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Lewistown girls continue jinx against Tyrone Lady Eagles basketball team

The Tyrone Lady Eagles may be fast approaching one of those critical moments in the course of a season when a team looks in the mirror and decides some things about who it is what is stands for.
Through its first four games, Tyrone knew that despite its offensive deficiencies it was one of the best defensive teams in the area, but in the last two games – as the level of competition has jumped up a notch – the Lady Eagles have watched their opponents\’ point totals soar, while their own production hasn\’t improved.
After last night\’s 62-46 loss to Lewistown at the Tyrone Area High School gymnasium, it was clear that – despite being a team coach Jim Swaney says is perhaps the hardest working squad in his 19-year tenure at Tyrone – the Lady Eagles can only defend for so long, and eventually there needs to be more players getting into the offensive mix.
The Lady Eagles led the unbeaten Lady Panthers 13-11 after the first quarter and 29-26 at halftime, but when Lewistown shifted to a box-and-1 in the third quarter to put the clamps on top scorer Emily McKenna, Tyrone\’s offense went into a tailspin. After McKenna scored 20 seconds into the third period to make it 31-26, the Lady Eagles went 7:32 without making another field goal.
By then, Lewistown led 42-35.
The loss evened Tyrone record at 3-3 (1-2 MAC Section II), while Lewistown improved to 6-0 and 2-0.
“I thought we responded well to the box-and-1,” said Swaney. “Yes, it slowed McKenna down some, but we had open looks. We just didn\’t make shots. That\’s our Achilles Heel. If our offense doesn\’t get to the point where we can win games like these, we may be the best team no one has ever heard of.”
Before the season began, few people had heard of many of the names in the Lewistown starting lineup, but that\’s changing quickly. Despite complementing four-year starting post Jenna Craig with two sophomores and two freshmen, the Lady Panthers keep on rolling.
Craig scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down 11 boards, while freshman point guard Hannah Geedey netted 10. Freshman Kayla Espigh and sophomore Heather Wilson added nine points apiece.
The victory gave the Lady Panthers their 25th straight win over Tyrone dating back to 1994, and made them the first team this season to crack 60 on the Lady Eagles\’ vaunted defense.
“Tyrone\’s a veteran team and they were playing aggressively on defense (in the first half),” said Lewistown coach Kevin Kodish. “At halftime, I challenged our team. I told them I wanted to see a better basketball team, one that took charge.”
Lewistown did just that quickly in the third quarter. Craig answered McKenna\’s basket with six straight points, and within the first minute Tyrone senior guard Emily Lloyd was sidelined with her fourth personal foul. The Lady Eagles turned the ball over five times in the period, leading to an 8-0 Panther run – highlighted by three baskets from Geedey – that opened up a 42-32 lead with 30 seconds left.
Offensively, Tyrone found gaps inside against the box-and-1, but most efforts to get the ball there resulted in turnovers or missed shots.
“Even when McKenna wasn\’t scoring, she was setting her teammates up. So she was actually responsible for most of their points,” Kodish said. “So we went to a box-and-1 and tried to bother her full-court. That limited her effectiveness a little bit.”
The teams exchanged baskets in the fourth quarter before Wilson rattled home a three-pointer midway through the period to give Lewistown a 50-40 lead. Tyrone cut it to seven a minute later, but would get no closer.
“More teams are going to play us this way,” Swaney said. “Every team we play goes in saying ‘We need to stop McKenna.’ And if that means playing a box-and-1 or denying her all over the floor, we have to have other people step up offensively. Defensively, everybody\’s playing really well.
“Great teams have three scoring options, but we\’re still trying to develop a second and a third.”
In the first quarter, McKenna, who finished with a season-high 20 points, was the only scoring option Tyrone needed. She scored nine points, Tyrone\’s defense created nine Lewistown turnovers, and the Lady Eagles led by two.
In the second, juniors Stefani Bryan and Liz Tepsic stepped forward, combining for nine points to keep Tyrone in the lead. Six m0ore Panther turnovers and a pair of charges taken by Emily Ingle allowed Tyrone to build a five-point lead that shrunk to three by halftime.
“In the first half, when they were overplaying passing lanes, we were back on our heels,” Kodish said. “We were also pushing the ball up looking for the fast break, but when it wasn\’t there, we got caught in between and didn\’t run our offense. The second half was much better.”
HOOP NOTES: Tyrone won the battle of the boards (34-34-29) and turnovers (15-22) … Tiffany Bradford led Tyrone on the glass with 12 rebounds … Tyrone plays Bellefonte Tuesday while Lewistown in back in action Monday against Huntingdon.
JUNIOR VARSITY
Tyrone\’s jayvees scored only two points in the fourth quarter and were dominated by the Lady Panthers 49-27.
Kassie Faretta led Tyrone with seven points.
VARSITY
Lewistown 62 Tyrone 46
LEWISTOWN – Geedey 4 2-2 10; Craig 9 3-6 22; Wilson 4 0-0 9; Krepps 1 1-2 3; Espigh 2 5-7 9; Rhoades 1 0-0 3; Bobb 3 0-2 6; Kodish 0 0-0 0; Zimmerman 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 24 11-19 62.
TYRONE – McKenna 7 4-5 20; Lloyd 1 0-0 2; Ingle 1 1-2 3; Hoover 2 0-0 4; Bradford 0 4-8 4; Bryan 3 1-2 8; Tepsic 2 1-5 5. TOTALS: 16 11-19 46.
Score by Quarter
LEWISTOWN 11 15 17 19 – 62
TYRONE 13 16 6 11 – 46
Three-point goals: Lewistown 3 (Craig, Wilson, Rhoades).
Tyrone 2 (McKenna 2),
JUNIOR VARSITY
Lewistown 49 Tyrone 27
LEWISTOWN – Drake 0 0-0 0; King 0 0-0 0; Wilson 5 7-8 18; Clark 0 1-4 1; Zimmerman 3 5-6 11; Pecht 9 1-2 19; Eby 0 0-0 0; Wray 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 17 14-20 49.
TYRONE – Christine 1 0-0 2; Turiano 2 0-0 4; Corle 2 0-0 5; Garbinsky 2 0-0 6; Faretta 2 2-4 7; Halter 1 0-0 3; Cox 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 10 2-4 27
Score by Quarter
LEWISTOWN 16 7 12 14 – 49
TYRONE 12 3 10 2 – 27
Three-point goals: Lewistown 1 (Wilson).
Tyrone 5 (Garbinsky 2, Faretta, Halter, Corle).