Tyrone boys prevail over Scarlet Dragons in nightcap

After a break for the holidays, the Golden Eagles hosted Central Saturday night and defeated the Scarlet Dragons 60-51 in the second contest of a boys/girls doubleheader. In the opening game the Tyrone girls defeated Central 57-42. Tyrone had posted a 1-2 record and fourth place finish in the Hollidaysburg tournament prior to the break.
“We played good teams up there,” Tyrone Head Coach Mike Harris said of the stiff competition at the Golden Tiger Roundball Classic. “We went toe to toe with the bigger teams up there. We play a tough schedule, and that helps us in games like this.”
Central came out swinging, pushing the ball up the court feverishly throughout the opening half of the first quarter. The Golden Eagles were able to slow down the tempo, however, and eventually outdistanced the Scarlet Dragons 18-15 in the first. The three point lead came courtesy of a 6-0 final minute in favor of Tyrone.
The Golden Eagles kept the momentum going into the second quarter, as freshman Leonard Wilson stole the ball and took it coast to coast for another Tyrone bucket. Wilson and standouts Tyler Mertiff and Brady Hoover combined for all but two of the Golden Eagles’ points in the second period, but Central was able to keep the game within reach after two three pointers in the quarter.
The Scarlet Dragon’s deep shooting would keep them in the game throughout the contest, as they hit six three pointers compared to Tyrone’s three. Two of Central’s three pointers came from senior Darren Horton, who led all scorers with 20 points.
“He’s tough,” commented Harris on the Central senior. “He can post up or take you off the dribble, and he can shoot from outside. He played really well tonight.”
Horton took charge of the game out of the locker room, erupting with 12 of Central’s 16 points in the third quarter. He scored both of his three pointers in the quarter, along with Central’s first 4 baskets of the second half.
While the Scarlet Dragons were picking up steam in the third, the Golden Eagles were falling behind. Tyrone netted only 11 points in the third, and started the final quarter down by one.
The fourth quarter turned out to be all Tyrone, however. The Golden Eagles went on a tear, racking up 18 points while holding the Scarlet Dragons to 8. While Mertiff and Hoover usually account for most of the Golden Eagle offense and were Tyrone’s leading scorers on the night, the fourth quarter explosion came from another source.
Sophomore Kevin Hershberger had opened up the third quarter with Tyrone’s first four points, and scored the first Tyrone bucket of the fourth as well. But with the Eagles up only one with just under three minutes to play, Hershberger provided the spark that would keep the Eagles ahead for good.
After freshman Leonard Wilson traded baskets with Horton to put Tyrone up 48-47, Hershberger stepped up to the three point line and drilled a clutch three. On the next Golden Eagle possession Hershberger calmly nailed another three, and from there the deal was sealed.
“He played great for us tonight, especially down the stretch,” commented Coach Harris on Hershberger’s performance. “He’s been shooting well in practice, and those threes really helped us out.”
Hoover and Mertiff contributed 6 points in the final minute for the Golden Eagles, setting the final score at 60-51.
“This game was key for us tonight,” stated Harris when asked about entering the bulk of the schedule. “It was real important to get off on the right foot.”
The Golden Eagles see action again on Wednesday, January 8, when they host the Bellefonte Red Raiders.
Tyrone’s junior varsity team made their way to the championship game in a jayvee tournament at Indian Valley to end the year, and will resume action against Bellefonte prior to the varsity contest.
Tyrone 60 Central 51
Individual Scoring
Tyrone- Mertiff 5 5-6 18, Hoover 4 7-11 15, Gummo 1 0-0 2, Ashcroft 2 0-0 4, Domenick 1 0-0 2, Hershberger 3 0-1 12, Wilson 3 1-2 7. TOTALS 21 14-20 60.
Central- Horton 8 2-2 20, Nevins 2 1-2 7, Miller 5 0-0 10, L. Kensinger 3 0-0 6, Hileman 1 0-0 2, Snyder 2 0-0 6, K. Kensinger 0 0-0 0, Patterson 0 0-2 0, Frederick 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 21 2-6 51
Three Point Goals: Central- 6 (Horton 2, Nevins 2, Snyder 2); Tyrone- 3 (Mertiff 1, Hershberger 2).
Score by Quarters
Tyrone 18 13 11 18 – 60
Central 15 12 16 8 – 51