Port Allegany

Port Allegany player stares down a Galeton defender in during their win over the Tigers this past week.

The Coudersport boys remained unbeaten in North Tier League play following a 56-40 win at Port Allegany on Jan. 6, but the Gators didn’t go down without a fight. Port held the lead following the first quarter and went to halftime with the score knotted at 28-28, but Kolby VanWhy dropped in eight of his game-best 19 points as the Falcons broke the game open in the third frame, and Port was held to a lone Jordan Card three-pointer over the final eight minutes.

Hayden Keck added 18 points and VanWhy and Dillon Keglovits each pulled down seven rebounds for Coudy, with Card (14) and Howie Stuckey (12) pacing the scoring for Port.

“The fourth quarter killed us. We had our chances, just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop,” Gator coach Kyle Babcock wrote via text message. “I told the guys that I hope this opened their eyes. We need to play like this every night. We could easily be sitting here with four or five wins instead of two. Hopefully this will get them going.”

Two nights later, Babcock’s squad bounced back with a 64-43 win at Oswayo Valley, jumping out to a double-digit first-quarter lead as Stuckey poured in 15 of his game-high 27 points. Card hit for 10, while Noah Wichert notched a double-double for OV with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

“We got off to a really good start, and I thought defensively everyone played well,” he wrote. “Noah Wichert was tough inside, but eventually we were able to pack it in and get help inside on him.”

If Stuckey was hot against the Green Wave, he and the rest of the Gators cranked up the heat even more against visiting Galeton on Friday. The senior guard went 8-for-14 from behind the three-point line, including four in the first quarter, and added a bevy of fast-break steals-and-scores on the way to a season-high 45-point night as Port cruised to the 65-27 victory.

“Right from the get-go that was our plan, to come out and push the ball and try to get some fast-break opportunities. We’ve been able to do that the last two or three games, which has really helped,” Babcock said. “I told the guys I want them to be able to do that against teams. Come out and play high-intensity, be able to push the ball, and that eventually opens up our perimeter shooting. Howie got a lot of wide-open looks, and when he’s wide open like that, he doesn’t miss a whole lot.”

At the midpoint of the season, the first-year head coach sees signs of progress in the strong performance against the Falcons followed by the two convincing wins.

“There were times earlier in the season where we’d come down and not set anything up, make one pass and chuck up a bad shot. I am noticing the last couple of games that we are starting to move the ball more, we’ve got guys cutting, we actually look like a basketball team. We’re able to start running our offense,” he said. “I’m really hoping that it’s boosting their confidence. I’ve told the guys, ‘You’ve got to realize that you’re a good basketball team.’ I’ve been waiting for a breakout point, and I’m hoping this is it.”

Four of Port’s next five games are on the road, including this week’s contests at Ulysses and Johnsonburg. Next week’s schedule sends the Gators (4-7, 3-4 NTL) to Cameron County (Jan. 20) and Otto-Eldred (Jan. 24), with a visit from Austin (Jan. 22) the only home game in that stretch.

“We go to NoPo next, and they’re not bad this year. That’s going to be a tough game, especially down there, so I’m hoping we can carry this into the NoPo game and keep rolling,” Babcock said.

“I wish we could have a couple of games back, there’s a couple I wish we could play again. We’re running out of the games we’re supposed to win if we want to make the playoffs. It’s going to come down to us having to beat an Otto-Eldred or a Cameron County or a Coudy or a Ridgway. We’re at the point where we’re going to have to pick up a win off one of those teams to even have a chance at playoffs.”

At Port Allegany, Jan. 6:

Coudersport (56)

VanWhy 7 2-4 19, Keck 8 1-2 18, Easton 2 1-1 6, Frame 2 0-1 6, Di. Keglovits 1 1-2 3, Da. Keglovits 0 2-2 2, Daniel 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 7-12 56

Port Allegany (40)

Card 5 1-2 14, Stuckey 5 0-0 12, Archer 1 1-3 4, B. Moses 2 0-0 4, Guerrero 0 2-2 2, C. Moses 1 0-0 2, Guilds 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 4-8 40.

Coudersport — 10 28 46 56

Port Allegany — 13 28 37 40

3s: Coudy 7 (VanWhy 3, Frame 2, Easton, Keck), Port 6 (Card 3, Stuckey 2, Archer). Fouls: Coudy 9, Port 13. Fouled out: none.

At Shinglehouse, Jan. 8:

Port Allegany (64)

Card 4 1-2 10, Stuckey 12 0-1 27, Archer 1 1-2 3, Evens 2 2-2 6, B. Moses 2 1-2 5, Amell 1 0-0 2, Edgell 2 1-1 5, C. Moses 1 2-2 4, Guilds 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 8-12 64.

Oswayo Valley (43)

Wichert 6 0-0 12, Phillips 1 1-2 3, Stedman 1 0-0 5, Bean 1 6-8 8, Black 1 3-4 8, Bilski 2 3-3 7. Totals:

14 13-17 43.

Port Allegany — 23 44 51 64

Oswayo Valley — 12 22 33 43

3s: Port 4 (Stuckey 3, Card), OV 2 (Stedman, Black). Fouls: Port 19, OV 14. Fouled out: none.

At Port Allegany, Jan. 10:

Galeton (27)

Stover 1 3-5 5, Shutt 2 0-0 4, Crowell 2 1-3 5, Kalacinski 2 0-0 4, Sykora 1 2-2 5, Evans 1 0-0 3, Smith 0 1-2 1. Totals: 7 7-14 27.

Port Allegany (65)

Card 4 1-2 9, Stuckey 17 3-4 45, B. Moses 2 0-0 4, C. Moses 1 0-0 2, Guilds 0 0-0 0, McNeil 1 0-0 2, Amell 0 1-2 1, Edgell 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 5-8 65.

Galeton — 2 14 20 27

Port A — 24 37 53 65

3s: Galeton 2 (Evans, Sykora), Port 8 (Stuckey 8). Fouls: Galeton 9, Port 18. Fouled out: none.