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Mansfield girls end drought against Wellsboro

WELLSBORO – North Penn-Mansfield has seven seniors. Those girls had never beaten Wellsboro on the hardwood, dating back to middle school.

They were determined to change that Monday, especially after losing to Wellsboro on their home court last month. They made sure they got it done.

The senior class scored all 45 points, with Lizzi Welch and Joanne McNamara leading the way with 15 and 13 respectively, as the Tigers got a quality win on the road, 45-30, over the rival Hornets.

“I’m so proud of these girls. We’ve been so inconsistent all year. (Monday) we finally came out and executed a gameplan,” Tiger coach Jason Dominick said. “It’s a long time coming for these girls. They deserve it.”

Mansfield returned everything from a team which won 17 games last year, but has struggled so far with consistency. This could be a turning point

“That first Wellsboro game was the start of our downward spiral,” McNamara said. “(Monday) can help us build confidence and get back to where we know we can be.”

It was Welch who sparked the Tigers early. Her 13 first-half points broke the game open. Welch, a good shooter who has struggled to get shots to drop this year, got an early one to drop and which really spurred her on.

“I really wanted this win,” Welch said. “I knew I needed to knock down shots and that every shot I made would help our team win.”

Those two had quite a fall season, getting to a state final in volleyball, and they’ve been stepping up as leaders for this Tiger team.

“Everyone knows about Jojo (McNamara) but I’m really proud of Lizzi Welch,” Dominick said. “She’s worked so hard on her game and has made huge strides. For her to come out and have a game like this (Monday) was great.”

McNamara did a great job of running the Tiger offense. Wellsboro did a nice job containing the quick McNamara off the dribble, but she limited turnovers and ran an efficient offense, something they struggled with in the first matchup.

“They were doubling me pretty hard but that just opened it up for everyone else,” McNamara said.

McNamara, a four-year starter at point guard, went over the 900 career points last night.

NPM’s three-quarter court pressure defense frustrated Wellsboro early as it held the Hornets to just five first-quarter points. After taking a 12-point lead into halftime, Wellsboro rallied with four quick points to start the third quarter. For some it looked like déjà vu, as Wellsboro came back to beat the Tigers in December, and NPM has blown some other leads as well.

Not this time.

“We just executed better,” Dominick said. “We made shots, we rebounded way better and limited their inside game. Last time their two post players had 15 points each. We shut both down (Monday). That’s a good win. Wellsboro is a good team and Cathryn (Brought) is one of the best players in the league.”

North Penn-Mansfield 45, Wellsboro 30

NORTH PENN-MANSFIELD (45)

McNamara 3 5-10 13, Jaime Palmer 3 3-5 9, Welch 6 0-1 15, Berguson 2 0-0 6, Bowens 0 2-4 2. Totals 14 10-20 45.

WELLSBORO (30)

Brought 4 6-6 15, Abernathy 3 0-1 6, Brandenburg 1 0-0 2, Coolidge 1 2-6 4, Monks 0 1-2 1, Kiyah Boyce 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 9-15 30.

Mansfield 13 14 7 11 — 45

Wellsboro 5 10 9 6 — 30

3-point goals: North Penn-Mansfield 7 (Welch 3, McNamara 2, Berguson 2); Wellsboro 1 (Brought 1).

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