BELLWOOD - Tyrone's Richard Crabtree's performance was as big as the Tyrone-Bellwood-Antis rivalry.
So big that Crabtree, who scored 32 points, led the Golden Eagles to defeat backyard rival Bellwood, 66-54, at the Bellwood-Antis High School Gymnasium.
"It's big," the senior said about his night. "It's big rivalry, so it's a good feeling to play a pretty good game."
Crabtree scored 25 of Tyrone's 34 first-half points, despite the Golden Eagles trailing at the end of the first quarter, 19-11.
"That was one to the best high school performances I have seen since I have been coaching here," Tyrone coach George Gripp said. "[Crabtree] put our team on his back the first half and just carried us. He was doing it from the outside. He was driving. He was finding guys. He had a complete game tonight, and I am so proud of him."
The Blue Devils jumped out of the gate early, scoring 19 points, including 10 from Zach Sinisi. Tyrone quickly answered in the second quarter, going on a 13-4 run.
Sinisi finished with 14 points, and David Wolfe led Bellwood with 15.
The Golden Eagles did not look back, though, out-scoring Bellwood, 55-35 in the final three quarters.
"Plain and simple, they just out-played us in the last three quarters," Blue Devils coach Brent Gerwert said. "First quarter, we came out, we were doing really well. Then in the second, third and fourth quarter, we started doubting ourselves. I have to do a better job to make them believe that they can do it."
Crabtree, Steve Franco and Brandon Gripp scored all but seven of Tyrone's second-half points.
"We just talked, at the end of the quarter, about turning up our defense," George Gripp said. "We wanted to get out and run a little bit better. I thought we were executing our offense a little bit better, too, in the second half."
Brandon Gripp and Franco finished with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
"In the second half, obviously we did a little bit better job on [Crabtree], but other people stepped up for them," Gerwert said.
The win marked Tyrone's second of the season over the Devils. However, it is possible for the two teams to meet in the District 6 AA Class playoffs.
"It's always a big game, but we know that the seedings are already out. Next week everybody is 0-0," George Gripp said. "It is nice for us because that was our 20th win. We are undefeated on the road."
"We have to step up and hit some shots," Gerwert said. "We will get in the gym tomorrow and keep shooting shots because the great thing is tomorrow is another day."
Bellwood pulled within eight points of Tyrone in the fourth quarter, partly due to 10 points from Noah Davis, who returned to the lineup after an injury.
"It was good in a way because we showed, [if] we're down 20 points, we can come back,'' Gerwert said.
Bellwood will take on Southern Fulton on Saturday in Claysburg for the ICC championship. Tyrone will play Central Mountain in the Mountain League championship on Saturday in Bellefonte.
"Tonight showed us, though, some flaws on our end," George Gripp said. "I thought we missed way too many layups and 2-foot shots. We could have had 80 some points, which is really uncharacteristic of our team. We usually make those."
Tyrone improved to 20-2. Bellwood fell to 18-4
"My shots were falling, so I thought I played pretty well," Crabtree said. "My teammates got me the ball, and we all played good as a team tonight. That was a good way to end out the regular season."
TYRONE (66): Gripp 2 9-10 14, Franco 5 0-0 10, Crabtree 12 5-8 32, Wagner 1 0-0 2, Dickson 2 0-0 4, Wilson-Adams 2 0-0 4, Hample 0 0-0 0, Fowler 0 0-0 0. Totals - 24 12-16 66.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (54): Wolfe 6 0-0 15, Sinisi 6 2-2 14, Dionis 1 0-0 2, Steffen 3 0-0 8, Hollen 0 1-4 1, K. Bartlett 2 0-0 4, Davis 3 4-4 10. Totals - 19 7-13.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tyrone11 23 16 16 - 66
Bellwood-Antis19 8 8 19 - 54
3-point goals: Tyrone 4 (Crabtree 3, Gripp); Bellwood-Antis 5 (Wolfe 3, Steffen 2).
Records: Tyrone (20-2); Bellwood-Antis (18-4).
JV: Bellwood 51-34. High scorers-Wagner, T, 24; Wyland, BA, 12.