ALEXANDRIA - When Billy Ocean sang the 1985 hit single, "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going," he must have been singing about people like Olivia Stever.
The senior carried her Tyrone Golden Eagles when they were playing poorly by scoring 18 points in the second half to defeat the host Juniata Valley Lady Hornets, 53-48, Saturday.
"She's a competitor," Tyrone coach Lucas Rhoades said. "We were struggling, and she took the team on her back."
Stever scored just four points in the first half, and her team was down by five at halftime. But she finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds to improve the Golden Eagles' record to 14-2.
"She's a physical and aggressive player," Juniata Valley coach Rachelle Hopsicker said of Stever. "She did what she had to do to win the game."
"They had more energy than us in the first half," Rhoades said. "They outplayed us in every aspect of the game. We were stagnant, playing in the half-court and shooting a lot of jump shots. That's not our game."
The half-court game suited Juniata Valley and junior center Abbie Zinobile in the first half. Zinobile had 16 points in the half and 22 points in the game to go along with 22 rebounds. Twelve of her rebounds were offensive.
"Her focus was on defense today, but she was dominating the boards and was hard to stop," Hopsicker said of Zinobile. "I think in the second half their pressure sped us up a little bit, and it was harder to get her the ball like we were doing in the half-court."
The turning point in the game was when Rhoades unleashed a full-court press in the second half.
"My game plan was to press, but early foul trouble and a lack of energy prevented us from doing that," Rhoades said. "In the second half we had a little more energy."
The presssure prevented Zinobile from having a big second half by causing havoc in the Juniata Valley backcourt. The Lady Hornets committed 24 turnovers in the game.
But Stever said she thinks there's another reason Tyrone righted the ship in the second half.
"We were nervous in the first half," Stever said. "It was real tense. At halftime coach let us have it, and it definitely helped us because we were much better in the second half."
Juniata Valley dropped to 4-11 on the season, but Hopsicker is pleased with her team's improvement.
"We're growing as a team," she said. "We were much more physical today. Earlier in the season, we get crushed in this game."
On the other side, Rhoades was not overly thrilled by the victory.
"[Juniata Valley] plays hard and they are really well coached," he said. "They outplayed us in every aspect of the game today."
TYRONE (53): Gripp 4 0-0 9, Stever 8 6-8 22, Brooks 1 0-0 2, Hettinger 2 0-1 4, Brokenshire 0 0-0 0, Taylor 1 0-0 3, Swogger 5 2-6 14. Totals-21 8-15 53.
JUNIATA VALLEY (48): H. Myers 3 2-4 8, Ammerman 2 2-2 7, Zinobile 8 6-9 22, Grugan 1 0-1 3, S. Myers 2 2-3 6, Culp 0 0-0 0, Moberg 1 0-0 2. Totals-17 12-19 48.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tyrone6 12 22 13 - 53
Juniata Valley14 9 13 12 - 48
3-point goals: Tyrone 3 (Taylor, Swogger 2). Juniata Valley 2 (Ammerman, Grugan).
Records: Tyrone (14-2); Juniata Valley (4-11).