NORTHERN CAMBRIA - Little did anyone know when the schedule came out that Monday night's basketball game between Tyrone and Northern Cambria could turn out to be a showdown between two of District 6's likely top seeds.
Little did anyone know the game would turn into equal parts clinic and glorified scrimmage, either.
Tyrone, the top seed in the Class AA tournament, mounted a 25-5 first-half run that vaulted the Golden Eagles to an 80-47 victory over the Colts.
"We wanted to put ourselves in a position to bring a stronger team in here at the end of the season to help get us ready for the playoffs," Northern Cambria coach Dan Weber said.
Richard Crabtree's game-high 26 points paced a Tyrone lineup that shot 64.7 percent (33-of-41) from the floor. Crabtree made 6-of-11 3-pointers and was 10-for-18 overall from the floor.
Charles Wilson-Adams added 18 points, Steve Franco contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Brandon Gripp totaled 12 points as the Golden Eagles won their 12th successive game.
"Obviously their record speaks for itself," Weber said. "They're everything as advertised, and they were a well-oiled machine at times tonight."
"We had balanced scoring again. That usually spells doom for the other team," Tyrone coach George Gripp said. "The guys were clicking both offensively and defensively. And I felt we rebounded the ball well, made the extra pass and, you know, it was a fun game."
At least it was for Tyrone, which outrebounded the Colts, 43-26, and held Northern Cambria to 36.5 percent (19-for-52) from the floor. Gripp figured his team would win by at least a dozen points, but did not expect the final difference to be 33 points.
"I think we shot 62.5 percent in the first half (15 for 24)," he said. "When that happens, it's kind of tough to overcome that for Northern Cambria."
Northern Cambria's early 7-5 lead evaporated when Tyrone scored 14 unanswered points. The Golden Eagles kept the Colts at bay, holding them to without a field goal for 8:40 while building a 30-9 lead halfway through the second period. Northern Cambria never again threatened.
"We were flat at times, we didn't execute well on offense, and defensively we were just not able to get stops when we needed to," Weber said.
The Colts' patience began to lack once the deficit grew, admitted Weber.
"We got into a sense where we tried to throw some different things at them," he said. "and [Tyrone] executed very well. I don't know what their shooting percentage was, but I thought we could have done a better job of contesting shots. In the first and second quarters I thought our communication on defense wasn't very good."
Josh Bonatesta led Northern Cambria with 12 points, followed by Adam Polites' 11. Jeff Hogan snapped down 10 rebounds to go with his nine points.
"We certainly didn't take these guys lightly," Gripp said. "They're well-coached, they're a good athletic team. And tonight we just had their number."
Tyrone (80): Gripp 5 0-0 12, Franco 5 3-4 13, Crabtree 10 0-0 26, Wilson-Adams 8 2-4 18, Dickson 2 0-0 4, Wagner 1 0-0 2, Fowler 1 0-0 2, Ingle 1 0-3 3, Totals 33 5-10 80
Northern Cambria (47): Bearer 2 1-2 5, Lee 2 0-0 4, Polites 4 1-2 11, Bonatesta 5 1-3 12, Hogan 3 3-4 9, Hartman 2 0-0 4, Olish 1 0-0 2, Totals 19 6-11 47
Tyrone 17 21 26 16 - 80
Northern Cambria 7 16 12 12 - 47
3-point field goals: Tyrone 9 (Crabtree 6, Gripp 2, Ingle), Northern Cambria 3 (Polites 2, Bonatesta).
Officials: Jim Racchini, Ab Dettorte, Tony Sottile.
Team records: Tyrone 19-2, Northern Cambria 17-4.
JV score: Tyrone, 50-48, 4 OT.