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Hornets Fall Short To Southern Columbia In District Opener

Hornets Fall Short To Southern Columbia In District Opener

By: Ed Weaver  /  February 23, 2024  /  Photo: Robert Inglis/The Daily Item

Southern Columbia turned a three-point lead heading into the 4th quarter into a 10-point, 64-54 victory, to eliminate Wellsboro in the opening round of the District IV Class 3A playoffs on Thursday, February 22.

Both teams struggled to get on the scoreboard early on until senior Caden Smith hit a three-pointer near the mid point of the opening quarter, giving the Hornets a 3-0 lead. With under three minutes remaining Wellsboro held a 7-2 lead, however Southern Columbia battled back to edge the Hornets 10-9 to begin the 2nd quarter. Wellsboro went on an 8-2 run to open the 2nd on baskets by senior Hayes Campbell, junior Mitchel Lechler, and sophomore Marek Mascho. The Hornets built a 19-12 lead, forcing the Tigers to call a timeout with 5:31 remaining.

Smith scored directly out of the timeout to put Wellsboro up 21-12, however the Tigers went on an 11-2 run to tie the game up at 23-all. Following a Wellsboro timeout with 55.4 seconds left, Campbell added another bucket to put Wellsboro back up two. Southern Columbia answered before the half ended, knotting the game at 25-all.

The third quarter was back and forth as both teams traded the lead for nearly the entire eight minutes until Southern Columbia built their lead to 40-37 heading into the final frame. Smith pulled Wellsboro back within two points (40-38) as he hit 1-of-2 foul shots after being fouled on his way to the basket to start the quarter. Two minutes later Campbell again cut the Tigers' lead back two two at 44-42, however the Tigers started to pull away midway through the quarter. With just over three minutes to go Southern Columbia led 50-44. The lead stayed around 5-6 points the rest of the way for the Tigers until they started shooting foul shots at the end of the quarter.

Brian Britton led all scorers on the evening with 35 points, including going 10-for-12 at the foul line.

Campbell led the Hornets with his 11th career double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Luke Rothermel added 12 points, Smith finished with 11, senior Ian Hoose added 5, and Lechler and Mascho chipped in with two points apiece. Smith added 8 assists and 3 boards, Rothermel had 6 rebounds and 2 assists, and Mascho added 4 assists and a rebound.

Welslboro finishes the 2023-24 season 14-9 (10-6 NTL Large School Division).


About the Author

Ed Weaver Author Bio

Ed Weaver

Ed Weaver is the owner of Circle W Sports in Wellsboro, PA, is the Sports Director for The Home Page Network and the creator of and You can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

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