Tyrone navigating its jam-packed schedule
TYRONE — While most high school basketball teams across the area are still waiting to get started, the Tyrone girls played their third game of the season Friday night, topping Bellefonte, 50-17.
It’s not an early-season scheduling quirk either. Many teams are hoping to simply play conference opponents once with a few non-conference contests prior to the start of the District 6 playoffs in March, but Tyrone is aiming for much closer to a full season with at least 20 games on its schedule.
“We want to get out and play,” Tyrone coach Luke Rhoades said. “The girls work hard. Even last week, we threw a game together at the last minute against one of the top teams in the state (Class 4A power Villa Maria). It was an opportunity to play a game, so we took advantage of it. It’s important to the girls to play these games.
“Coming off last year, we felt slighted, which was in no control of anyone, but I want these girls to be on the court and have the ball in their hands playing.”
The slight Rhoades referred to is that the Lady Eagles never got the chance to play their PIAA quarterfinal game after winning two state playoff games for the first time in school history when the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With most of the players from that team back, Tyrone has already traveled to Villa Maria, Punxsutawney and will play at Indiana on Saturday. The Lady Eagles also have non-conference games scheduled this season against Juniata Valley, Northumberland Christian, Bellwood-Antis, Hollidaysburg, Central Cambria, Saint Marys and Loyalsock Township.
“I’m very grateful for it, because we only get four years of this,” Tyrone junior point guard Stephanie Ramsey said. “It’s nice to try and play a full season, and Coach Rhoades is working very hard to make sure we get all these games in, especially some ones against some better competition to get us ready for the playoffs.”
Friday’s victory was Tyrone’s first of the season. Emma Getz led all scorers with 14 points. Kayelin Gibbons added 11 points and Ramsey scored 10. The Lady Eagles led, 48-9, after three quarters and forced 32 turnovers in the game.
“Their defensive pressure was very tough,” Bellefonte coach Marcus Toomer said. “They are a very good team, especially defensively. We knew coming in it was going to be tough, but we just have to continue to work on handling pressure in practice.”
Tyrone was on the other side of a blowout in its opener at Villa Maria and then lost on a 3-pointer with seven seconds left against Punxsutawney, but Rhoades said the team is better for playing those games.
“Both teams were able to exploit some things that we need to work on,” Rhoades said. “We have worked on that the last few days. We have a long way to go, but I like how we shared the ball tonight. Some of the things we saw on film the past few days, we started to correct. We’re trying to get them all corrected, and we’re going to work toward it.”
Bellefonte got nine points from Bella Corman. The Lady Raiders were playing their first game of the season.
“It’s been so up and down,” Toomer said. “We started in early November, and then we were told we couldn’t play for a couple weeks. We got back and had a couple games postponed, and now this was our first game. We’re just happy to play and see where we are and what we need to work on.”
Ramsey said it’s been tough going from not being able to practice in late December to trying to play at 100 percent so quickly.
“We have to overcome the challenges that come with taking weeks off at a time,” Ramsey said. “We have to get back to working as a team and playing together.”
Tyrone nearly held Bellefonte scoreless with a full-court press in the second quarter before Corman made a short jump shot at the buzzer.
“We kept up the pressure and recognized what we wanted to do with the press we were running,” Rhoades said. “I think we did a good job with it, and when we did get beat, we did a good job hustling back. The hustle and the intensity were definitely there tonight.”
BELLEFONTE (17): Gardner 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Neff 0 2-4 2, Corman 4 1-2 9, DeHaas 2 0-3 5, Rossman 0 0-0 0, Rados 1 0-0 2, Ripka 0 0-2 0, Aviles 0 0-0 0. Totals — 7 3-11 17
TYRONE (50): Ramsey 3 2-4 10, Getz 5 2-2 14, Saltsgiver 1 0-0 2, Parker 3 0-0 7, Gibbons 2 7-9 11, Lewis 2 2-4 6, Brodzina 0 0-0 0, Su. Shaw 0 0-0 0, Christine 0 0-0 0, Corl 0 0-0 0, Dry 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 13-19 50
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellefonte 3 2 4 8 — 17
Tyrone 18 14 16 2 — 50
3-point goals: Bellefonte: none; Tyrone 5 (Ramsey 2, Getz 2, Parker)
Officials: Keith Redfoot, Dan Solomon, Brock Kauffman
Records: Bellefonte (0-1); Tyrone (1-2)
JV: Tyrone, 37-21. High scorers–Bree Paul, T, 13; Ellenberger/Whitman, B, 6 each.