Lady Panthers prove number one rating in win over Tyrone

Lady Eagle coach Jim Swaney wasn\’t trying to work miracles last night against the Lewistown Lady Panthers. All he was looking for against the number 1 Class AAA team in Pennsylvania was improvement.
He wanted to know that his young team had indeed grown since the beating it took two months ago when the Lady Eagles traveled to Mifflin County only to receive their worst drubbing in a long season – 72-23 in a game where Tyrone at one point surrendered 40 straight points.
In the end, the game was a snapshot of Tyrone\’s entire season: although the final score indicates a Lewistown blowout, the smaller pieces of the game show Tyrone has matured as a team, despite losing 72-40.
“Down there (in December), we played like scared little kids,\”” said Swaney. “Here, I think we competed. Are they much better than we are offensively? Yes. But for the most part, I don\’t think we backed down from them. I think we could have rebounded the ball better, but for the most part we did about as good a job as we could have.”
The loss dropped the Lady Eagles to 3-20 overall and 0-6 in the second cycle of Section II of the Mounatin Athletic Conference.
Tyrone has just one game remaining, tonight at home against Philipsburg-Osceola, a team the Lady Eagles defeated handily on the road on January 9. It was the last time the Lady Eagles won.
Lewistown, meanwhile, kept on rolling, showing why it\’s every bit the top team in the state and the Number 1 seed in the District 6 playoffs set to start next week. The Lady Panthers placed two players in double figures, bucketed 32 field goals and turned the Mercy Rule on by the start of the third quarter.
Jenny Cunningham led Lewistown with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Anna Kauffman added 12 points.
Hilary McNelis topped Tyrone\’s charts with 15 points and 14 boards. Emily McKenna chipped in nine points and seven assists and Emily Lloyd added eight points and eight rebounds.
But while the Lady Eagles got meaningful contributions from a number of different players, it wasn\’t enough to keep Lewistown from building an 18-2 lead by the end of the first quarter. Kauffman and Cunningham hit for six and five, respectively, and the Lady Eagles only field goal came 1:45 into the period on a layup by Ashley Roth.
The Lady Eagles got into more of a rhythm in the second quarter against the Lady Panthers\’ 1-3-1 half-court defense, scoring 15, butTyrone couldn\’t keep Lewistown off the boards, especially on the offensive end. Cunningham scored eight in the quarter, twice on offensive putbacks, as the Lady Panthers extended their lead to 36-17 at halftime.
It was a far cry from the 44-10 lead the Lady Panthers had at the half in December, but in a tradition-rich program like Tyrone\’s, it\’s difficult to find moral victories in 19-point deficits.
“If we limit them to one shot, that\’s probably a 56-40 final score,” said Swaney. “If we make layups early, it might have been closer than that.”
Instead, Tyrone\’s early miscues only opened the door for the Lady Panthers to explode for one of their patented runs in the third quarter. Lewistown ran off eight straight twice and went 12-for-21 from the field in the period, building a 63-32 lead.
HOOP NOTES: Tyrone enters its game against P-O with a couple of numbers hanging in the balance. McNelis needs eight more to reach 400 for the season and the team needs 25 more to reach 1,000.
Lewistown 72 Tyrone 40
LEWISTOWN – Craig 3 1-2 7; Kauffman 6 0-1 12; Searer 3 0-0 6; Stauffer 3 0-0 7; Kodish 0 0-0 0; Knable 3 3-5 9; Reed 2 0-0 4; Cunningham 7 1-3 15. TOTALS: 32 6-13 72
TYRONE – McNelis 7 0-0 15; McKenna 4 0-0 9; Lloyd 2 4-6 8; Ingle 0 0-0 0; Roth 1 0-0 2; Hoover 2 0-0 4; Wallace 1 0-0 2; Bradford 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 17 4-6 40
Score by Quarters
LEWISTOWN 18 18 27 9 – 72
TYRONE 2 15 15 8 – 40
Three point goals: Lewistown 1 (Stauffer 1)
Tyrone 2 (McKenna 1, McNelis 1),