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Tyrone upsets Philipsburg-Osceola in first round District 6-AA action

Tyrone (8-13) came into Tuesday night\’s game as the 10th seed in the district, facing off against the favored Mounties of Philipsburg (13-10), holding a 7th seed and a split against Tyrone in the regular season.
The “rubber match” is always that much sweeter when playoffs come around and both of these teams knew exactly what they had to do to shut down the offensive threat each team brought to the table.
Both teams started the game in a zone-defense, Philipsburg with an extended 3-2 and 1-3-1 looks, and Tyrone brought out the 3-2 to start the game. The strategies worked effectively and slowed the pace of the game, leaving the score at a surprisingly low, 11-5, in favor of Tyrone.
Johnny Franco picked up a couple of steals as Tyrone forced five Philipsburg-Osceola turnovers, but gave the ball back four times as well.
After three minutes of drought in the second quarter, Tyrone finally sparked a 6-0 run, putting the Eagles in front 17-7 with 3:37 to go. Wade Branstetter led the attack with a four-point play of his own as he made a bucket and got fouled after the shot, giving him a one-and-one opportunity in which he knocked both down. The senior wasn\’t done, as he went up on the next possession and picked up the “and-one,” but failed to make the free throw.
With time running down, Tyrone secured a 21-14 lead, when Steve Catich knocked down a 25-footer from well beyond the arc with no time left. This definitely uplifted the quiet crowd going into the locker room as Tyrone led the rival Mounties, 24-14.
At halftime, Tyrone head coach, George Gripp, said to the players, “Make sure we step out on their shooters because if any of them get hot, they could easily carry it into a victory. We tried a triangle-on-two, but when [Joe] Komisar started hitting some shots, we went right back into a 3-2.”
Every team wants to run right out of the gate in the third quarter and take total control of the game, but Tyrone struggled to hold a steady lead. The Mounties managed to cut it to 29-25 with 1:45 to go in the third thanks to a couple of treys from Komisar and five points from Mike Supko.
With a 31-25 lead after three-quarters of play, Tyrone looked to seal off any chance of a comeback for Philipsburg, but it wasn\’t as easy as they planned it to be.
After a couple of exchanges, Tyrone held a 35-28 lead with 3:49 left. It was Supko and Komisar cutting it to 35-32 within the next minute. This would be the last of the comeback, however, as Tyrone finished off the Mounties by scoring the next six, putting the Eagles up 41-32 with 1:38 remaining.
Philipsburg-Osceola struggled the entire game with their three-point shooting, and could not convert on several fast break opportunities throughout the game. Tyrone was just too tough in the end, however, winning 48-38 in a low-scoring grudge match.
“Last time we played them they hit 10 three\’s,” Gripp stated. “Well, you live by the three and die by the three, and tonight they didn\’t make too many. We left Komisar get away a couple of times against our triangle, so that\’s why we stuck with the 3-2 through the rest of the game. Our bench really stepped it up for us and when you see these playoff runs, the bench is the keys to victories and Branstetter helped us out big tonight.”
Tyrone received a lot of support from the bench in their win as Catich led the way with 14 points. Branstetter and Franco each tallied eight points and helped Tyrone move ahead to the second round against number two seed Blairsville.
“I told the guys to enjoy tonight\’s win, and tomorrow we\’re getting right back to work at practice. We scouted Blairsville a couple of times, so we know what they\’re all about. The focus will be on their two-standout players, which will be the strategy from here on out. If we can manage to play hard-nosed basketball and continue to do the little things right, I think e can play with anybody.\”
Philipsburg-Osceola just couldn\’t get an offensive flow going from Matt Curtis, who was held to just six points after he was the dagger in the last meeting against Tyrone, putting up 25 in that contest. Supko and Komisar led the way, splitting 30 points, 15 points a piece, but it wasn\’t enough to beat the Eagles in first-round playoff action.
Tyrone 48 Philipsburg-Osceola 38
Tyrone – Dane 2 1-2 5, Franco 3 2-4 8, Brooks 1 4-4 6, Catich 5 2-2 14, Gehret 1 3-5 5, Branstetter 2 4-5 8, Shaffer 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 16-22 48
Philipsburg – Supko 7 0-0 15, Decker 0 1-2 1, Mills 0 1-2 1, Curtis 2 0-0 6, Komisar 5 3-4 15, Totals 14 5-8 38
Score by Quarters
Tyrone 11 13 7 17 – 48
Philipsburg-Osceola 5 9 11 13 – 38
Three-point goals: Tyrone-2 (Catich)
PO-5 (Komisar-2, Curtis-2, Supko)