Win over Westinghouse gets Tussey to next round
By Joe Sager
For The Mirror
PITTSBURGH — Experience is key for Tussey Mountain.
The young Lady Titans got more of it Tuesday night at Taylor Allderdice High School when they rallied for a 61-55 win over Westinghouse in the PIAA 2A Girls sub-regional.
They’ll get even more Friday when they meet Blairsville (23-3) in the PIAA Tournament at 6 p.m. at Central Cambria.
“This is all experience for next year. We have everybody back, so we’re just looking to build for next year,” Tussey Mountain coach Todd Gates said. “Blairsville beat Bellwood(-Antis), so you know they are a solid team. It’s all bonus at this point. We’re going to come out and play our game and whatever happens, happens.”
That was the Tussey Mountain (17-9) approach against the Lady Bulldogs (13-10). However, the Lady Titans, who start three sophomores, a junior and a freshman, got off to a slow start. They had a 14-13 lead after the first, but found themselves behind, 30-25, at halftime.
Tussey Mountain played Westinghouse even in the third, but finally made its push in the fourth quarter.
“When we came out in the second half, we knew we had to eliminate the turnovers, which we started to do,” Tussey Mountain sophomore guard Lexi Weimert said.
The Lady Bulldogs pushed their advantage to 48-40 with 6:34 to go, but the Lady Titans responded and outscored Westinghouse, 21-7, the rest of the way to take the win. It’s not the first time they’ve embarked on a big rally.
“We came into a strange environment and it got a little intense at times and we kept our character and played,” Gates said. “I want to revert to Dec. 21. We were down 16 at Southern Fulton, a place where we hadn’t won in years, and came back and won. I always tell them about it during timeouts.”
Despite its youth and inexperience, Tussey Mountain remained confident.
“We always come together as a team,” Tussey Mountain sophomore guard Sophie Brumbaugh said. “After the first half, I think our nerves were all out and we played our game.”
The Lady Titans sealed the win at the foul line. They converted 10 of 12 free throws in the final 1:10.
“Practicing them all the time in practice helps a lot,” Brumbaugh said.
Weimert converted 7 of 8 tries from the line in that crucial span.
“We always practice foul shots at practice and we always make them at the end,” she said. “It’s great. I am so excited, all of us are.”
Weimert finished with a game-high 29 points. She scored the team’s initial 11 points.
“She is the only girl back from last year’s team, so we look for her to be the leader and to do everything,” Gates said. “She did it all tonight.”
Brumbaugh finished with 17 points, while Maddie Garner added eight.
TUSSEY MOUNTAIN (61): Weimert 8 10-12 29, Molosky 2 0-0 4, Garner 2 2-2 8, Park 1 1-2 3, Brumbaugh 5 7-12 17, Barnett 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 20-28 61.
WESTINGHOUSE (55): Bowens 2 0-0 4, Simpson 5 0-0 11, Epperson 3 0-1 7, Glover 4 0-0 8, Andrews 1 3-8 5, Beasley 3 0-0 6, Morris 7 0-0 14. Totals 25 3-9 55.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tussey Mountain 14 11 12 24 — 61
Westinghouse 13 17 12 13 — 55
3-pointers: Tussey Mountain (Weimert 3, Garner 2), Westinghouse (Simpson 1, Epperson 1)
Records: Tussey Mountain (17-9), Westinghouse (13-10)