LOYSBURG - The last time the Northern Bedford boys basketball team beat Tussey Mountain, most of the current players were still in middle school.
Northern Bedford had not beaten the Titans since January 2008, but the Black Panthers finally got the better of Tussey Mountain on Friday night.
Northern snapped a seven-game losing streak to Tussey with a 73-64 win over the Titans before a jam-packed gym at Northern Bedford High School.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Northern Bedford’s Blake Over puts up a shot as Tussey Mountain’s Mike Mitchell defends during Friday night’s game. Over finished with 14 points in the win.
"It feels good. It's been a long time since we beat them here or up there," Northern's Blake Over said. "It's a big rivalry. We hate losing to them. We worked extra hard in practice to get ready for this game."
Trailing by seven points late in the third quarter, Northern outscored Tussey 17-4 over the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to get the win.
Tayler Pressel scored 10 of his team-high 24 points in the final quarter. The junior center also pulled down 14 rebounds for a double-double.
Kyler Diehl posted a double-double as well with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Northern outrebounded Tussey, 36-21.
"Those two came up real big for us. They were huge on the boards," Northern coach Barry Crawford said. "They did a great job cleaning up on the inside and getting us some easy points."
Over also broke double digits with 14 points, while Zach Pressel and Trent Barnes added eight apiece.
Diehl got the Northern comeback started late in the third with a three-point play. Barnes' putback off the glass while falling away from basket pulled the Panthers within two at the end of the quarter, 49-47.
Zach Pressel banked in a jump shot from the left elbow to tie the game at the start of the fourth quarter, and twin brother Tayler gave Northern the lead with a bucket down low following a Brandon Oswalt steal.
After Luke Zelanko pulled Tussey even with a follow of Mike Mitchell's missed 3, Tayler Pressel gave Northern the lead for good with a pair of free throws.
The Panthers sealed the win from the free throw line, converting 14-of-16 foul shots in the fourth quarter. For the game, Northern made 32-of-38 free throws.
"Give their kids credit for making 32-of-38 free throws. They're a decent free throw shooting team, but not like that," Tussey coach Dave Bailey said. "They got all the loose balls in the fourth quarter. They were a step quicker, and it showed."
Mitchell drained four 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 24 points, and Eric Husick scored 21 points to lead Tussey. Michael Runk scored in double-digits as well with 10 points.
The Titans knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half but only had two in the second half.
"That's the thing we talked about at halftime. We had to get their outside shooting under control," Crawford said. "We defended much better in the second half and started beating guys to their spots."
TUSSEY MOUNTAIN (64): Runk 4 0-0 10, Husick 8 3-4 21, Mitchell 6 8-9 24, Zelanko 1 3-4 5, Wilson 0 2-2 2, Kline 0 0-0 0, Chadwick 1 0-2 2. Totals - 20 16-21 64..
NORTHERN BEDFORD (73): Oswalt 0 2-2 2, T. Pressel 7 10-14 24, Diehl 6 5-6 17, Over 3 7-8 14, Z. Pressel 2 4-4 8, Barnes 2 4-4 8, England 0 0-0 0. Totals - 20 32-38 64.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tussey Mountain16 21 12 15 - 64
Northern Bedford22 16 9 26 - 73
3-point goals: Tussey Mountain 8 (Mitchell 4, Runk 2, Husick 2); Northern Bedford 1 (Over).
Records: Tussey Mountain (12-6, 6-5 SHL, 5-4 ICC South); Northern Bedford (13-5, 8-3 SHL, 9-3 ICC South).
Officials: Ray Danel, Jim Lashinsky, Denny Gramling.
JV: Tussey Mountain, 48-42. High scorers-Chadwick, TM, 18; Barnes, NB, 17.