Northern Tier Sports Report
TROY — Northeast Bradford prides themselves on their defensive acumen, and it sharpness showed on Friday, as they defeated Troy 40-22 in NTL cross-over girls’ basketball action.

The Panthers’ three quarter court press garnered them several lay-ups, while in the half court they were hip to hip with Troy much of the night, especially in the first half. That allowed them to take a 19-2 lead at one point early in the second quarter.

“We made an emphasis in practice yesterday, and we watched some film on how to try to tighten that up,” NEB coach Ben Beebe said about his team’s press. “So we’ve worked on it, because that’s a major part or our program.”

The Trojans fought back, cutting it to an 11-point lead just before the half, but a two point third quarter kept them from getting any closer, as the Panthers won their 10th straight game.

Maisie Neuber had 22 points, eight boards, and seven steals to lead NEB, with Alena Beebe getting six points, four rebounds, and four steals.

Kayleigh Thoman had six points, five boards, and four steals, with Kate O’Connor adding four points, and seven rebounds. Julia Brown chipped in with two points, three rebounds, and two steals. Emma Neuber had two assists off the bench.

For the Trojans, they just couldn’t get comfortable offensively. NEB’s pressure defense made it hard for them just to run their offense, with quality looks few and far between. They did get some good looks from 3-point range in the third quarter, but nothing was dropping, as the Trojans didn’t hit their first 3-pointer until about a minute left in the fourth quarter.

“They’re a very good ball team,” Troy coach Marshall McNeal said about NEB. “We didn’t execute the offense at all. It’s a tough loss because they worked hard. I know they can play better, but Northeast has a good defense, they pressure the ball - it’s a learning curve.”

Rachel Kingsley had eight points and five rebounds to lead the Trojans, with MacKenna Matthews scoring six points. Kailyn Sterling added three points, Alyssa Parks chipped in with two, as Sydney Taylor and Kendall Allen had one point each.

It was 2-2 to start, with a Beebe 3-pointer giving the Panthers a 5-2 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish. It sparked a 17-0 run into the second quarter, led by Maisie Neuber’s 12 points, while Thoman had a steal and lay-up.

With about five minutes to go in the second quarter Troy was able to get back into the game by going through the foul line. They got their twice to go 3-for-4, and that helped spark a 7-1 run of their own.

After a Maisie free throw Sterling and Kingsley had back to back put backs to cut it to 20-9. A Maisie put back ended that run, but with under a minute to go Taylor went 1-of-2 from the line for Troy, making it 22-10.

Maisie, though, had the final say, hitting a driving lay-up at the buzzer pushed NEB’s lead to 24-10 at the break.

NEB then came out and scored the first seven points of the third quarter to go up 31-10, as Thoman led the way with four points.

Parks hit a runner, but NEB scored the final four points of the quarter to take a 35-12 lead.

In the fourth O’Connor opened things with a jumper, while Kingsley had a steal and lay-up at the other end.

O’Connor then scored again, followed by a Maisie free throw to push their lead to 40-14, their largest of the game.

Troy would score the final eight points of game - including two 3-balls from Matthews - for the 40-22 final.

The Trojans student section was as boisterous as usual, decked out in patriotic gear.

“I heard their crowd is a big influence,” said Beebe. “Crowds always influence four or five points, minimum, a game. I couldn’t even hear the girls when it first started, they did it all on their own.”

NEB will turn around and play Bloomsburg at noon on Saturday down there. Bloomsburg is 12-2 on the year, and handed NEB a lopsided defeat last season on their home turf, so they’re looking to return the favor.

This is to help them get ready for the District IV, Class AA tournament, one that features some of the best teams in the state.

“We got our sights set on districts, so were scouting teams we might play, and try to prepare for them,” said Beebe. 

The Trojans will host Wellsboro next Tuesday. The loss pushes them two games behind Towanda in the loss column for the NTL Division-I standings, however, they remain a game up on Athens for second place. If they can hold off the Wildcats, they could still make the NTL Showdown in February.

“I told the girls, we’ve got to rebuild,” said McNeal. “We’re just going to keep working hard.”

PHOTO CAPTION: NEB’s Maisie Neuber puts up a shot against Troy…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING

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