Up and down season for Eagles basketball squad in 2005-06

A long, hard-fought season for the Golden Eagles fell short as Bishop Guilfoyle ended Tyrone’s hopes of moving past the first round in three straight seasons. With just a 9-14 record, Tyrone sent a team that arguably could have been the top in the district in preseason polls, but the Eagles struggled and lost several games by five points or less.
As the season started out with a bang at Bellwood, Tyrone found themselves in a skid that may have cost them the heart and determination to be at the top of their games.
After losing three straight in the Hollidaysburg “Round Ball Classic”, Tyrone struggled as they lost the next two games to District Champ Bald Eagle Area and Bishop Guilfoyle. Both games were combined at an average of 17 point deficits, which was very unlike a tough Tyrone squad that demolished Bellwood in the first game of the season.
After five straight losses, Tyrone began to turn it around as they picked up two solid victories at home, against Bellefonte and Indian Valley. The season started to look promising as they increased their record to 3-5 at the Christmas break before traveling to the Blairsville Tournament for the third straight year.
Tyrone looked strong early on in the first round at Blairsville, taking a 21-point lead at the half, but Shanksville slowly crept back, cutting the game as close as two points. Tyrone stood strong and picked up their third straight victory and a shot at a rematch against Blairsville in the finals.
A rough championship game sent Tyrone home, snapping their three-game winning streak as they were handed their worst loss of the season. It was a long Christmas break for the Eagles and they had a lot to work on as going 1-4 in the tournament games for the season.
With a 4-6 record going into 2006, Tyrone traveled to Huntingdon where they would lose their second straight game and fall to 4-7. This did not overwhelm the Eagles as they had a shot at evening up their New Year record against a weak Philipsburg-Osceola basketball team.
After cruising by P-O with a 26-point victory, the real challenge lied ahead as they faced a Lewistown squad that Tyrone had not defeated in their previous five games over the past three seasons.
Tyrone traveled out of their way, and defeated the Lewistown Panthers in a heroic win, going on top early and never losing the lead again. Tyrone had to fight off a strong fourth quarter comeback from the Panthers, but managed to improve their record to 6-7 and a shot at becoming .500 once again.
Bald Eagle Area was not much of a match-up for Tyrone as they towered the two Boone twins at 6’9” a piece, which is four inches taller than Tyrone’s tallest player. The Bald Eagles totally controlled the pace of the game and held off a streaky Tyrone team.
Tyrone dropped to 6-8, but the games didn’t look any prettier for Tyrone as they had to travel to Bishop Guilfoyle, one of the toughest gymnasiums to play in. With the crowd on BG’s side, Tyrone found themselves down eight with a minute remaining in the game. After hacking and draining three’s, Tyrone managed to take a three-point lead with just five seconds to go in the game. That was amazing, but enough, when Sean McConnell drained a three-pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime as time expired. Tyrone dropped Leonard Wilson and Byron Kost early in the extra frame as BG outscored the Eagles 17-5 in overtime.
After experiencing a miracle in Lewistown, the Panthers traveled to Tyrone and handed the Golden Eagles their third straight loss. It wasn’t a blowout, but Lewistown held a lead throughout the entire game and try as they might, Tyrone couldn’t claw back into it.
Dropping to 6-10, Tyrone had to find a way back to .500, but how hard could it be? With seven games left in the season, Kost and Wilson had to step up and send the team a message to get back and fight through the remaining games to have a shot at winning districts.
Always a tough game in Bellefonte, Tyrone knew they had their hands full. It was a struggle from start to finish as the Red Raiders “back-doored” their way to a victory over Tyrone on their home floor. Tyrone looked as if the season was going to be a disaster as they dropped four straight and six out of their last nine games.
With seven games left in the season, Kost had his eyes on the three-point season record of 57 in a season. Kost, came into Indian Valley with 52 three’s and left with 61. That’s right, nine treys in one game. That was a new school record despite losing Indian Valley that night. Kost scored his career high 33 points in the game. He previously hit three treys in the last two games combined and finally came out of his slump, but Tyrone was falling, and falling fast, as they dropped their fifth straight game and fell to 6-12 on the season.
It was a memorable Senior Night for Adam Corle, dropping in five treys and 20 points at home. Corle led Tyrone to an 81-63 stomping of the Huntingdon Bearcats, finally dropped the losing streak of five straight.
At 7-12, Tyrone played for pride and experience, as they knew they were going to have a shot at making the playoffs as a lower seed, but a stronger lower seed in the AA division.
With four games remaining, Tyrone knocked down Philipsburg-Osceola, but dropped two out of three to end their season at 9-14.
Leonard Wilson was 19 points shy of reaching 1,000 points, and the Eagles had a shot of knocking off a familiar foe, the Marauders of BG in the first round of the playoffs as well.
The game went down as a loss in the record books, but with just under a minute left in the game, Wilson managed an “and-one” that gave him his 1,000th point exactly from the free throw line.
The Eagles were just not strong enough in their finish, but had a season of ups and downs that the young team can overcome with years to come.
Tyrone will return one starter, Steve Catich, who averaged 12.4 ppg on the season that including a pair of 20-point games on the year.
Kost and Wilson led Tyrone in scoring with Catich right on the trail.
Kost, knocked down 78 treys and set two school records with a single season record of 78 and nine triples in a game. He was second to Wilson in scoring with 334 points on the season. Kost will be remembered greatly for that outstanding set shot and can arguably be the best set-shooter in Tyrone history.
Wilson led Tyrone with 339 points on the season and averaged 14.1 ppg. He accomplished a 1,000 point career at Tyrone and played hard-nosed tough defense as he shut down amazing scorers such as Matt Hilton and Sean McConnell when Tyrone needed him the most.
Catich trailed with a solid third scoring performance on the season as he netted 297 points on the season. Remember, Catich is only a sophomore, so there is more of him to come in Tyrone’s future. Adam Corle and Josh Clark were also solid players off of the bench, bringing the experience to the table as times got rough for Tyrone.
The newest addition to Tyrone was Johnny Franco, the man who used to grab the tee at the football games as a kid. He played great for Tyrone in his first year as a sophomore and will continue to help this young squad out in the next couple of seasons.
With a 9-14 record, Tyrone didn’t accomplish a District title, but achieved several other aspects with records and accomplishments for Wilson and Kost.
What a tough season of ups and downs, but Tyrone can always say that there is next year.
Coach Mike Harris has spent five seasons at Tyrone and has a record of 64-61.
Final Season Statistics
Adam Corle 24 41 17 30 58.6 17 114 4.8 19
Leonard Wilson 24 96 142 205 69.2 5 339 14.1 26
Byron Kost 24 110 33 46 71.2 78 334 13.9 33
Steve Catich 24 112 64 80 80.0 5 297 12.4 20
Doug Morrow 23 30 14 22 63.6 0 74 3.1 16
Shane Barr 23 20 11 20 55.0 3 54 2.25 6
Josh Clark 21 31 14 20 70.0 2 79 3.9 17
John Franco 23 23 9 19 47.4 2 58 2.6 7
Tyler Hoover 23 1 8 38 37.5 0 39 1.8 6
Trey Brockett 24 9 3 12 25.0 0 21 0.9 2
Wade Branstetter 11 4 0 0 0 1 9 1.0 5
Jamie Levinson 10 1 4 8 50.0 0 6 0.7 2
Dan Stover 10 3 0 0 0 0 6 0.7 4
Brandon Gehret 8 1 5 8 62.5 1 8 1.1 3
Ethan Etters 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 24 499 319 478 66.7 114 1438 59.9 81
Opponents 24 513 330 471 70.0 93 1453 60.5 82