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Byron Kost drops in 22 in opening-round win over Shanksville-Stony Creek in Blairsville Tournament

Last year, Tyrone came down to the Blairsville Kovacek Christmas tournament in which they took a rough second place finish to Blairsville. Tyrone looked to make it to the championship for the second straight season as they took on Shanksville Thursday night.
Tyrone (3-5) went into the game on a two-game win streak, beating Bellefonte and Indian Valley at home last week. They are in a little groove and look to carry that momentum through the holiday tournament.
The first half was all Tyrone, scoring at will and forcing nine Shanksville turnovers. Steve Catich and Leonard Wilson spread nine of Tyrone’s 15 first quarter points between them, as they took an early 15-6 lead to start the game. Tyrone was playing perfectly, stealing passes and converted buckets on the transition.
Byron Kost finally woke up in the second quarter, hitting the first two shots from beyond thethree-point arc, making it 21-8. This was the start of a 10-2 run that put Tyrone ahead by a marginal score of 25-10. Kost led the run as he scored six of his 13 second-quarter points.
With time running down in the half, Tyrone put the pressure on Shanksville as they scored ten more points in the last two minutes to put the Eagles ahead 41-22 at the break. It was an early 19-point lead, but Tyrone had this lead last year against Blairsville at the half and ended up losing in the championship.
Comebacks do happen, and Jeff Berkey was the guy to bring Shanksville back.
The third quarter started off with a bang, well two bangs from Berkey actually as he pulled up in Wilson’s face without passing the ball on the first two possessions and sunk a pair of threes. It was like something snapped in this kid’s head as he took control of the Shanksville offense putting 18 of their 20 third quarter points on the board. It was something to watch, seeing a kid pull up from at least five feet beyond the arc with two guys covering him, and still draining the shot. He was giving the Eagles a scare as the score dropped from a 19-point half-time lead to just a 52-42 lead going into the fourth.
“We were really worried,” Tyrone coach Mike Harris said. “We kept trying to change things up. They set great screens and he was open most of the game. We broke down a little bit defensively, but he definitely gave us a scare in the end of the game.”
With the momentum on Shanksville’s side, Berkey looked to pull off a comeback by himself as he already had 29 points through three quarters. It was going to be a battle for the Eagles to stop this monster.
The fourth quarter started with three foul shots from Berkey, as he was fouled during a three-point attempt. Of course, he made all three of his free-throws, cutting the lead to nine (54-45) because of an Adam Corle lay-up to start the fourth quarter.
Tyrone struggled with their offense, missing shots they had made in the first half, and turned the ball over five times in the fourth quarter. The comeback looked real for Shanksville as they pulled closer with each Berkey shot. With 6:11 left, Wilson drove by his man for the lay-up to put Tyrone out-in-front 56-47, but Berkey was no longer shooting at a basket, he was shooting at a “hoola-hoop” as he quickly dribbled down the floor and drained a trey.
The Shanksville crowd went crazy as they finally came within six points of Tyrone (56-50) and realized that Berkey’s trigger finger was hot. All they had to do was play some defense and give the ball to Berkey.
After two missed attempts at the foul line for Tyrone, Berkey drove the floor again, this time getting fouled and missing. Berkey netted both free-throws, cutting the lead to 56-52 (5:37) and looked to end Tyrone’s run in the Kovacek tournament.
Tyrone found themselves in a scary situation, losing momentum and the lead in jeopardy. It was now a race to the finish, Berkey versus Tyrone.
With 4:40 left, Adam Corle sunk two free-throws for Tyrone, who called a timeout to settle Shanksville’s crowd. Anything that could slow Berkey down would have been even better.
After the timeout, Berkey drained a trey to make it 59-55 with 4:32 to go in the game.
On the ensuing possession, Wilson was fouled hard as he went up for a lay-up with 4:16 left in the game. After hitting the first of two foul shots, Tyrone got an offensive board and kicked it to Kost as he buried his fourth trey of the game in Berkey’s face with 3:46 to go in the game. Tyrone had a six-point lead (63-57), but Berkey was fouled once again with 2:50 to go in the game as he sunk both free-throws to give him 44 points and cut the lead to just four.
After an Eagle missed shot, Shanksville’s Berkey looked to drive and score again, but made a sweet no-look pass to Walker to cut the lead to just two points, (63-61) with :48 seconds to go in the game.
Shanksville called a timeout, and began the hacking to get the ball back. The streaky shooter from Shanksville lost his touch, however, as Tyrone would score the last eight points of the game and shut down the legs of the comeback, winning 71-63.
Tyrone will play Friday night against Blairsville in the championship, a rematch from last year. It’s going to be a great game, don’t miss it. Blairsville trounced Bishop Carroll 80-41 to move into the championship final.
Tyrone improves their record to 4-5 on the season, led by Byron Kost and Leonard Wilson as they combined for 36 of Tyrone’s 71 points. Adam Corle chipped in 13 as well as the three top scorers had 22, 14, and 13. Kost netted four trey’s in this gun show between Tyrone and Jeff Berkey.
Jeff Berkey led Shanksville with 44 points, but it wasn’t enough to beat Tyrone.
Tyrone 71 Shanksville 61
Tyrone – Wilson 5 5-11 15, Corle 4 4-5 13, Clark 2 0-0 4, Morrow 0 1-2 1, Catich 4 2-4 10, Kost 7 4-5 22, Barr 2 0-0 4, Brockett 0 0-2 0, Hoover 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 26 16-29 71.
Shanksville – Burkey 13 11-11 44, Brandt 0 2-2 2, Lowry 1 0-0 2, Miller 1 0-0 3, Walker 1 0-0 2, Kimmel 3 2-2 8. TOTALS 19 15-15 61.
Score by Quarters
Tyrone 15 25 10 19 – 71
Shanksville 6 16 20 19 – 61
Three-point shots: Tyrone 5 (Kost 4, Corle 1).
Shanksville 8 (Berkey 7, Miller 1).