Eagles’ Ramsey part of strong defensive effort
MARTINSBURG — Stephanie Ramsey might as well have been playing with her hair on fire.
It’s the only way to properly explain how she was able to contort her 5-foot-4 frame in order to cause disruption at the top of the key for Tyrone all game long.
Along with Ramsey, the rest of the Tyrone defense stifled Central in what was a 56-44 victory in a battle of Mountain League unbeatens Tuesday night in girls high school basketball action.
“I thought, defensively, we did an outstanding job,” Tyrone coach Luke Rhoades said. “(Central) went on a stretch run there and scored some points late, but for the most part for the first three quarters our defense was solid.”
Ramsey was a big part of that for the Lady Eagles. Tyrone fell behind in the early going before a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer from Ramsey and two buckets from leading scorer Jaida Parker put them out ahead. Parker finished with a game-high 22 points while Ramsey finished with 12.
Ramsey, Lindsay Fusco, and Emma Getz created havoc on the other end of the floor that led to 11 first-half turnovers by Central, as Tyrone posted a 16-point second quarter to hold a 25-14 halftime lead. It was capped off by a 3-pointer by Shannon Shaw just before the buzzer.
“I tried to keep my girl in front of me, and I know that my teammates will be there to help if she does get around me,” Ramsey said. “I liked how the win was a team effort. Everyone contributed something, and it wasn’t like one person stood out.”
Rhoades echoed the sentiment from his sophomore guard.
“This is a 13-person team, and I’m really happy with the way we came into this,” Rhoades said. “All 13 girls were engaged all game long, and that is really going to make a difference here, hopefully, as the year continues.”
“I really like the way we’re moving, the way we’re talking,” Rhoades said. “It all starts with Stephanie Ramsey putting pressure on the point guard. Lindsay Fusco did another outstanding job inside. Emma Getz did a great job on (Erin) Brumbaugh who is a heck of a scorer.”
Brumbaugh was extremely limited in the scoring department for Central with just seven points, all in the fourth quarter. Madison Eicher scored 10 of her 11 points in the second half after the Lady Dragons were already in a hole, and Kylie Metzger, despite her 18 points, had a hard time making shots until later in the game.
“With having Metzger on the inside, we really wanted to speed it up so they couldn’t get sets to her because we really worried about her inside,” Rhoades said. “So I thought that played to our advantage, it’s what we talked about, and the girls executed it.”
It’s all part of Rhoades’ vision for his team on defense, which he was concerned with early in the season. But, the message is finally sinking in, and it paid off in spades to give the Lady Eagles the inside track to a Mountain League title.
“I think the thing we’re focusing on is moving on defense and talking. We’re starting to get it. I was worried about it earlier in the year, but it’s starting to go a little bit better for this now,” Rhoades said.
Central coach Rob Mock said that Tyrone’s defense was the big difference maker.
“Defensively, (Tyrone) wanted it more than we did,” Mock said. “We knew tonight was going to be a battle for us. But, honestly, I expected us to show up tonight, and I give credit to them. They put pressure on the ball all night long and it kept us out of our offense because we had trouble getting around the first defender.”
It’s no secret that that the idea of a successful Central offense involves finding Metzger in the paint for points, but Mock said that it wasn’t just the ideal sets — Central simply was unable to successfully execute anything until the final eight minutes where the Lady Dragons put up 20 points.
“At the end of the day, we couldn’t even run offense. It didn’t even come down to that. Defensively, (Tyrone) came ready to play. I really truly feel that was the difference in our game tonight,” Mock said.
The victory for Tyrone leaves it alone atop the Mountain League standings at 6-0, with a rematch set for Feb. 7 in Tyrone.
Mock said that despite losing the inside track to the regular-season title, he told his team that they’ve made the road a little bit more difficult.
“It’s still doable,” Mock said. “At this point now, we have to take care of every Mountain League game we play and go down there and give ourselves a chance.”
TYRONE (56): Lewis 0 0-0 0, Ramsey 3 4-4 12, Fusco 1 0-2 2, Shaw 2 0-0 5, Getz 4 2-5 11, Saltsgiver 0 0-0 0, Parker 10 2-2 22, Gibbons 2 0-1 4, Brodzina 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 8-14 56.
CENTRAL (44): Oakes 0 0-0 0, Kreider 0 0-0 0, Johnston 1 0-1 2, T. Longenecker 1 0-0 2, K. Longenecker 0 0-0 0, Metzger 5 8-8 18, M. Miller 0 0-0 0, S. Miller 0 0-0 0, Eicher 4 1-2 11, Heuston 2 0-0 4, Brumbaugh 2 2-2 7. Totals — 5 11-13 44.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tyrone 9 16 16 15 — 56
Central 7 7 10 20 — 44
3-point goals: Tyrone 4 (Ramsey 2, Shaw, Getz); Central 3 (Eicher 2, Brumbaugh).
Records: Tyrone (9-2, 6-0 Mountain League); Central (8-4, 6-1 Mountain League).
Officials: Darren Elvey, Clark Adelman, Jack McDougal
JV: Central 39-26. High scorers–K. Longenecker, C, 20, Brodzina, T, 10.