Weatherly was off and running from the opening tip-off.

For a Tamaqua team with a history of slow starts, that's not how the Blue Raiders wanted to begin this season.

The Wreckers bolted out in front and never trailed in pulling away for a 66-51 non-league triumph Friday night in the opener for both squads.

Weatherly hit Tamaqua with the one-two scoring punch of senior guards Nathan Pfeiffer and Keith Barna.

Pfeiffer did most of his damage in the first half, netting 16 of his team-high 24 points, while point guard Barna added a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Weatherly connected on 22 of 49 shots (44.8 percent) and was more aggressive in getting to the foul line, shooting 27 free throws to the Raiders' 13.

The Wreckers, whose tallest starters are 6-0 Kyle Harris and George Wallish, also managed to outrebound the taller Raiders 40-38, with Harris adding 11 caroms.

"I'm very happy with the effort tonight," said Weatherly coach Ron Cann. "We're quick, and we can run, and we did a decent job on the boards, with a great effort there by Kyle, George and Colton (Weichman). When we get that, Keith, Nate and Brendan (Rowan, who added 11 points), our three seniors, will take us somewhere."

When they weren't using fullcourt pressure to throw the Raiders off rhythm, the Wreckers stayed in a halfcourt zone defense, and Tamaqua seemed content to bomb away. The Raiders hit on 20 of 61 shots (32.7 percent), including just six for 28 from three-point range, and made just five foul shots.

"It was a slow start on the road for us again," said Tamaqua coach Jay Daubert. "When you give up 17 points in the first quarter, it isn't going to cut it to win games. We also want to establish an identity, but we haven't done that yet, either.

"By no means are we a three-point shooting team, but we fell in love with the three-pointer tonight when we had opportunities to penetrate. We decided to settle for the perimeter shots."

Weatherly led 17-11 after one quarter behind 11 from Pfeiffer and extended the margin to 31-22 at half behind five points each in the second stanza from Pfeiffer and Barna and four from Rowan.

The Raiders pulled with 41-34 on a Mike Streisel jumper with 2:12 left in the third period, but then Barna took over, connecting for eight points in a 15-2 run to push the gap to 56-36 with 5:41 to go.

Tamaqua began to press and made a furious rally bid to close within 60-51 with 2:08 remaining before running out of gas.

"We made it exciting there," said Cann, whose club committed 11 turnovers in the fourth quarter. "We have to work on not being helter-skelter and knowing when to run and when not to."

The Raiders got a game-high 25 points from 6-5 senior Anthony Bumbulsky while Streisel added nine.

Tamaqua made it a split with a 43-31 win in the JV game. Trevor Reinhardt led the Raiders with 12 points while Steven Valkos had a game-high 15 for the Wreckers.

TAMAQUA

Streisel 3-2-4-9, Gurcsik 0-0-0-0, Bumbulsky 10-2-4-25, Bennett 3-0-0-8, Lakitsky 2-0-0-4, Rudy 0-0-0-0, Taylor 2-1-4-5. TOTALS: 20-5-13-51.

WEATHERLY

Ormiston 0-0-0-0, Barna 9-4-8-23, B. Rowan 4-1-2-11, Weichman 0-0-0-0, G. Wallish 1-3-4-5, Pfeiffer 7-8-10-24, Harris 1-1-3-3. TOTALS: 22-17-27-66.

Tamaqua 11 11 12 17 - 51

Weatherly 17 14 19 16 - 66

Three-point goals: T-Bumbulsky 3, Bennett 2, Streisel 1; W-Pfeiffer 2, B. Rowan 2, Barna 1.