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Tyrone Upset by Bald Eagle Area 65-64 despite effort by Mertiff

After upsetting heavily favored Lewistown on Tuesday, Tyrone ended up on the other side of an upset Friday night against Bald Eagle. Despite a 34 point outting from senior standout Tyler Mertiff and ten straight points late in the game, the Golden Eagles could not get past Bald Eagle.
“I kept telling our guys not to overlook this game,” said Tyrone Head Coach Mike Harris after his team’s one point loss. “We just couldn’t find any answers, we couldn’t gaurd anybody tonight.”
Both teams came out of the gate slow, with neither team finding the bucket until 2:15 into the game. After Leonard Wilson opened the scoring for Tyrone, Bald Eagle hit two straight shots. Mertiff answered with back-to-back scores of his own, but Bald Eagle responded with a 6-0 run to go up 10-6. Mertiff traded a score with the opposing Eagles, and Tad Chamberlain sank a shot with 17 seconds left in the opening quarter to keep Tyrone within two,
Both offenses picked up the pace in the second quarter, with Bald Eagle’s gaining the advantage. With 6:34 remaining in the half, Bald Eagle’s Mike Surovec drilled a three pointer to put his team up 17-11. Mertiff scored Tyrone’s next six points, but Surovec and Brenton Decker each dropped a shot for Bald Eagle to put the visiting team up by seven. From there each squad scored six before the half, but Bald Eagle was able to keep the momentum by hitting a shot with only six seconds to go.
Mertiff accounted for 16 of Tyrone’s 23 first half points. “He had a great performance,” stated Harris on Mertiff’s 34 point outting. “He can’t carry us. He tried to tonight, but defensively he can’t carry us. He can only gaurd one guy, he can’t gaurd five.”
In the third quarter Tyrone point gaurd Mike Ashcroft got hot, accounting for his team’s first seven points of the second half. Ashcroft’s three pointer with 4:54 left in the quarter was Tyrone’s first successful shot from behind the arc, and narrowed the gap to 6. After a Surovec field goal the Golden Eagles went on a 7-0 run, cutting the deficit to three. Bald Eagle responded with two consecutive baskets, which were matched by four straight points by Mertiff. However, Bald Eagle held fast to their lead and the momentum, when Jarrod Woodring sank a three at the buzzer to keep his team up by 4.
Things didn’t get much better for the Golden Eagles early in the final quarter, as Bald Eagle opened up their lead with by outscoring the home team 7-3 in the first three minutes. Mertiff struck back, scoring his team’s next 8 points with a basket and a pair of three pointers. Bald Eagle clung to their dwindling lead by scoring the next five points of the contest.
But with only 1:38 left to play, the Golden Eagles exploded. Dan Domenick hit a field goal, and then got the ball back only five seconds later and was fouled as he shot. The Tyrone junior calmly sank both foul shots to make it a five point game. The Golden Eagles put the pressure on their opponants defensively, with Mertiff coming away with a steal and taking it the other way for a score with 1:10 remaining. A mere three seconds later, Mertiff stole the inbounds pass and was fouled under the hoop. The Tyrone captain stepped to the line and drilled both shots on the one and one, and the Golden Eagles had cut it to one.
The momentum had now shifted completely. After a Bald Eagle player dribbled on the baseline for a turnover, Ashcroft sent the inbounds pass right under the basket to Domenick, who put the Eagles ahead with a short bank shot.
Bald Eagle wasn’t ready to give it up, however, as Decker nailed a jump shot to regain the lead for his underdog team. Mertiff responded with a jumper of his own, but Decker came right back with another score. Mertiff’s last second shot bounced off the iron, and as players scrambled for the ball time expired.
“We have to move on,” said Harris. We’ve got five games left. We have to put this game behind us. We’ve got Penn Cambria Monday, Bellefonte Friday, and then three games left. We just have to put this behind us and keep working.”
The Golden Eagle jayvees had better luck in their contest with Bald Eagle, posting a 43-28 victory to up their record to 13-2. Kevin Hershberger led all scorers with 13, while Nick Cushion added 11. .
Bald Eagle Area 65 Tyrone 64
Score by Quarters
Tyrone 10 13 18 23 – 64
Bald Eagle 12 18 15 20 – 65
Individual Scoring
Tyrone- Mertiff 11 6-6 34, Be. Gummo 0 3-6 3, Ashcroft 2 0-0 7, Domenick 2 4-4 8, Chamberlain 1 1-2 3, Hershberger 0 0-1 0, Wilson 1 2-4 4, Ba. Gummo 1 0-0 2, Cushion 0 0-0 0, Crabtree 0 0-0 0, Hoover 0 0-0 0.
Bald Eagle- Decker 7 7-8 21, Surovec 4 2-4 13, Houck 3 0-0 6, Ammerman 4 2-4 10, Woodring 1 0-0 3, Rishel 2 2-3 6, Moore 1 0-0 2.
Three-point goals: Tyrone- 4 (Mertiff 3, Ashcroft 1); Bald Eagle- 2 (Surovec 1, Woodring 1)