Sports Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

Lady Eagles lose two in Mifflin County

It would have been nice if – upon completing the toughest portion of their schedule – the Tyrone Lady Eagles could have come together for a group hug and a collective sigh of relief.
Unfortunately, it was an eight-game stretch that may have been more challenging than even coach Luke Rhoades could have imagined, in more ways than one.
It ended Saturday night at Highland Park with a 52-34 loss to the Indian Valley Lady Warriors in a game Rhoades felt was imminently winnable with his team’s health at 100 percent.
That status is probably about six days away, but the Lady Eagles took some big steps against Valley. Sophomore point guard Rachel Emigh played in her first game since suffering injured ligaments in her left ankle before the Christmas break, and senior guard Kassie Faretta continued to play well in her second full game back after returning from an ankle injury that forced her to the shelf for two games.
But with Emigh playing only sparingly, and Valley packed into a 3-2 zone designed to limit the outside shooting of Kayla Corle and take away penetration opportunities, Tyrone ran into the same problems it has faced since the beginning of its eight-game losing streak – when the Lady Eagles get down, they don’t have the firepower to stick with most teams.
Case in point: the Lady Eagles led Valley 5-0 a minute-and-a-half into the game and – following a Lady Warrior timeout – were outscored 14-1 the rest of the period.
“We definitely played a lot better, but we couldn’t score,” Rhoades said. “They played us in a 3-2 zone and we had trouble shooting and penetrating. Our problem is, we can’t get down 8 to 10 points because we’re not capable right now of scoring enough to come back from that.”
It didn’t help that the Lady Warriors attempted 20 more foul shots that Tyrone. In an 18-point win, 17 of Valley’s points came from the stripe.
In all, Tyrone was whistled 22 times, nine more than the Lady Warriors.
But an imbalance at the foul line is the least of Rhoades’ concerns. The biggest is finding a way to snap a frustrating slide that’s threatening to keep Tyrone out of the playoffs for the second straight season.
Rhoades is hoping to snap the streak and get on track for a postseason berth tonight in Cresson against Penn Cambria.
“We knew going in that the last eight games would have been tough whether we were healthy or not,” said Rhoades. “I’m looking at the next five games almost like the playoffs. We would like to be 7-8 at the end of this stretch. But I can’t lie, our confidence is pretty bad right now. It’s tough because we came into this season with high expectations.”
Accordingly, the Lady Eagles never expected to lose 18-point games to Indian Valley, or to drop 50-point decisions like the one they were handed Thursday night, when Tyrone began its Mifflin County tour with a humbling 87-33 loss at Lewistown.
That was a game that clearly showed Rhoades the difference between his team and some of the best: simply put, the best make open jumpers. For the Lady Panthers, it was Kayla Espigh doing most of the scoring, netting a game-high 22 points.
“We had a hand in her face most of the time, but she just didn’t miss,” said Rhoades.
On the bright side, the Lady Eagles started to get scoring from someone other than Corle, who almost single-handedly carried the load following Emigh’s injury. Faretta and Carly Ray each scored nine.
Rhoades is hoping numbers like those continue with Emigh trying his team fighting to return to full health. If they do, he said, the injuries will have helped the team by forcing others to step up.
The key, Rhoades said, will be for the Lady Eagles to find some way to finish at or around 10 wins. Anything less, he said, probably would not merit consideration for the playoffs.
That would mean the Lady Eagles would have to go 8-6 over their final 14 games.
Indian Valley 52 Tyrone 34
Indian Valley – Litwiller 0 0-0 0, Loht 2 0-0 4, Ruby 6 7-9 19, Corbin 4 2-6 11, Vargo 1 2-4 4, Ziegler 0 0-0 0, Svera 1 3-5 5, Zewe 3 3-4 9. Totals: 17 17-28 52.
Tyrone – Christine 1 0-0 2, Corle 3 1-2 8, Faretta 2 0-0 5, Garbinsky 2 0-0 6, Emigh 1 0-0 2, Harden 0 2-2 2, Hawes 2 4-4 7, Ray 0 0-0 0, Zimmerman 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 7-8 32.
Three-point goals: Indian Valley – 1 (Corbin)
Tyrone – 4 (Garbinsky 2, Faretta, Corle)