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NTL GIRLS' BASKETBALL: NEB EDGES ATHENS IN OT DURING DEFENSIVE BATTLE (2023-01-18)

Northern Tier Sports Report
ATHENS — Down two and with just seconds remaining NEB’s Alena Beebe took action. Usually known as a perimeter marksman, this time Beebe drove the length of the court to get the buzzer beating game tying lay-up. Using that momentum, the Panthers edged Athens, 47-45, in overtime for the NTL girls’ basketball win Wednesday.

“It was a good win for us,” said NEB coach Ben Beebe. “It’s good to be in a close game and come away with a a win. We. Needed that challenge. We had good, even scoring tonight, but we left too many points on the foul line.”


Three different Panthers got into double figures but they were just 3-for-15 from the charity stripe.


“We struggled with shooting tonight, but we found other ways to keep us in the game,” Alena remarked. “That led us to focus on defense to stop them from driving to the basket. It was a very close game the whole time, but we kept our heads, and pushed through.”


It was definitely a defensive battle in the extra period, as NEB out scored Athens 2-0 for the win.


“We finished strong in overtime with one made bucket to win us the game,” said Alena. “I am very proud of the team for finishing strong, and keeping our heads in the game.”


Kayleigh Thoman led NEB with 12 points, while Emma Neuber finished with 11. Kate O’Connor had 10, Alena scored eight, while Lani Thomas and Leah Beebe both netted three each.


Karlee Bartlow had 25 points to lead Athens, including four 3-pointers.


It was tight all the way through as NEB had just a 12-11 first quarter lead. Four different players scored for the Panthers, led by Neuber’s four points, with Leah and Alena both hitting 3-balls.


They would add to the lead in the second, netting 14 points behind four from Thoman and O’Connor, while Neuber and Alena had 3-pointers, giving them a 26-22 lead at the half.


The Wildcats battled back in the third, out scoring NEB 14-8 to take a 36-34 lead. Bartlow had seven points, including two 3-pointers, to lead Athens.


In the fourth NEB held Athens to just nine points, while O’Connor and Thoman had four points each.


It was Alena’s driving lay-up in the final seconds, though, that kept their hopes alive.


“It was so exciting to make and finish that final lay-ups to send us into overtime after having a rough shooting night,” Alena remarked.


In the extra period Thoman’s bucket propelled the Panthers to the win.


NEB wasn’t the only team that had shooting woes from the free throw line, as Athens was just 7-for-16, including an 0-for-4 performance in the extra period.


NEB won the JV game 45-5 behind 10 points from Lillie Maynard. Becca VanDeMark added nine, as Leah Beebe, Anna Towner, and Lilah. Hughes had eight points apiece.


The Panthers improve to 10-2 on the season with the victory, and will travel to Wyalusing on Friday.


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PHOTO CAPTION: NEB’s Alena Beebe looks to drive against Athens…PHOTOS BY DAVID ALLIGER



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