Tyrone girls drop title contest in Buchanan Christmas Tourney

The Tyrone girls basketball team ran into a buzzsaw in the finals of the James Buchanan Christmas Tournament on Tuesday.
After riding a 30-point scoring effort by Tyrone junior Hilary McNelis to a solid 67-41 rout of McConnellsburg in the opening round of the tournament, tournament champion James Buchanan proved to be quite a rude host for the Lady Eagles.
James Buchanan jumped out to a 16-1 first-quarter advantage and never looked back to claim the crown from their own tournament with a 60-31 win over Tyrone.
Although the Lady Eagles regrouped to make a respectable effort over the final three quarters, the hosts continued to outscore Tyrone in the second quarter 19-11 and fourth quarter 16-7.
Only in the third quarter were the Lady Eagles able to post a scoring advantage over James Buchanan by a 12-9 margin.
“I guess that’s still our youth,” explained Tyrone coach Jim Swaney. “We don’t handle pressure situations. We don’t respond yet to being on the road or to playing good teams. I think sometime this year hopefully, or even next year we’ll get better at it.”
Hilary McNelis, who was named to the All-tournament Team, led Tyrone in scoring with 15 points and Emily McKenna added eight points. McKenna was also selected to the All-tournament Team, along with McConnellsburg’s Jade Anthony and James Buchanan’s Courtney West and Alicia Myers. James Buchanan’s Amanda Snider was named the tournament’s MVP.
“Hilary McNelis had a very solid tournament,” said Swaney. “She is our go-to person on offense, She has been doing the job all season. Emily McKenna is playing very solid basketball right now, although her best days are yet to come. Our weakness is our offense. We played 10 people in the championship game and only four scored. We have got to put the ball in the basket. If we can’t we become pretty easy to defense and pretty easy to defeat.”
The Lady Eagles, now 2-9, open their 2004 portion of their slate with a trip to Central High School on Saturday, Jan. 3. The game will be played as part of a girls/boys doubleheader with the Central girls hosting the Lady Eagles at 5 p.m. and the Scarlet Dragon boys team playing the Tyrone boys at 7 p. m.