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Lady Eagles dominate Bellefonte in rematch 64-50

The Tyrone Lady Eagles didn’t leave this one up to the call of a referee.
And there was no way an extra two seconds could have made much of a difference in the final outcome.
In the rematch of a controversial buzzer-beater in the first cycle of the Mountain League, Tyrone pulled away from scrappy Bellefonte in the second half for a 64-50 victory last night at the Tyrone Area High School gymnasium on Senior Night.
The win avenged a 58-57 loss at the buzzer in Bellefonte last month. In that one, Tyrone went ahead 57-56 as time wound down only to watch the officials put two seconds back on the clock following a time-out. It paved the way for the Lady Raiders to set up a full-court inbounds play that went for two as the horn sounded.
“We thought that we should have never been in a position to lose the game the way we did down there, but I would be lying if I said that as a team we didn’t feel a little cheated,” said Tyrone coach Jim Swaney. “It wasn’t hard to get the girls motivated to play this one. I don’t know if it’s vindication, but it’s a great win for us.”
With the win, the Lady Eagles improved to 13-9 overall and 3-3 in the Mountain League. Bellefonte dipped to 12-10 and 3-3.
Tyrone was able to dominate the Lady Raiders on the interior, with senior posts Joanna Turner and Marie DelBaggio combining to score 35 points and pull down 21 rebounds.
DelBaggio again showed why she’s one of the most dominant players in the region, scoring 23 points with 16 rebounds and three steals. It was her fourth 20-point game in the last five and it lifted her to 922 for her career.
Turner scored 12 points and pulled down five rebounds.
The duo’s work inside opened things up on the perimeter, where senior Lauren Haag drained four three-point baskets on her way to an 18-point, 5-rebound, 6-assist night.
Their performances, combined with the consistent play of Amber DelBaggio and Amanda Bryan, made the Senior Night victory all the sweeter for Swaney.
“Jo and Marie never panic. Haag is very steady and Amber has really taken on a role of leadership on this team,” said Swaney. “I can’t say enough about Amanda because she’s done everything we’ve ever asked and she works hard every day.”
The game also saw the return to the line-up of sophomore post Hilary McNelis, who had been sidelined since early January with a stress fracture in her foot. She played most of the third quarter and while she scored only four points her entry into the game marked a significant shift in the Lady Eagles’ favor.
Tyrone trailed 35-33 with under five minutes to play in the third following a 6-0 Lady Raider run. That’s when McNelis went into action, sparking an 8-2 Tyrone run to put the Lady Eagles ahead 42-35.
McNelis hit a pair of foul shots and assisted on a Turner lay-up during the tear, and she made the last basket of the period to put Tyrone ahead 46-40.
That effectively ended the Bellefonte threat because in the fourth quarter Tyrone put tightened its grip on the defensive end, allowing just two field goals. Marie DelBaggio scored nine in the quarter and the Lady Eagles went 7-for-10 at the stripe in the last 1:50.
“That’s the great part about having senior leadership,” said Swaney of his team’s response to the Lady Raiders’ third-quarter challenge. “They’re a great group of kids and they’ll leave here having won a lot more games than they’ve lost.”
Tyrone started the game by attacking Bellefonte’s man-to-man defense with its posts and after Marie DelBaggio and Turner combined to score five in a row to lift the Lady Eagles to a 9-7 lead, the Lady Raiders switched to a 2-3 zone and employed it often the rest of the way. Early on, the switch made Tyrone’s inside-out game easier, with Haag hitting for seven, DelBaggio for five and Turner for four as the Lady Eagles built an 18-12 lead in the first quarter.
Bellefonte battled back in the second, hitting the offensive glass to create second shot opportunities. The Lady Raiders tied the game (22-22) with 3:47 left in the half on a three-pointer by Cassie Proper and later pulled within one (28-27) on a putback inside by 5-10 sophomore Kristin Irwin.
Tyrone led 31-29 at halftime.
But even when Bellefonte made its push early in the second half, there was little chance Tyrone’s senior class – Marie DelBaggio in particular – was going to let the game come down to a buzzer beater.
“There’s not much else she could have done,” said Swaney of DelBaggio. In the last eight to 10 games she’s played as well as anyone we’ve had play here.”
HOOP NOTES: The teams will lock horns one more time this season when they square off in the first round of the District 6-AAA playoffs on February 19 at Bald Eagle Area High School … Irwin ended with 11 points … Megan Farrington, who hit the shot to beat Tyrone in January, scored 16 … Tyrone turned the ball over just nine times …. Marie DelBaggio is averaging 22.5 points per game over her last five games.
JUNIOR VARSITY
Tyrone’s jayvees lost to Bellefonte 56-32 despite 12 points and six rebounds from Ashley Roth. The Lady Eagles led the Lady Raiders 12-10 after the first quarter, but never registered a double-digit scoring quarter after that.
TYRONE 64, BELLEFONTE 50
BELLEFONTE – Farrington 6 3-4 16; Ka. Irwin 0 0-0 0. Kr. Irwin 5 0-0 11; Kolos 2 1-1 5; McWilliams 2 0-0 6; Proper 2 2-2 7; Reese 1 2-3 5. TOTALS: 18 8-10 50
TYRONE – M. DelBaggio 9 4-6 23; Turner 6 0-0 12; A. DelBaggio 1 4-6 6; Haag 6 2-2 18; Bryan 0 0-0 0; McNelis 1 2-2 4; McKenna 0 1-2 1; Wallace 0 0-0 0; Hoover 0 0-0 0; Ingle 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23 13-20 64
3-POINT GOALS: Tyrone 5 (Haag 4, M. DelBaggio), Bellefonte 6 (McWilliams 2, Farrington, Kr. Irwin, Proper, Reese)
BELLEFONTE 12 17 11 10 – 50
TYRONE 18 13 14 18 – 64
JUNIOR VARSITY
BELLEFONTE – Benninghoff 1 0-0 2; Fornicola 2 3-8 7; Holter 4 0-0 9; Ka. Irwin 2 2-2 6; Kolos 1 0-0 2; Lenhart 4 2-4 10; Lucas 4 0-0 8; McWilliams 1 0-0 3; Proper 2 4-9 9. TOTALS: 21 11-16 56
TYRONE – Wallace 3 0-0 7; Stanton 2 0-0 4; Hoover 3 0-2 6; Ingle 1 0-0 2; Roth 6 0-0 12; Russell 1 0-0 2; Lewis 0 1-2 1; Taylor 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 16 1-4 32
3-POINT GOALS: Tyrone 1 (Wallace), Bellefonte 3 (Proper, McWilliams, Holter)
BELLEFONTE 10 22 17 7 – 56
TYRONE 12 8 6 8 – 32