Tussey ‘D’ rises in second half

SAXTON – Once Tussey Mountain’s defense matched its coaches’ intensity, Everett didn’t stand a chance.

Leading by just five at halftime, Tussey began the second half on a 10-0 run fueled by turnovers, and Titans coach Dave Bailey finally took a seat on the bench, for a few minutes anyway, as Tussey Mountain’s high school boys basketball team topped Everett, 66-55, Friday night.

“The third quarter was the difference in the game,” Bailey said. “We came out and shut them down for awhile, and our half-court defense was pretty good. We just had to get more intense in that defense, and we did that.”

The Titans forced 22 turnovers in the game, 12 in the second half. The defense led to plenty of layups from several different players.

Eric Husick and Luke Zelanko each scored 19 points for Tussey Mountain, Michael Mitchell added 11 points and Mike Runk chipped in nine points.

“If we get two or three people at least in double figures, we’re going to be in pretty good shape,” Bailey said. “We’re getting a little bit better as the season has gone on.”

The win brought Tussey’s record to 8-4, 5-2 in the Sideling Hill League and 6-1 in the Inter-County Conference South, while the Warriors slipped to 5-7, 2-5 in the Sideling Hill and 3-4 in the ICC South.

Everett hung with the Titans early, even taking an 8-7 lead when Spencer McInroy hit a jumper with 2:44 to play in the first quarter. McInroy finished with a team-high 16 points.

Bailey wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort in the paint early and paced up and down the court while occasionally yelling onto the court.

Tussey Mountain eventually re-took the lead and stretched it to 11 before Kyle Sheaffer and McInroy hit 3-pointers to close out the first half and make it 35-30.

“We got some rebounds and got some shots to fall,” Everett coach Rick Grubb said. “We just didn’t get those rebounds in the second half.”

The Warriors outrebounded Tussey Mountain, 21-12, in the first half, but the Titans held a 12-9 advantage in the second half.

Garrett Wilson started the Titans’ 10-0 run to begin the second half and scored all six of his points in the final two quarters. Wilson also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

“They shot the ball well, hit a couple 3-pointers, and we didn’t get much on the offensive end in the second half,” Grubb said. “We could have gotten a couple points to stop the run, and we didn’t get it. [The deficit] went from five to 15 in a hurry.”

Tussey Mountain went ahead by 20 midway through the fourth quarter before taking out its starters, and Everett scored the final nine points.

“Overall, I was pleased,” Bailey said. “I had us 15-for-26 at halftime. We shot the ball pretty good, had a lot of good drives by my two guards tonight.”

EVERETT (55): Ritchey 1 1-2 3, McInroy 7 0-1 16, Ward 5 0-0 11, Rhoat 5 0-0 10, Mellott 1 3-4 5, Mearkle 1 1-4 3, Sheaffer 3 0-0 7, K. Knox 0 0-0 0, T. Knox 0 0-0 0, Donelson 0 0-0 0. Totals – 23 5-11 55.

TUSSEY MOUNTAIN (66): Runk 3 2-2 9, Husick 8 0-0 19, Mitchell 4 1-2 11, Zelanko 8 3-3 19, Wilson 3 0-0 6, Kline 0 0-0 0, Cornelius 0 0-0 0, Chadwick 0 2-2 2, Shauf 0 0-0 0, A. Willis 0 0-0 0, D. Willis 0 0-0 0, Sitch 0 0-0 0, Swope 0 0-0 0. Totals – 26 8-9 66.


Everett12 18 9 16 – 55

Tussey Mountain15 20 17 14 – 66

3-point goals: Everett 4 (McInroy 2, Ward, Sheaffer); Tussey Mountain 6 (Husick 3, Mitchell 2, Runk).

Records: Everett (5-7); Tussey Mountain (8-4).

Officials: Ted Oppegard, Rick Miller, Barry Saylor

JV: Tussey Mountain, 67-45. High scorers-Kyle Kline/Koty Chadwick, TM, 19 each; Kyle Sheaffer, E, 17.