WILLIAMSPORT — The North Penn-Mansfield Tigers (12-11) basketball team’s season came to an end after an impressive effort against the Loyalsock Lancers (23-1) where they scored a season-high 87 points in their 101-87 loss to the top-seeded Lancers.
Mansield was able to put together one of their best offensive performances of the season, with five players scoring in double-digits in the effort, but were unable to claw back after being outscored by 18 points in the first half.
The Tigers were able to get out to a strong start, with Curtis Craig and Jacob Evans each hitting a bucket early to give Mansfield a 5-0 advantage. Loyalsock fired right back early though, and what started off as a back-and-forth affair, quickly turned into a 30-point first quarter for the Lancers that put Mansfield in a sizable hole early of 30-19 headed into the second quarter of play.
In the second frame, Mansfield continued to scratch and claw to keep themselves in the game, but found themselves on the wrong side of a 56-38 score headed into the second half of play against a tough Loyalsock team.
Evans put together an incredible first half to keep the Tigers in the game and keep their offense going, as he hit five first half three-pointers for 15 points to lead the Tigers.
Down by nearly 20 points, Mansfield put together perhaps their best offensive half of the season, and came out firing in the third quarter. Alex Stein was on fire in the third, and knocked down three deep balls in the quarter to score 11 points. Logan Tokarz also had a strong quarter, and scored eight points as the Tigers closed the gap to 17 points heading into the fourth behind a 26-point third quarter.
In the final quarter of play, the Tigers were able to outscore the Loyalsock team 23-20, but were unable to climb out of their 18-point halftime deficit and pull off an upset. Despite the loss, Mansfield showed a lot of resilience, especially in the second half against the top AAA District Four team this season.
In their last matchup with the Loyalsock team, Mansfield was beaten 98-62 in their first game of the season, but were able to show their vast improvement from their first game of the season until now during the matchup, and scored the most points against Loyalsock than any other team has this season.
Stein led the way for the Tigers, and knocked down five three-pointers on his way to 20 points, a season-high for Stein. Evans knocked down a team-high six three-pointers in the loss on his way to 18 points, Tokarz added 19 points and Craig added 16 points to round out the top-scorers for the Tigers.
Mansfield has a lot of upside moving into next season, and returns all but one starter next season in Tokarz. With a lot of young talent on the roster, the Tigers should be a force in District Four for the next few seasons as they get back four of their top five scorers this upcoming season.