What a crazy finish: Tyrone wins on late FTs

HOLLIDAYSBURG The result of a game can change in the blink of an eye.

And because of what Hollidaysburg coach Mick Pentoney dubbed “poor coaching,” the Tyrone boys basketball team was the benefactor Friday night.

Tristan Lingafelt nailed a pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds to go to lift the Golden Eagles over Hollidaysburg, 52-51, in the first round of the Golden Tiger Roundball Classic.

But it’s what happened in the moments leading up to Lingafelt’s game-winning trip to the line that sent the teams on a roller coaster ride.

Trailing by two, the Golden Tigers got a huge 3-pointer from DeAndre Mason with 13 seconds remaining.

Brandon Gripp put up a wild shot from the baseline that missed everything on Tyrone’s next trip down the floor, and Hollidaysburg was fouled on the rebound with 2.6 seconds left.

After a failed attempt at inbounding, the Tigers tried again after a timeout.

The ensuing inbounds pass was air-mailed beyond midcourt, but Jesse Ottaway fouled Lingafelt over the back.

“We fortunate enough to come out with a win tonight,” Tyrone coach George Gripp said. “That was a great win for us. That’s why we wanted to come up here to play good competition. That’s what it was tonight.”

“It was the right call,” Pentoney said of the foul. “We didn’t do a good job of telling our kids not to foul. We sent the wrong guy deep, first of all, and put Jesse in a bad spot. With 2.6 seconds left, that ball hits off a kids’ hands, he has to put up a miracle shot. It was a poor job on us coaching.”

Hollidaysburg (3-3) trailed by six with 2:11 to play, but never let up.

Ottaway scored a bucket after a Tyrone missed 3-point attempt, and Mason added a score off of an Eagle turnover 30 seconds later to get within two.

Mason hit his go-ahead 3-pointer off of another Tyrone turnover to cap the 7-0 run.

“I was so impressed with the fact that we came back,” Pentoney said. “[Mason] did an outstanding job coming off of that screen and drills that 3 after not having a real good game.”

“I thought it was pretty sloppy we made some poor decisions at the end of the game,” Gripp said. “We weren’t closing out on the 3-point shooters the way we were in practice all week. We were getting a little mixed up on the dribble hand-offs. All it takes is one mistake against these guys and they make you pay.”

The crazy ending somewhat overshadowed Brandon Gripp’s night, a 25-point effort that included scoring his 1,000th-career point on a free-throw in the second quarter. He needed only seven points entering the game.

“I know he was pressing to try to get that 1,000 points, so I’m glad it came tonight,” George Gripp said of his son’s milestone. “Once he finally got it, there was a big weight lifted off of his shoulders.”

“It was big. I’ve worked so hard for it,” Brandon Gripp said of reaching the plateau. “I just hope we can take this and build off of it to play [McDowell].”

Anthony Politza scored 13 points off of the bench for Tyrone (4-0), while Jacob Holsopple led the Tigers with 13 points from the bench.

“[Holsopple] understands how to play against zones,” Pentoney said. “He got in the seams, we got the ball to him and he answered. He’s pretty good with that turnaround jumper. They made him shoot it and he made them. He kept us alive because we were struggling from the 3-point line and normally, we’re pretty good.”

Max Sheetz had 12 points, and Nick Consiglio added 11 for Hollidaysburg, who will play Kennett in tonight’s 6 p.m. consolation game.

“It wasn’t our day,” Pentoney said. “I’m so happy with our kids that put us in a position to win. We just didn’t get it done.”

Tyrone faces McDowell, a 69-35 winner in Friday’s other first-round game, in the 7:30 p.m. championship.

TYRONE (52): Wagner 0 0-0 0, Gripp 8 6-8 25, Lingafelt 1 3-4 5, McKeehen 0 2-4 2, Miller 2 3-5 8, Politza 4 5-8 13, Brooks 0 0-0 0, Mitchell 0 0-0 0. Totals 15-41 19-29 52.

HOLLIDAYSBURG (51): Sheetz 4 3-5 12, Adams 0 0-0 0, Mason 3 0-0 8, Consiglio 4 1-1 11, Ottaway 2 0-0 4, Viduya 0 0-0 0, Holsopple 6 1-2 13, Snyder 1 0-0 3. Totals 20-49 5-8 51.

3-point goals: Tyrone 3-12 (Gripp 3), Hollidaysburg 6-18 (Mason 2, Consiglio 2, Snyder, Sheetz).

Records: Tyrone (4-0), Hollidaysburg (3-3).