Smothering defense sets up win for Lady Eagles in Williamsburg Tourney

It would have been easy for the Tyrone Lady Eagles to limp through the entire game last night against struggling Westmar High School of Maryland, as happened in the first half, and be satisfied to come away with a win to break their five-game losing streak.
But that’s not what the Lady Eagles did. Instead, they used the first minute-and-a-half of the third quarter to build their six-point halftime lead to 12, eventually extending it to 18 before the Lady Wildcats got their first point of the second half at the 2:11 mark.
Tyrone went on to win 57-35 in the first round of the Williamsburg Holiday Basketball Tournament, advancing to tonight’s final at 7:30.
The victory pushed Tyrone’s record to 3-7 and allowed the Lady Eagles to accomplish one of the goals they set for themselves following the Christmas break.
“One of our goals is to win this tournament,” said coach Luke Rhoades. “It’s good to get a win. We’ve played some tough competition the last couple weeks and to get this win was very rewarding.”
The Lady Eagles were able to put Westmar away by playing smothering man-to-man defense from baseline to baseline. In the third quarter alone, Tyrone forced 22 Lady ‘Cat turnovers and outscored Westmar 14-5 despite shooting just 4-of-14 from the floor.
Senior post Liz Tepsic was at the center of Tyrone’s third quarter output, scoring eight of her 11 points. The Lady Eagles received offensive contributions from a number of players, with seven different players logging points.
Junior Kayla Corle led the way with a game-high 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Freshman Paris Harden added eight in her first varsity start. Brooke Garbinsky netted seven and Meg Turiano added six.
But it was on the defensive end where the Lady Eagles showed their greatest improvement, playing strictly man-to-man, while mixing in a full-court zone press.
“We played some full-court man, which really worked out for us,” said Rhoades. “We did it well, and that’s one of the things we worked on this week. We want to play man-to-man.”
Tyrone led 14-7 after the first quarter, and never trailed. The Lady Eagles took a 10-point lead early in the second quarter on a Tepsic foul shot, but closed the half shooting just 1-for-7 and led 28-22 at halftime.
After racing through the third quarter, the Lady Eagles had built a 42-27 advantage.
Tyrone went on a 9-3 run to start the fourth quarter, building a 23-point lead by the 2:00 mark on a pair of Garbinsky foul shots.
For the game, Tyrone forced 54 turnovers, and limited the Lady Wildcats to 11-for-48 shooting from the floor.
For their own part, the Lady Eagles turned the ball over 32 times, with 20 of those coming in the first half. The Lady Eagles shot just 13-for-51, but managed to make 24 of 36 foul shots.
WESTMAR – Williams 2 9-13 13; Colmer 1 0-0 2; Alkier 0 0-0 0; McGinnis 3 1-2 7; Dawson 0 0-0 0; Cheshire 4 1-3 9; Bean 0 0-2 0; Lewis 2 0-0 4; Ridings 0 0-0 0; Ridenour 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 12 11-20 35.
TYRONE – Tepsic 3 5-6 11; Turiano 1 4-4 6; Corle 4 6-8 16; Faretta 1 0-0 2; Garbinsky 1 4-4 7; Harden 2 4-4 8; Emigh 0 1-2 1; Waite 0 2-2 2; Hunter 0 0-4 0; Kobuck 1 0-2 2; Zimmerman 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 13 24-36 57.
THREE-POINT GOALS: Tyrone 3 (Corle 2, Garbinsky).
Westmar – none