The Wellsboro Hornets (10-3) gave the top Northern Tier League team in the Troy Trojans (13-2) all they could handle on Wednesday, Feb. 17, but were unable to steal a victory on the road, falling by a score of 60-57.
Wellsboro maintained control for a majority of the contest, but the play of Northern Tier League leading-scorer Ty Barrett, a clutch three-pointer by Troy’s Ethan VanNoy and poor free throw shooting for the Hornets, especially down the stretch, kept Wellsboro from grabbing a win and shaking up the NTL Large School Division.
Wellsboro and Troy played to a draw in the first quarter, but the Hornets started to pull away behind their stalwart defense and ended the first half out scoring the Troy team 13-7 in the second quarter, holding on to a 28-22 lead.
To this point, the Hornets were doing everything they needed to come out with a win.
They held Barrett to just eight points in the first half and only allowed 22 total points to an explosive offense.
But as soon as the second half began, Barrett began to catch fire.
Troy rallied in the third quarter to close the gap to 44-41 with Barrett scoring 14 points out of his team's game-high 19-point third quarter and knocking two shots from three-point range.
The Trojan offense continued to slash at the lead of the Hornets in the fourth, and tied the game late on a Barrett free throw, but Wellsboro continued to fight back and a nice bank shot from Liam Manning helped them regain a two-point advantage.
After some back-and-forth with the score tied, VanNoy knocked down the biggest shot of the night with a three-pointer from deep that gave his team the lead.
Zeb Oldroyd knocked in some late free throws during the final stretch of the game to help complete the comeback victory for the Trojans.
The Hornets shot only 47.1% from the charity stripe, which proved to be their undoing as they only were able to connect on 2-8 in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter that would have lifted them to a victory.
Barrett led all scorers with 30 points and 22 of them coming in the second half. VanNoy also scored 10 points and Oldroyd added nine for the Trojans.
Wellsboro was led by Manning who scored 18 points with six rebounds, Peyton McClure who scored 12 points with two three-pointers, Isaac Keane who scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists and Conner Adams who scored nine points with four steals.
Darryn Callahan added six points, dished out four assists and grabbed four rebounds and Drew Manning added two points in the loss.
Wellsboro now travels to face a non-league opponent in South Williamsport (13-3) to take on yet another talented opponent on Friday, Feb. 19.