Swogger hits milestone as Tyrone tops Central
MARTINSBURG – On a night when Jordyn Swogger celebrated a very special personal accomplishment, it was even more special that her focus was on her Tyrone teammates.
Swogger, the Lady Eagles’ standout point guard and grand-daughter of the late legendary area basketball coach John Swogger, recorded her 1,000th career point when she hit a 3-point shot from the right wing with 1:52 remaining in the third quarter of her team’s Mountain League game with Central Friday.
But rather than dwell on her milestone achievement in the game’s aftermath, Swogger was even more pleased that Tyrone was able to grind out an important 59-53 victory at the Central High School gymnasium.
“It means a lot, and I was definitely hoping that I would get it tonight because this was such a big game,” Swogger said of reaching the 1,000-point plateau. “This was a big win. I’m glad we got the win. That’s all that matters.”
Swogger, a four-year starter for Tyrone coach Luke Rhoades, became the second Tyrone player in Rhoades’ eight-year coaching tenure to reach 1,000 points. Nicole Gripp also did it during her senior year last winter.
“Mr. Rhoades has only had one other 1,000-point scorer,” Swogger said. “I was hoping that I could get it for him. He’s such a great coach.”
Rhoades is happy to coach a talent like Swogger, who was also a Class AA state qualifier in two sprinting events in track and plans to compete in that sport in college.
“She’s a true competitor, and she’s worked very hard,” Rhoades said. “She wants to win in every aspect of the word, and that’s very special.”
Swogger’s 18 points supplemented freshman Kasey Engle’s game-high 22. Senior Emily Iuzzolino added 12 for Tyrone, which improved to 13-4 overall and boosted its league-leading record to 9-1, two full games ahead of third-place Central and 1 games ahead of second-place Huntingdon.
“I was worried about whether we could overcome some adversity, but this was a good sign tonight,” Rhoades said. “We got behind several times, but we kept battling back.”
Tyrone trailed, 46-44 before a 10-point run midway through the fourth quarter put the Lady Eagles in the driver’s seat to stay.
Swogger started the rally by driving the baseline and dumping in a short shot to give Tyrone a 47-46 lead. A pair of steals produced two Engle field goals – the first a 3-pointer from the left side and the second a bucket from in close after an Iuzzolino steal – as Tyrone went ahead, 52-46.
Swogger capped the rally by pulling in a rebound and driving the length of the court for a layup with 2:39 remaining.
“It was more or less a game of runs, back and forth,” said Central coach Mike Horton, whose team dropped to 9-7 overall and 7-3 in the league. “Give credit to Tyrone – they’re a good team. They were the better team tonight. All we ask of our girls is that they play hard for 32 minutes, and that’s what they did tonight.”
Central, led by senior Ashley Smith’s 16 points and 14 rebounds, and junior Mikaela McGraw’s 13 points, built a 12-3 lead in the first quarter before Tyrone’s pressure defense forced several turnovers and the Lady Eagles reeled off the next 12 points.
“There was a 3-minute span in the first half where we didn’t handle their pressure very well,” Horton said. “I thought that was a critical three minutes in the game.”
Central battled back to take a 42-41 lead after three quarters on junior Marissa Snyder’s buzzer-beating jumper.
But on a night when Jordyn Swogger stood in the individual spotlight, her team made sure that her accomplishment wasn’t overshadowed by a loss to its league rival.
“We expected a rough game tonight, and it was really close,” Swogger said. “But we worked hard enough to be able to stay on top in the Mountain League.”
Game notes: Central fashioned a 34-23 edge in rebounds … Tyrone also won the junior varsity game, 36-35, behind 16 points from Madison Noll. Paige Long led Central’s jayvees with 17 … Tyrone visits Clearfield Tuesday night, while Central travels to Bellefonte Wednesday.
TYRONE (59): Swogger 7 3-5 18, Iuzzolino 4 4-8 12, Christine 1 1-2 3, Engle 6 8-9 22, Cannistraci 2 0-0 4, Raftery 0 0-0 0, Sprankle 0 0-0 0. Totals – 20 16-24 59.
CENTRAL (53): Snyder 4 1-2 9, McGraw 4 4-5 13, Myers 1 0-0 2, Ritchey 3 0-0 6, Smith 5 4-4 16, Johnston 3 1-3 7, Long 0 0-0 0. Totals – 20 10-13 53.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tyrone11 13 17 18 – 59
Central12 8 22 11 – 53
3-point goals: Tyrone 3 (Engle 2, Swogger); Central 3 (Smith 2, McGraw).
Records: Tyrone (13-4 overall, 9-1 in the Mountain League); Central (9-7 overall, 7-3 in the Mountain League).
JV: Tyrone, 36-35. High scorers-Noll, T, 16; Long, C, 17.
Officials: John Garritano, Dave Heim, Sean Albright.