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Lady Eagles celebrate league title

02/26/21 Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski / Tyrone's Chesney Saltsgiver covers up a loose ball under Penns Valley's Ann-Marie McMurtrie.

TYRONE — When the District 6 basketball playoff brackets are released later Saturday, it’s a good bet that the Tyrone Lady Eagles will be at the top of the Class 4A girls field.

That doesn’t mean that Tyrone girls basketball coach Lucas Rhoades doesn’t feel there’s room to grow.

It didn’t, however, stop the Tyrone Lady Eagles from cutting down the nets in celebration of another Mountain League championship after it defeated Penns Valley, 64-40, on senior night at the Tyrone Area Middle School Gymnasium Friday.

“There were times tonight where I felt really good about the way we were playing, and there were times where I felt really bad,” Rhoades said. “I thought we showed very good maturity at times, and then the next two or three minutes we were very immature with our play. We need some growing up to do before next Saturday (when the playoffs begin).”

The game started off with each team trading off baskets as Kailen Winkleblech put in a layup for Penns Valley followed by injured senior Shannon Shaw of Tyrone putting away a jumper in the first 20 seconds of the game before Rhoades called a timeout to take Shaw out of the game.

“It meant a lot to her,” Rhoades said of Shaw. “It meant a lot to our team because she was a key factor the last couple of years and has meant a lot with her leadership. Fifty seconds into the first game to go down (with an injury), it was sad.”

Shaw suffered an ACL injury during the Lady Eagles’ season-opening loss to Villa Maria Academy.

Once action resumed, Tyrone went on a 24-2 run to end the first quarter, powered by six of Kayelin Gibbons’ 15 points.

That outburst continued into the second as Jaida Parker’s putback helped fuel an early 35-8 lead. Parker tied Gibbons with 15 points.

“They’re reading each other pretty well,” Rhoades said of the duo. “It’s going to be important for us as we continue on.”

The Lady Rams, however, flipped the script for a while, ending the half on a 14-3 run that was started by an Ann-Marie McMurtie layup with 6:30 to go in the second, and Winkleblech later buried a pair of 3s.

“That’s who we are — we don’t quit,” Penns Valley coach Terrence Green said. “We’ve been through these situations a lot this season. This team has grown so much from beginning to end.”

Rhoades, meanwhile, was hoping his team was ultimately past what led to the second quarter letdown.

“We don’t want hiccups like that, and by this point in the year, I thought we’d be over those hiccups,” he said. “I think that’s more mental than anything, and I think the mental aspect is what got us.”

The Lady Eagles — who will wrap up the regular season on Monday at home with Mifflin County — were among the last teams in the area still playing when the pandemic abruptly ended last season. Rhoades believes his team has grown to appreciate each opportunity more because of that.

“The one thing we learned from last year is to cherish each game. We cherish day at practice, we cherish each game. That’s one thing we learned from that.”

PENNS VALLEY (40): McMurtie 3 0-0 6, A. Dinges 2 0-0 4, Romig 2 0-0 4. Beben 3 2-2 8, Winkelblech 3 0-0 8, Arney 1 0-0 2, Goodwin 1 0-0 2, S. Dinges 2 2-2 6. Totals: 17 4-4 40.

TYRONE (64): Ramsey 3 0-0 8, Getz 4 0-2 10, Saltsgiver 1 0-0 3, Parker 6 4-5 15, Sh. Shaw 1 0-0 2, Gibbons 7 1-3 15, M. Lewis 0 0-0 0, Brodzina 3 0-0 6, Corl 0 0-0 0, Christine 0 0-0 0, Beeman 0 0-0 0, R. Lewis 0 0-0 0, Weston 0 0-0 0, Andrews 0 0-0 0, Su. Shaw 0 0-0 0, Kohler 0 0-0 0, Paul 1 0-0 3. Totals: 26 5-8 64.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Penns Valley 4 18 8 10 – 40

Tyrone 24 14 15 11 – 64

3-point goals: Penns Valley 2 (Winkleblech 2); Tyrone 6 (Ramsey 2, Getz 2, Saltsgiver, Paul).

Records: Penns Valley (8-7), Tyrone (15-3).

Officials: Dave Heim, Skip Dry, Brandon Hoover

JV: Penns Valley, 41-40. High scorers: Julia Emil, PV 16; Bre Paul, T, 14.

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