Golden Eagles survive late push to win at Bald Eagle Area

Tyrone saw their 13 point advantage diminished to only three late in the fourth quarter against Bald Eagle Area Monday night. The Golden Eagles were able to hold off their opponents, however, after Tyler Mertiff scored 11 points in the final three minutes of play. When the smoke had cleared after a 50 point quarter, Tyrone had emerged with a 76-70 victory.
“It’s always tough to play out here,” Tyrone Head Coach Mike Harris said of his team’s road trip to Wingate. “We won on the road. It’s a tough game out here, and the kids rose to the challenge.”
That challenge was clear from the very beginning, as Bald Eagle jumped out to a 10-6 lead that appeared as though it could continue rolling. Mertiff responded with 10 points, part of a 12-2 run by Tyrone to end the first quarter of play.
“We had to get some breathing room there,” coach Harris said of the run. “We stumbled the first couple minutes; that happens. And then we got a little run, picked up some momentum, and guys started playing with emotion.”
Although Mertiff slumped in the second quarter, Brady Hoover took over right where his senior captain left off. Hoover scored 10 of Tyrone’s 18 second quarter points, including their first 6 of the quarter. Hoover ended the night with 14 points.
Tyrone’s other captain, senior point guard Mike Ashcroft, was the catalyst of the Golden Eagle offense all night. Ashcroft tallied 11 points, but more importantly, supplied eight assists to his offensive counterparts. With Ashcroft spreading the ball out, Bald Eagle was unable to key Mertiff, who finished the game with a season-high 37 points.
Although the third period saw the Golden Eagles open up their lead by 7, it was a costly quarter for Tyrone overall. The Golden Eagles ran into foul trouble midway through the quarter, when Hoover and Ashcroft reached four, and Mertiff reached three.
Bald Eagle took advantage of Tyrone’s foul trouble, and began to chipping away at the Golden Eagles’ 13 point lead. After trading buckets with Tyrone to open up the final quarter of play, Bald Eagle mounted their comeback. They narrowed the gap to 10 after a three-pointer by Brenton Decker, and after trading scores with Tyrone, cut the lead by one more on a field goal by Mike Surovec. More costly for Tyrone, however, was that Hoover fouled out on Surovec’s shot. Although he would miss his foul shot, Surovec came back and hit a three-pointer to bring Bald Eagle within six. When the Bald Eagle had cut the lead to two, the Golden Eagles came back to life and halted their opponents’ advance.
“It was tough,” stated Harris on the Golden Eagles’ foul trouble late in the game. “Give a lot of credit to the guys who went back in there. Kevin Hershberger played well, Dan Domenick played well, we had a lot of guys step it up in the game. Ben Gummo played well, we had a lot of guys step up late in the game, and they got it done.”
Of Mertiff’s 11 points in the final three minutes of the game, seven came in the closing minute and a half. He was aided by Adam Hoover, who sank both of his foul shots with 35 seconds left to seal the deal for the Golden Eagles. As Brady Hoover’s replacement after the starter fell into foul trouble, Adam Hoover scored five points and collected nine rebounds for the Golden Eagles.
Fouls were a trouble for both teams, as Bald Eagle and Tyrone combined to attempt 71 free throws on the night. The Golden Eagles went 17-25 from the line, while Bald Eagle shot 23-36.
Surovec and Decker combined for 46 points for Bald Eagle, scoring 22 and 24 respectively. Ty Ammerman added 12.
The Golden Eagles upped their record to 3-2 on the season, and will travel to Lewistown Wednesday for a tough Mountain Conference game. After their contest with the Panthers, the Golden Eagles play in the Hollidaysburg Tournament Friday at 4 p.m.
Junior Varsity
Tyrone’s junior varsity basketball team was successful yet again, defeating Bald Eagle 48-25 before the varsity contest. Adam Hoover totaled 10 points in junior varsity action, while Kevin Hershberger and Leonard Wilson tallied eight. Three players shared Bald Eagle’s high scoring, with all three totaling six. Tyrone’s junior varsity record is still undefeated, now standing at 5-0.
Tyrone 76, Bald Eagle Area 70
Score by Quarter
Tyrone – 18 16 20 22 – 76
Bald Eagle Area – 12 16 13 29 – 70
Individual Scoring
Tyrone – Mertiff 12 13-17 37, B. Hoover 7 0-0 14, Gummo 2 0-1 4, Ashcroft 4 0-0 14, Domenick 2 1-3 5, A. Hoover 1 3-4 5, Hershberger 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29 16-25 76.
Bald Eagle- Decker 9 3-6 24, Surovec 2 12-17 22, Houck 1 0-0 2, Ammerman 3 6-8 12, Hilliard 1 1-3 3, Woodring 1 0-0 2, Peters 2 1-4 5. Totals: 22 23-38 70.
3 Point Field Goals: Tyrone-1 (Ashcroft 1);
Bald Eagle-3 (Surovec 2, Decker 1)