TYRONE - Tyrone had three seniors in its starting lineup, Tussey Mountain had two sophomores and a freshman.
That experience played a significant role Saturday night as the Golden Eagles manhandled the Titans, 72-25, in a non-league makeup game at the TAHS gymnasium.
Using a trapping defense, Tyrone bolted to a 12-2 lead and was never threatened en route to its 13th win in 16 starts.
"We didn't want to take anything for granted," Tyrone coach George Gripp said. "We knew Coach [Dave] Bailey was going to have those guys ready to go.
"I thought the fact that we jumped out on them early took some wind out of their sails," Gripp said. "We know Tussey Mountain's going to be a dogfight because they play physical and hard.
"We didn't want to take anything for granted and I thought our guys came out and played well, and we pretty much had our way the rest of the game."
Tyrone extended its lead to 33-14 at the half and increased it to 53-19 after three stops. The running clock went into effect with 5:09 to play when Jordan Miller's trey gave the Eagles a 63-21 advantage.
"This is the first I remember, since the running clock era, that we got it," Bailey, Tussey's veteran coach, said of the mercy-rule loss. "We were missing some people, but that's no excuse.
"We did not play well, and they played well."
Bailey noted the difference in experience, but credited the Eagles' play.
"They have a nice group," he said. "We've got to shoot 3's and we didn't do that."
Tyrone did shoot well from behind the arc, though, and knocked down nine 3-pointers. Brandon Gripp nailed five treys and Miller three.
"We also got hurt on the boards," Bailey said.
Brandon Gripp celebrated his 18th birthday Saturday and took good-natured some ribbing from his teammates.
"I just wanted to play good today," Brandon Gripp said, and he did.
A 6-foot-1 senior, Brandon Gripp scored 23 points, including 14 in the second half when he drilled four 3-pointers. He also assisted teammates on several other baskets.
"He found a lot of guys for layups," coach Gripp said of his son. "He needs to do more of that. When they start running out on him for his shot, he's got the ability to go around people with the dribble and create layups for the big guys."
"We wanted to get after their guards and force some turnovers," Brandon Gripp said of the Eagles' fast start. "We got some quick buckets."
Gripp said he likes to shoot the 3-point shot, "but I've learned that I've got to go off the dribble, too, and make a play for my teammates."
TUSSEY MOUNTAIN (25): Stich 0 0-0 0, Kline 2 1-3 5, Cornelius 2 0-2 5, Mitchell 4 1-3 11, Bithell 1 0-0 0, Black 0 0-0 0, Leonard 1 0-0 2. Totals - 10 2-7 25.
TYRONE (72): Gripp 8 2-2 23, Lingafelt 2 0-0 4, Politza 7 0-2 14, McKeehan 2 3-6 7, Miller 3 2-2 11, Wagner 2 0-4 4, Brooks 1 0-0 3, Mitchell 1 0-0 2, Geis 2 0-0 4. Totals - 28 7-16 72.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tussey Mountain7 7 5 6 - 25
Tyrone14 19 20 19 - 72
3-point goals: Tussey Mountain 3 (Mitchell 2, Cornelius); Tyrone 9 (Gripp 5, Miller 3, Brooks).
Officials: Jim Klausman, Rich Gergely, Bill Pfeffer.
Records: Tussey Mountain (7-7); Tyrone (13-3).
JV: No game.