BELLWOOD - No one could have seen this happening a few weeks ago.
The Tyrone Area High School boys basketball team lost its first two meetings with archrival Bellwood-Antis thus far this season - a 57-54 heartbreaker at the Reliance Bank Holiday Tournament in December and lost by 20 exactly a month ago. Both were played in Tyrone.
That, however, was when the Blue Devils had all-state forward Noah Davis.
With Davis out with an injury, the now-streaking Golden Eagles took full advantage to jump all over Bellwood and post a 64-35 rout in the regular season finale Thursday night on the road.
"The key was our fast start," Tyrone coach George Gripp said. "That propelled us."
With 6:04 remaining in the first quarter, after B-A's Cameron Worthing sank a pair of free throws to put the Blue Devils within 6-4, Tyrone went on a 13-3 run to for the remainder of the quarter. The lone basket by Bellwood-Antis was a trey by Seth Worthing, with exactly 3:00 minutes left.
That huge run allowed the Golden Eagles to take a 19-7 lead at the end of one.
Tyrone got a bit sloppy in the second quarter, turning the ball over six times, compared to just two in the first. Following a layup by Tyrone's Jordan Miller that built his team's lead to 25-9, the Blue Devils had their first substantial run of the contest, by going on a 12-2 spurt for the rest of the second quarter.
The run was keyed by a 3-pointer by Dominic Sisto, and the Blue Devils' deficit was all the way down to only six.
But, as quickly as the Blue Devils had cut their substantial deficit to just six, the Golden Eagles once again built up a huge lead.
Tyrone got early treys from both Brandon Gripp and Miller in the first 2:10 of the third quarter. Tyrone's Anthony Politza, a freshman, made a basket a few possessions after Gripp's trey, and then Bellwood's Nathan Davis sunk a 3 of his own.
But then another trey by Gripp started a 7-0 run that Tyrone finished the quarter with, and take a 44-26 advantage through periods.
The fourth quarter, much like the third, was all Tyrone, outscoring the Blue Devils 20-9. Bellwood's only positives in the fourth were 3s by Mike Wilson, Davis and Jake Pearson.
"We dug ourselves in a big hole in the first quarter, and then dug out in the second," Bellwood-Antis coach Brent Gerwert said. "But in the second half, we only scored 14 points."
Brandon Gripp scored a game-high 20 points, while Miller added 16 points.
The Golden Eagles ran their record to 17-5 with the win. They will begin the postseason Monday.
It was senior night last night, in which it's nine seniors in Kyle Bartlett, Cameron Worthing, Dominic Sisto, Mike Wilson, Jake Pearson, Seth Worthing, Andrew Burgett, Steffan Wyland and the injured Noah Davis were honored prior to the game. Every one of them got on the scoring column, except for Davis.
"I would have loved to send the seniors out on a winning note," Gerwert said. "All of them scored, so that was nice."
The Blue Devils suffered just it's third loss of the season to go with their 18 victories. They open up the District 6-AA playoffs Saturday against Northern Bedford.
TYRONE (64): Ingle 1 0-0 2, Wagner 4 3-4 11, Gripp 7 4-4 20, Mitchell 1 1-2 3, Miller 7 0-1 16, McKeehen 0 2-2 2, Politza 3 0-0 6, Belinda 1 0-2 2, Lingafelt 1 0-1 2. Totals 25 10-16 64.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (35): K. Bartlett 1 2-2 4, Sisto 1 0-0 3, Na. Davis 3 0-0 8, Burgett 0 1-2 1, Wyland 1 0-0 2, Burch 2 0-0 4, Shultz 0 0-0 0, A. Bartlett 0 0-0 0, C. Worthing 0 2-2 2, Wilson 1 0-0 3, Pearson 1 0-0 3, S. Worthing 2 0-0 5. Totals 12 5-6 35.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tyrone1981720 - 64
Bellwood-Antis71459 - 35
3-point field goals: Tyrone 4 (Gripp 2, Miller 2). Bellwood-Antis 6 (Sisto, Na. Davis 2, Wilson, Pearson, S. Worthing).
Records: Tyrone (17-5); Bellwood-Antis (18-3).
JV Tyrone won 55-30.