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Central girls second-quarter effort leads Dragons over Lady Eagles

Here’s how a 19-point loss is decided in a matter of minutes.
Playing without two of its three starters at guard, the Tyrone girls basketball team was hanging in with Central Saturday, trailing just 19-16 halfway through the second quarter. The Lady Eagles were forcing perimeter shots, controlling the defensive glass and shooting surprisingly well from beyond the arc.
But over a 4-minute span before halftime, as the Lady Dragons were building a brick house in the Tyrone Area High School gymnasium by going 0-for-7 from the floor, Tyrone – down to a rotation of just six players – tired, stopped getting defensive rebounds, and then repeatedly turned the ball over when it did come away with a Lady Dragon miss.
Eventually, something had to give. It did when Kiely Horton hit a jumper off a second shot opportunity to make it 21-16 with 1:57 to go in the period. She made another basket with three seconds remaining before halftime to make it 23-16, and the Lady Dragons never looked back, scoring a 45-26 win to improve to 3-3 (3-1 Mountain League).
For the Lady Eagles (2-4 Mountain League), meanwhile, it was their fourth consecutive loss after opening the season 2-0.
“We got really tired and you can expect that,” said Tyrone coach Luke Rhoades. “We played last night and we’re not very deep right now. When we lost the lead, we were giving up second and third shots.”
It was Tyrone’s second sub-30 scoring effort in the absence starting point guard Rachel Emigh, but early on it looked like the Lady Eagles would have enough firepower without their sophomore playmaker or Kassie Faretta, a starting shooting guard who sprained her ankle Friday night.
Senior Brook Garbinsky, starting for Emigh, hit a pair of three-pointers in the first two minutes, while classmate Kayla Corle scored six points in the opening frame as the Lady Eagles opened a 14-11 lead. Tyrone found no trouble breaking Central’s full-court press, and the Lady Dragons struggled from the floor, hitting just 5 of 18 shots.
The second quarter was a different story. The Lady Dragons made their first three shot attempts, including back-to-back threes from Gabrielle Lazendorfer and Chelsea Steward to open a 19-16 lead, and that was when the Lady Eagles’ fatigue began to show.
Central made three straight trips down the floor for multiple shot possessions.
At the same time, Tyrone never made much of the rebounds or turnovers it came away with. The Lady Eagles turned the ball over themselves eight times in the frame, and managed only four shots.
“Still, at halftime, we were right there,” said Rhoades of his team’s first-half performance.
Tyrone actually pulled within one point to start the third quarter, scoring the first six points of the half, four at the hand of Garbinsky. But similar to the first half, the Lady Eagles never had the gas for a push at the key moments of the game. After Courtney Laratonda drilled a trey to make it 26-22, Alicia Lazendorfer turned a steal into a basket to make it a six-point lead.
Tyrone’s next trip down the floor ended with a missed shot, an outlet a the speedy Gabrielle Lazendorfer, and a layup on which the 5-foot-6 junior was fouled. Her free throw made it 31-22.
Central led 36-24 after three quarters, and then opened it up in the fourth when Tyrone managed to make just one of 10 shots.
Gabrielle Lazendorfer scored 12 points, and while she was the only Central player to reach double figures, she was tops among eight Lady Dragons who scored.
Garbinsky and Corle scored 10 apiece to lead Tyrone, and they, along with senior Lindsey Christine, earned the praise of Rhoades afterwards.
“I thought our seniors really played their hearts out,” he said. “Kayla stayed within herself, Brook had a great floor game, and Lindsey played hard the whole way. The team was very upbeat today, and very team-oriented. It’s been a tough couple of days for them.”
It won’t get any easier, as the Lady Eagles head to Altoona after Christmas to play Bishop Guilfoyle in the first round of the Great Chevy Shootout, at Bishop Guilfoyle High School at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
CENTRAL 45 TYRONE 26
CENTRAL – Hinton 2 0-0 6; G. Lazendorfer 5 2-2 12; Laratonda 3 1-2 9; Leighty 2 0-2 4; O. Lazendorfer 0 0-0 0; A. Lazendorfer 1 0-0 2; Steward 1 0-0 3; Horton 3 0-0 6; Greenleaf 1 0-0 3; Walters 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18 3-6 45.
TYRONE – Christine 2 0-2 4; Corle 5 0-0 10; Garbinsky 3 2-2 10; Hawes 1 0-0 2; Harden 0 0-0 0; Ray 0 0-0 0; Zimmerman 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 11 2-4 26.
Score by Quarters
CENTRAL 11 12 14 8 – 45
TYRONE 14 2 8 2 – 26
THREE-POINT GOALS: Tyrone-2 (Garbinsky 2).
Central-6 (Hinton 2, Laratonda 2, Stewart 1, Greenleaf 1).