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NTL GIRLS' BASKETBALL: WYALUSING GETS BOUNCE BACK OVER WELLSBORO (2021-01-23)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
WYALUSING — Coming off a tough loss to NP-Liberty, things could have gone a whole lot of ways for Wyalusing in their first home game in a week’s time.

Instead of it pulling them the Rams put together one of their best efforts of the season, using a big third quarter to pull away from Wellsboro 44-30 in NTL Division-I girls’ basketball action Saturday.


It’s the second time this week they’ve beaten Wellsboro.


“I think it was good for us,” said Wyalusing coach Ricky Lindblad. “We knew that the game the other night in Liberty kind of got away from us a little bit. We were turning the ball over, we didn’t execute our offense as much.”


Having just played Tuesday they had a pretty good idea of what it would take to beat them.


“We knew (Bailey) Monks was going to be a big presence, and (Rylie) Boyce inside - we knew we had to account for,” explained Lindblad. “They were kind of the go to players they were fueling off of, so we wanted to put an emphasis of taking care of them, and then us getting to the basket and taking care of the ball.”


Monks finished with 12 points, but half of those came in the first quarter, as Wellsboro nursed an 8-7 lead.


Things opened up in the second quarter for Wyalusing as Callie Bennett caught fire, netting six points to lead them to a 19-18 halftime lead.


“At halftime we talked about taking care of the basketball,” explained Lindblad. “Us looking to get to the basket more and being more aggressive; not getting stagnant, getting it to the open person and getting good looks.”


The result was one of the best quarters the Lady Rams have played this season.


They outscored Wellsboro 15-2 in the third frame as they opened up a 34-20 lead. They attacked the basket on offense, getting to the line three times, while doing a good job on the defensive boards at the other end, keeping Wellsboro's offensive touches limited.


Hailey Jayne opened up the quarter with a bucket followed by back to back trips by the Rams to the free throw line, where they were perfect.


A Jayne 3-ball made it 28-18 before the Hornets got on the scoreboard, thanks to an Abbey Cavanaugh jumper, about midway through the third quarter.


It was all Rams the rest of the way as Bennett nabbed a steal and went the distance for a lay-up, followed by Madison Putnam hitting a jumper. Layla Botts then hit two freebies to end the third.


The teams then traded buckets through the first half of the fourth quarter as Wyalusing led 36-26 with 3:30 left in the game. A Jayne to Bennett hook up made it 38-26 after that.


Monks would hit two freebies to cut it to 10 points again but that’s as close as the Hornets got with Olivia Leichliter and Bennett hitting back to back lay-ups to seal the win.


Bennett had 14 points, six boards, four assists and three steals to lead Wyalusing as Catherine Brown and Leichliter notched six points each. Brown also grabbed six boards as Leichliter snatched five.


Laci Norton and Jayne finished with five points apiece while Botts and Putnam both scored four to round things out, with Putnam grabbing nine boards and Botts snatching four to go with her three steals and three assists.


Wyalusing (3-2) enters a home stretch this week as they host Williamson Monday for senior night, then welcome CV on Wednesday.


CUTLINE: Wyalusing’s Callie Bennett goes up for a lay-up against Wellsboro Saturday…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING.



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