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Catich leads Tyrone as Golden Eagles soar past Bellwood-Antis

Tyrone versus Bellwood-Antis. That is really all that matters. It doesn’t matter if it is football, basketball or even a spelling bee. It would be something to see. Saturday afternoon at the Bellwood-Antis High School gym would be no exception to that rule. The largest crowd of the season in the Bellwood gym would be treated to another blockbuster show by these two spirited rivals.
Ben Hatch came right out and hit a three-point shot for the Blue Devils only seconds into the game to put the Blue Devils up quickly at 3-2. Tyrone would then answer when Johnny Franco was able to put in a driving lay up and the lead was cut to one at 3-2 Bellwood-Antis at the 7:19 mark of the opening period. Both teams then appeared to feel a bit of the pressure that usually accompanies a big rivalry game. Bellwood-Antis would miss some shots and Tyrone would miss some shots. The Blue Devils would turn the ball over and the Golden Eagles would turn it over.
After several minutes of stalemate basketball Brandon Gehret drove the lane for a lay up and Tyrone had jumped out to it’s first lead of the afternoon at the 3:42 mark 4-2. That Gehret lay up was quickly answered by the Blue Devils, as Alan Wertz hit a jumper from the baseline and the Bellwood had grabbed the lead once again at 5-4.
Both teams then each missed on two opportunities to score and the Blue Devils found themselves with the ball with just :08 seconds left in the opening period. Ben Hatch, as has happened so often for the Blue Devils, found himself with the ball and half the court away as time wound down. Hatch left the three-point shot go from just inside the Tyrone portion of half court with just :02 seconds to go in the period. All net giving Hatch the three-point shot and Bellwood would double up the Golden Eagles 8-4 to end period one.
“I was not pleased at the beginning. “We did not attack the offensive boards the way we normally do. At times we just stood around watching,” said Tyrone head coach George Gripp referring to the opening Golden Eagle period.
Tyrone would inbound the ball to start the second period and promptly committed another turnover. Bellwood worked the ball around until they found Justin Miller open for a shot. Miller would drop it in and the Bellwood-Antis lead was the biggest of the afternoon at 10-4. Tyrone would answer in the form of Nate Dane, as he dropped both foul shots to pull Tyrone to within four at 10-6.
Alan Wertz went hard to the basket and was fouled giving him the opportunity to shoot two foul shots. Wertz would miss the first shot but sink the second for an 11-6 Blue Devil lead.
Tyrone would then come to life and go on a six point run keyed by the play of Nate Dane and Steve Catich. Four of these six points were scored in less than five seconds as Catich put in a twisting lay up and then promptly stole the inbound pass for another lay up. Nate Dane stole the Blue Devil’s very next inbound pass. Tyrone would work it around and hit the basket to complete the six-point run. Tyrone was now up by one at 12-11.
Bellwood-Antis would not get discouraged by this turn of events. With 5:25 left in the first half, Nate Gray hit another three-pointer for the Blue Devils and they regained the lead at 14-12.
Then came a point in the game when the contest seemed to change. The Golden Eagles started to really pound the offensive boards and that all important friend, momentum, seemed to be slipping from the Blue and Gold side to the Orange and Black. With the help of second and sometimes third shots under the offensive board the Golden Eagles went on yet another six point run to go up 18-14 at he 2:25 mark.
Both teams took turn scoring baskets on their next trips down the floor and the score would show Tyrone up by two at 20-18. Then with only :03 seconds left in the half Catich answered the last second heroics of Bellwood’s Hatch buy burying a three-point shot putting Tyrone up 23-18 at half as well as putting a tight grip on momentum.
The third period started with Bellwood putting the ball in play. For the next several minuets played seemed to get, well let’s just say a tad physical. Then came a play that you do not see very often. As a matter of fact, this is the first time I have ever seen it called. A technical foul call was issued to the Tyrone bench while during an inbound pass the official called the ball was touched by the Golden Eagle defender while it was still in the hands of the in-bounding player.
The clock showed 4:47 left in the third period and the Blue Devils had clawed their way back to within one point at 25-24 Tyrone. The Golden Eagles missed their next shot and the Blue Devils were in business on the Tyrone end when Bruno DeGol hit a three-point shot to put Bellwood up by two at 27-25.
Steve Catch then took over the game as he led the Golden Eagles on a four-point run and a 31-27 lead with 1:31 left in the third period. Tyrone’s pressure defense was preventing Bellwood-Antis from getting the open shots and the Golden Eagles had taken control of the boards just before halftime. The Blue Devils were getting one and one shot only at the basket.
Kyle Updyke was fouled on a jump shot attempt and would go to the line for two for the Golden Eagles. He would make just one shot and Tyrone would be up by five at 32-27 with only :45 left in the period.
Bellwood-Antis came down and worked the ball around the perimeter. Then finally for the first time on the afternoon the Blue Devils would be able to get a pass into the lane to Alan Wertz. Up until this time the Golden Eagles had packed the paint and taken Wertz’s ability to score from in the paint away. Wertz turned and went up for the jumper. Steve Catch was there for the rejection for Tyrone and the period would end on that not and Tyrone up 32-27.
Both teams traded buckets to start the fourth quarter. Tyrone was holding on to a four- point lead at 36-32. The next several minutes saw the Golden Eagles go on a 6-3 run to jump out on top by seven at 42-35 with 3:40 left in the game. The Golden Eagles would then turn up the pressure defense resulting in back to back Blue Devil turnovers. The Tyrone lead was now built up to eleven points at 46-35.
Ben Hatch would hit for one more three for Bellwood-Antis to pull within eight, but that was as close as it would get. Catich and Dane would each score one more bucket for the Golden Eagles. Tyrone, which is now 13-3 on the year, would take the win home 50-38 over the Blue Devils who are now 8-7 on the year.
During post game comments I was able to catch up with each coach to get their feelings on the game. “I am glad we won. I think we could have played much better. I thought we stood around and did not attack the boards at first, but got better at that later. We tried to isolate Catich on Wertz off the dribble and that seemed to work well for us,” said Tyrone head coach George Gripp.
“I feel good. We made some silly ball handling mistakes that cost us. We are still not very good at making our foul shots. Catich is a heck of a player and we just did not have an answer for him tonight. You just cannot allow offensive rebounds to a team like that and expect to win. We are back in the Juniata Valley League on Monday night here at home. This is an all important game for the second cycle championship,” concluded Bellwood head coach Tim Keech.
Bellwood-Antis plays home tonight in a very important J.V.L. game versus Williamsburg. Tyrone will travel to Central tonight.
Game Notes: Bellwood shot twenty-nine per cent from the floor while Tyrone hit for forty-eight per cent. Ben Hatch led the Blue Devils in scoring with twelve points. Steve Catich led Tyrone with twenty-one points. The Tyrone Junior Varsity team also came away with a win in the preliminary game 45-38 over Matt Stinson’s team, which comes in at 9-6 on the year. For Tyrone, Andy Brokenshire had a game high nineteen points. Bellwood-Antis was led by Jeff Berry who would hit for eighteen points.
Tyrone 50 Bellwood-Antis 38
Tyrone: Gehret 2 0-0 4, Brooks 1 0-0 2, Catich 9 2-2 21, Updyke 1 1-2 3, Dane 5 2-2 12, Franco 2 0-0 4, Ingle 2 0-0 4 Totals: 22 5-6 50
Bellwood-Antis: Hatch 4 1-1 12, Wertz 3 2-4 8, B. DeGol 2 4-7 9, Miller 1 0-0 2, N. DeGol 0 0-0 0, Gray 3 0-0 7 Totals: 13 7-12 38
Score By Quarters
Tyrone 4 19 9 18 – 50
Bellwood-Antis 8 10 9 11 – 38
Three point goals: Tyrone: 1 (Catich)
Bellwood-Antis: 5 (Hatch 3, B. DeGol 1, Gray 1)
Fouled out: Bellwood-Antis: Miller
Technical File: Tyrone Bench
Got ‘em surrounded Both teams go for the rebound during the Tyrone/Bellwood-Antis boys basketball version of the Backyard Brawl on Saturday afternoon. Golden Eagles Steve Catich (3) and Johnny Franco (2) sandwich Blue Devil Alan Wertz. while Tyrone’s Nate Dane (23) and Brandon Gehret (11), and Bellwood-Antis’ Nate Plummer (far left) watch. Tyrone pulled out a 50-38 win. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)
Up for two Bellwood-Antis junior Nate Gray puts up a left-handed layup, while Tyrone junior Travis Peterman (12) defends, during the Tyrone win over Bellwood-Antis. Alan Wertz (44) and Ben Ingle watch the action for their respective teams. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)
High scorer Tyrone senior Steve Catich (3) splits Bellwood-Antis defenders Justin Miller (40) and Bruno DeGol (left). Catich scored a game-high 21 points in the 50-38 Tyrone victory. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)