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Little Eagles hand Bearcats first loss

Tyrone Golden Eagles avenged an early season rout by a previously unbeaten Huntingdon team with a thrilling overtime win Friday by the score of 40-39. In a game which featured disciplined and determined play at both ends of the court, the Tyrone team had both the will and the hustle, overcoming several lead changes in OT. Andy Brokenshire broke free in the lane and sunk the jumper with two ticks left on the clock to seal the victory.
“This was one of those games where our will to win was greater than theirs, especially after the first time we met and played so poorly,” said Coach Campbell. “I was very proud of the way the kids hustled back on defense and executed the offensive game plan to slow down their run and gun style of play.”
Tyrone went up early with a stifling defense which held the visitors to just three points en route to a 7-3 first quarter lead. They continued to maintain their intensity throughout most the second, posting a 20-15 lead with just 53 seconds before half and the ball.
“I wanted the kids to use up the clock and play for the last shot, but we tried to force the ball in, and turned it over,” Tyrone\’s coach commented. “Instead of going into the half leading by five or seven, Huntingdon was fouled and the shot went in. They missed the foul shot and we failed to box out several times, and they ended up with a four-point turnaround.”
Tyrone continued to employ a patient slow down offense in the third, and it paid off coming out ahead of the scoring in the quarter 9-7, and a 29-26 lead into the fourth.
Tyrone intentionally used minutes off the clock with each possession and several clutch baskets by Ritchie Stever put Tyrone up by a 35-31 margin late in regulation. Huntingdon, however, was able to knot the score before the end of the quarter on a great individual effort by number 12, Betts, who scored all of the nine points by Huntingdon in the quarter.
That set the stage for the most exciting finish for the Eagles this season.
Levi Reihart got Tyrone started in overtime with a bucket and a 37-35 lead and Huntingdon answered with their own deuce. After some crucial use of the clock, Brokenshire was fouled going to the rack and converted one of two for a 38-37 lead. The Bearcats jumped in to take the lead on a Betts putback and a 39-38 advantage with 50 seconds remaining. The Little Eagles used up twenty-one seconds before calling timeout with 29 seconds remaining.
“I wanted the ball in Andy\’s hands in the end, and I could tell he wanted it too,” said Coach Campbell. Tyrone resumed play by running off 19 seconds before starting the play which got off the winning shot with under two seconds remaining. Brokenshire’s shot was true to its mark, but Huntingdon\’s timeout gave them one more chance. A long pass on the throw in sailed off a Bearcat\’s paw out of bounds, Tyrone\’s ensuing inbound sealed the deal.
“We did a few things differently this game which contributed to this win,\” reflected their coach. “First of all we didn\’t use our full court press that has carried us so much this year because I wanted the kids to get back and concentrate on their half court man defense. Secondly, we shot our foul shots much better than we had in previous close games, and as is the case in this type of game, they were the difference. And thirdly, our offense showed a lot of patience with the gameplan, causing fewer turnovers. Hopefully we can feed off of this gutty performance for the remainder of the season.”
Brokenshire finished with 14 points, Reihart had 10, Stever six, Walker six, and Bryan four. The win upped Tyrone\’s record to 12-4 on the season and Huntingdon\’s stand at 16-1. Tyrone travels to Bald Eagle Area on Tuesday and hosts Philipsburg-Osceola on Friday.
Tyrone held a 16-12 advantage at halftime, in the eighth grade game, but had trouble finding the mark in the second half, scoring only two points to Huntingdon\’s twelve with the Bearcats winning 24-18. Their record on the season stands at 11-5. Tyrone was led by Jimmy Ferguson\’s nine points.