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High flying offense propels Tyrone to victory over Philipsburg Osceola

After suffering three straight losses, the Tyrone Golden Eagles cranked out 84 points to defeat Philipsburg Osceola and up their record to 11-10.
“After three straight losses we came back and got a good victory at home,” said Tyrone Head Coach Mike Harris after his team’s 84-68 win over the Mounties. “With the playoffs coming around we want to get rolling into the playoffs.”
Tyrone standout Tyler Mertiff got his team moving early, scoring 12 of his game-high 29 points in the first quarter. His first five points were also the team’s first points of the game, which tied the squads a minute and a half into the game. After consecutive baskets by the Mounties, Tyrone’s offense got rolling, as the Golden Eagles outscored their opponents 16-9 throughout the remainder of the opening quarter.
The Golden Eagles kept the offensive guns hot in the second quarter, with Brady Hoover firing the first shot. Hoover ended the night with 24 points, earning a double double by hauling in ten boards for Tyrone.
Hoover’s next score of the quarter ignited a 14-4 run in favor of the Eagles. Back-to-back steals by the home team led to the first four points of the run, and after a Mountie bucket Mike Ashcroft and Mertiff accounted for another four Tyrone points. Philipsburg fought back with another basket, but Mertiff and Hoover answered with consecutive scores. Freshman Leonard Wilson snuck in a field goal with five seconds left in the half, putting Tyrone up 41-28 heading into the break.
Wilson continued the scoring as if the halftime break never happened, opening the second half scoring by converting a three-point play. Ashcroft and Mertiff each added a score to culminate a 7-2 run for the Eagles in the opening minutes of the half.
Philipsburg had seen enough however, as the Mounties’ top three scorers on the night combined for eight straight points in under two minutes to close the gap to ten. Sam Blake contributed four points to the run, finishing with 17 points and five rebounds. Ryan Watson and Mike LaFuria each added two on the run, with Lafuria finishing with a team high 22 points while Watson totaled 13.
The Golden Eagles struck back, as an Ashcroft three pointer sparked a 9-2 run to close out the quarter and put Tyrone up by 17.
“Our guys knew we had to pick it up,” stated Harris. “Philipsburg started cutting into our lead, and our guys just picked it up. We really ran the ball well. We pushed the ball and got a lot of easy baskets.”
The final quarter consisted of more offense, as both teams combined for 47 points in the quarter. Tyrone got things rolling when Kevin Hershberger drained a shot from behind the arc, but Blake countered with a three point play for the Mounties. Nine seconds later Ashcroft used some nifty dribbling to drive the lane for two, but Jeremy Potter responded with a three-pointer off an inbounds pass to keep the visiting Mounties in the hunt. After the two squads alternated several baskets in the next two minutes Philipsburg hit back to back buckets, narrowing Tyrone’s lead to twelve.
The Golden Eagles were eager to secure the lead, however, and ten seconds later Mertiff fired a pass through a defender’s legs to Hoover, who made the easy bucket. The pretty passing continued a minute later when Ashcroft fed Wilson a no look pass for an easy layup.
“I thought Mike Ashcroft had a really good game tonight,” said Harris of his senior point guard. “He had 13 points tonight, he’s the guy who has to score over ten. He doesn’t score 13 points tonight, and now it’s a tight ball game. He did a really good job pushing the ball down the court to get easy buckets.”
Despite Tyrone’s large lead Philipsburg kept fighting, and the two teams alternated scores until the buzzer sounded. Tyrone’s starters left the game early, making way for the younger players to gain experience late in the season.
“I need to get younger guys experience, because they’re going to be here next year,” said Harris. “You can’t just hand out minutes, they have to earn them. But I think it’s very important to get those guys experience.”
The Golden Eagles see action again Thursday when they travel to Clearfield for their final road trip of the regular season.
“It’s big, we have to get a win on the road,” commented Harris on his squad’s final road game before the playoffs. “We’ve won two on the road this year, three counting the Hollidaysburg tournament earlier. And that’s where our playoff game is, so that should help us.”
Junior Varsity
The Golden Eagle jayvee team was also successful in their game with the Mounties, upping their record to 14-4 with a 72-43 victory. Justin Luion led all scorers with 15, while Bjorn Scoggins added 10 for the jayvee Mounties. Tyrone had four players in double digit scoring, with Tad Chamberlain netting 13, Adam Hoover contributing 12, and Josh Crabtree and Jason Haney each adding 10.
Tyrone 84 Philipsburg-Osceola 68
Individual Scoring
TYRONE- Mertiff 10 9-12 29, Be. Gummo 0 0-0 0, Ashcroft 6 0-0 13, Domenick 0 0-0 0, A. Hoover 1 0-0 2, Hershberger 2 1-2 6, Wilson 3 2-5 8, Gherrity 1 0-0 2, Ba. Gummo 0 0-0 0, Cushion 0 0-0 0, B. Hoover 11 2-2 24. TOTALS 34 14-21 84.
PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA- Blake 8 1-2 17, Watson 5 3-3 13, L. LaFuria 1 0-0 2, Musser 0 0-0 0, Boynak 2 0-0 4, Potter 4 1-2 10, M. LaFuria 10 0-0 22, Scossing 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 30 5-7 68
Score by Quarter
Tyrone 21 20 16 27 – 84
Philipsburg-Osceola 18 10 12 28 – 68
3 Point Field Goals: Tyrone- 2 (Ashcroft 1, Hershberger 1); Philipsburg-Osceola- 3 (Potter 1, M LaFuria 2)