TROY — Saturday evening in the first round of the state championship tournament, the Wellsboro Hornets squared off with the Holy Redeemer Royals. The Hornets entered the matchup averaging 57 points per game. The Royals countered the Wellsboro offense with a stingy defense that held the Hornets to under 50 points on the night.
The night began with Holy Redeemer taking a four point lead, 12-8, after the first eight minutes.
Wellsboro responded with a strong second quarter. Holden Kennedy knocked down two of the Hornets four three-pointers to help Wellsboro outscore Holy Redeemer 15-8. With their long range shooting, the Hornets took a 23-20 lead going into halftime.
After the break though, the game took a drastic turn.
Through eight minutes in the third, Holy Redeemer held Wellsboro scoreless. The Royals dropped 12 points in the penultimate quarter to take a nine point lead heading into the final frame.
Through three quarters Holy Redeemer held Brandyn Tuttle, the Hornets leading scorer this year, to just four points. Wellsboro had played well through the first half even with Tuttle’s limited scoring, but following the devastating third quarter the Hornets needed a spark to ignite the offense and get back in the game.
Tuttle supplied the spark as well as the fire. Through the final eight minutes, Tuttle nearly outscored Holy Redeemer by himself by putting up an incredible 14 points. Tuttle led the Hornets’ late charge with four three-pointers. Wellsboro outscored Holy Redeemer 19-14 in the final quarter. The Royals were able to weather the storm and claimed a 46-42 victory.
The loss brought the Hornets’ remarkable season to an end.
With his dominant fourth quarter, Tuttle earned a double-double to lead the Hornets with 18 points as well as 15 rebounds.
Andrew Brelo finished the evening with eight points.
Kennedy added six points for Wellsboro.