenge an early season loss to Newfield.
But first a look back at the week that was.
GIRL'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Monica Dougherty, Athens
The sharpshooter the difference maker for the Wildcats in their two wins this past week.
While post threat Christin Dunkling played Williamson's Lori Horton and Wyalusing's Arielle Kneller even it was Dougherty's 10 threes (five in each game) between the two games that kept Athens undefeated.
She also had a combined 13 assists between the two games with six boards against the Rams.
BOY'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dave Rodenhizer, Towanda
The Junior exploded for 19 second half points to lead the Black Knight rally past Sayre in their only game of the week last week.
Rodenhizer had 25 total points in the contest including four threes. He also pulled down four boards in the win.
GIRL'S TEAM OF THE WEEK
Northeast Bradford Panthers
The Panthers started the NTL season with two big wins during the shortened week.
They beat Troy behind a balanced attack of Angelia Laudermilch (15 points), Lydia Warner (12), Alyssa Coon (10) and Calla Martin (10).
Then against Towanda they used a big second half to pull away.
Laudermilch had a double-double of 18 points and 12 boards while Martin had a good all-around game of nine points, eight boards, five assists and six steals.
MaKaylah Holbert also played well with 13 points, four steals and four assists.
BOY'S TEAM OF THE WEEK
A year after they Mountaineers went winless they pulled off one of their biggest upsets in recent memory, beating Mansfield 61-59.
Three Liberty players hit double-figures in scoring (Cody Schmouder with 18 points, Cody Fritz with 10 and Jacob Spring with 17) while Spring added 10 rebounds and three assists.
The Mountaineers have returned their entire roster from a year ago.
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Tuesday, January 8
SVE at Waverly, 7 p.m.
The Wolverines will be looking to keep their division title hopes alive as they welcome Spencer.
Waverly has been on a roll these past couple weeks, recently winning their Christmas Tournament and beating Newark Valley last week.
Patric Bronson (12.1) and Dylan Perry (11.4) lead the Wolverines in scoring while Cody Marchese has been doing a good job keeping everybody fed (10 assists last week).
At 6-4 Spencer has been up and down this season. They have notable wins over Watkins Glen and Newfield this year.
St. John Neumann at Sullivan County, 8 p.m.
A rematch of last year's District IV, Class A final.
Both teams come in undefeated in HAC-III play (Neumann 3-0, Sullivan County 2-0) with the Griffins 9-0 overall on the year.
Sullivan has looked unstoppable at times with four players averaging double figures (Zach Meyer 10.8 points per game, Conner Wylie 13.9, Kelby Mullen 16.3 and Derek Wilkins 12.2). Each player contributes in their own way as Meyer is their deep threat with 26 threes on the yeah, Wilkins can score inside and outside, Wylie does whatever is needed whether its defend, rebound or hit shots while Mullen's offensive efficiency and defensive tenacity is tough for any team to match.
They have an average win margin of over 30 points.
Neumann comes in 7-2 on the year also with four players in double figures (Tyree Vydal 14.8, Richard Allen at 14.8, Alize Johnson at 13.6 and Jordan Cole at 13.6). Johnson is also averaging over 10 rebounds per game.
The Griffins will need to show up defensively if they want to prevail.
Wyalusing at Sayre, 7:30 p.m.
A rematch from the Waverly Christmas Tournament. In that game the Redskins led most of the way while the Rams rallied back late only to come up short.
Sayre is coming off two close wins to Towanda (31-29) and Troy (38-28) while Wyalusing is coming off a loss to Athens (58-41).
The Redskins have continued their strong play defensively but have had trouble scoring lately, averaging 33.7 points per game over their last while they put up 48.4 in their first five games.
Mollie Robinson (10.8) and Kelly Villanti (10.3) lead them in scoring while Elyse Skerpon (9.8, 17 points against Troy) is always dangerous.
For the Rams, they are 1-2 after starting the season 6-0.
They have one of the more athletic backcourts in the area with Kasey DeVoir (10.8) and Mackenzie Martin (15.3) while Arielle Kneller (30 points over her last two games) seems to be finding her offense.
This game will crucial for both teams if they are to keep pace with Athens and Northeast Bradford for the NTL East title.
Newfield at Tioga, 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers lost to the Trojans 49-45 in double overtime in their season opener.
Not only do they want to avenge that loss but they need a win for divisional purposes as well.
Hannah Manwaring (11 points), Sierra Beebe (15) and Callie Patsellis (12) were the big scorers in thier first match-up but they will need everybody to contribute if they are going to get the win.
Wednesday, January 9
Towanda at Canton, 7:30 p.m.
Before the Black Knights host Athens they will have to take on a tough Canton squad.
The Warriors sport the highest scoring backcourt in the area with Eddie Larcom (15.1) and Emmett Watson (17.6). Forward Tim Bassett (8.4) can also fill it up.
Canton relies heavily on the long ball as Larcom (25 threes), Watson (19) and Mason Moore (12) can all hit shots.
Dave Rodenhizer is slowly turning into one of the area's top scorers. He's averaging 19.8 over his last three games and 14.4 on the season.
Noah Huff (13.8) is one of the better guards in the area while center Joel Miller (11 ppg over his last three games) is coming around on the offensive end as well.
This is key game for both teams if they want to stay in the NTL East title hunt.
Wellsboro at Mansfield, 7:30 p.m.
Arguably the biggest high school basketball rivalry in the area comes alive again.
The Hornets (10-1) are coming off a buzzer beating win over Class AAA Philadelphia area Octorara Area (65-64) while Mansfield hopes to rebound from their 61-59 loss to Liberty.
Jordan Jackson (15.6) leads a balanced Wellsboro attack with Joey Doganiero (11.6), Kieron Smethers (9.7), Michael Pietropola (9.2), Dylan Prough (9.2) and Matt Reese (6.9).
The Tigers are led by Taylor Hillson (18.4), the top scorer in the NTL West, and Reece Correll (10.3). Also, Bo Burleigh has strung together a few strong games (14.5 ppg over the last four).
In recent years the NTL West title has come down to these two teams usually with a playoff at Mansfield University. But with the Tigers already behind the eight ball with a loss they may have to sweep the Hornets to have a shot at retaking the West title.
Wyalusing at Sayre, 7:30 p.m.
The last time these two teams met it was an overtime win for the Redskins at the Waverly Christmas Tournament.
After a big loss to Mansfield at home the Rams have been tough the past three games despite going 1-2. They beat North Penn 55-45, lost to Sayre 58-54 and fell to Canton 66-60.
Cody Pickett (16.7 ppg over the last three) and Jeremy Allyn (14.3 ppg, eight threes over the last three) are Wyalusing's focal point offensively while Dylan Bulick (7.0 ppg over the last three) has started to put up points.
Nate Williams continues to score with abandon being the only local player over 20 points per game. However, after starting out 6-1 their 0-2 since.
Nick Skerpon (5.7 ppg), Seth Murrelle (5.0) and Jeremy Kyc (6.4) will need to take some of the offensive pressure off Williams for the Redskins to get back to their winning ways.
Thursday, January 10
Mansfield at Williamson, 7:30 p.m.
With the way things are looking this could be on the games that decides the NTL West title.
The Tigers (7-2) and Williamson (6-3) are the only two teams out west sporting a record above .500.
Molly Wood (13 ppg over the last three) has been Mansfield's most consistent performer while Emily James with three 20-plus point games this season is always a threat.
The Hillson sisters Jackie (9.9 ppg) and Ali (9.1) can also score.
The Warriors boast the strong frontline of Lori Horton (21.3 ppg over the last three) and Kim Daugherty (29 points in a win against Galeton).
Their top perimeter threat is Cheyenne Jones (10 ppg).
It will come down to tempo as the guard oriented Tigers like to push the ball while Williamson will want to slow down and get it inside.
Wyalusing at Northeast Bradford, 7:30 p.m.
The upstart Panthers will test their 8-1 record as they host the Rams.
Angelia Laudermilch continues to get it done for Northeast Bradford (17 ppg over the last four) while Calla Martin (13.3 over the last three), Alyssa Coon (7.7 ppg over the last three), MaKaylah Holbert (8ppg over the last three) and Lydia Werner (8.0 ppg over the last three) have also chipped in.
Depending on what happens against Sayre this may be a must win game for the Rams.
Both teams have athletic backcourts with strong rebounders up front.
Friday, Jaunary 11
Athens at Towanda, 7:30 p.m.
Another big NTL East boy's basketball match-up.
The Wildcats are coming off a come from behind win at Williamson (55-48) after sophomore Brandon Fauver got hot.
Fauver has had a good couple of weeks, averaging 15 ppg over the last three games but this team goes where Garrett Clark (three points against Williamson, 15.9 ppg on the season) takes them.
Curt Moore (12 ppg over the last two) has also stepped up on the offensive end.
With Athens' big front line Joel Miller may be as important for the Black Knights as ever, along with forwards Garrett Mosier and Brad Sparbanie.
It will be their job to keep the Wildcats off the offensive glass and force them to make shots.
Saturday, January 12
Muncy at Sullivan County, 8 p.m.
Another big game for the Griffins.
The Indians come in 2-0 in division play with a 66-57 win over South Williamsport.
They can score with the best of them as Nick Ring, Dawson Fox, Billy Koletzki and Amar Sabanovic can all hit double-figures.
Once again, defense will be important for Sullivan County.