BELLEFONTE - Tyrone sophomore Jordyn Swogger didn't get a chance to experience the Mountain League championship the Lady Eagles won two years ago, and nearly a quarter into Saturday's title tilt with Bald Eagle Area, it looked like she wouldn't have that feeling this year, either.
Tyrone trailed by six and had nothing going offensively. Then Swogger got hot.
The 5-foot-7 guard nailed four 3-pointers and made a traditional three-point play all in the final 10 minutes of the first half to put Tyrone ahead. The Lady Eagles never looked back in the second half and wrapped up their second Mountain League title in three years with a 54-37 win over BEA.
Photo for the Mirror by Christopher Shannon
Tyrone’s Jordyn Swogger puts up a shot over Bald Eagle Area’s Allison Simpson on Saturday.
"Swogger is the only shooter they have on their team. I told my girls that," Bald Eagle Area coach Troy Butterworth said. "You have to know where she's at, and we didn't know and left her wide open.
"They had 26 points at halftime, and she had 15. One person beat us today. One person, that's all they have. One shooter."
Swogger finished with 17 points but wasn't even Tyrone's leading scorer. That honor went to Olivia Stever, who finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
"Jordyn was key," Stever said. "I give Swogger a lot of credit. For sophomore, she really can be clutch sometimes. When we needed her there, she came out hot."
When Bald Eagle Area (17-6) stepped out and played closer defense on Swogger in the second half, Stever took over. The senior scored 13 points in the second half including a jumper at the buzzer at the end of the third quarter. That shot capped a 7-0 Tyrone run in the final 36 seconds of the quarter after Bald Eagle Area had pulled within seven.
"I think once I made some shots, it gave the other girls some confidence in their shots," Swogger said. "They're really good defenders. I haven't won a championship in awhile, so this victory feels great."
Marissa Ward helped BEA stay in the game early and finished with a team-high 17 points, but she managed just five points in the second half.
"We really hope we have this program on the upswing," Tyrone coach Lucas Rhoades said. "We have a lot of people supporting us and a lot of younger kids coming out and playing. It takes a lot of time, effort and energy, and it's paid off.
"Every coach on this staff, all nine girls on the team, I'm really proud of them. Hopefully we're building something special here."
The next step in what could be a very special season for the Lady Eagles (20-3) will be the District 6 Class AAA title game against Hollidaysburg. The Lady Eagles and Golden Tigers were the only two teams to enter the field and will play for the title. Both teams will advance to interdistrict play following the game. Hollidaysburg topped Tyrone, 67-54, in the season opener.
"We've got a lot of work to do between now and Hollidaysburg if we're going to compete with them," Rhoades said. "They are such a good team. We'll take the next week and a half or so and get refocused and re-energized enough to hopefully give them a good game."
BALD EAGLE AREA (37): Simpson 0 0-0 0, Josefik 3 1-4 7, Miller 2 1-2 5, Gettig 1 1-2 3, Ward 5 6-8 17, Pillot 1 0-0 2, Poorman 0 0-0 0, Barnyak 1 1-2 3, Butterworth 0 0-0 0, Fisher 0 0-0 0. Totals - 13 10-18 37.
TYRONE (54): Stever 8 3-4 19, Swogger 6 1-1 17, Gripp 1 3-4 5, Hettinger 2 1-2 6, Taylor 2 0-0 4, Brooks 1 0-0 3, Brokenshire 0 0-0 0, Raftery 0 0-0 0, Hammond 0 0-0 0. Totals - 20 8-11 54.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bald Eagle Area8 11 10 8 - 37
Tyrone8 18 17 11 - 54
3-point goals: Bald Eagle Area 1 (Ward); Tyrone 6 (Swogger 4, Brooks 1, Hettinger 1).
Records: Bald Eagle Area (17-6); Tyrone (20-3).
Officials: Kevin McNamara, Jim Bergen, Dennis Dusza.