Marion Center was getting it done with smoke and mirrors against the Tyrone Lady Eagles through three quarters of Wednesday night’s District 6-AA first round playoff game at Central Cambria High School.
The Lady Stingers were shooting the ball about as bad as you could expect a 5-seed to shoot – 5-for-26 from the floor with 2:41 to go in the third quarter – and they had totaled 16 turnovers in 24 minutes of play. The one thing keeping them in the game was their ability to make earn points from the foul line, where they went 12-for-14 in the first half.
But Marion Center didn’t get to the line in the third quarter as easily as it did in the first half, which meant sooner or later they were going to have to make shots.
The Lady Stingers did it when it mattered most, connecting on 8 of 17 shots in a 24-point fourth quarter that opened up a tight game and allowed Marion Center to advance with a 54-37 victory that eliminated Tyrone.
“We were never able to get into an offensive flow against their zone,” said Tyrone coach Luke Rhoades. “We needed to attack it through the high post, and we didn’t”
Center’s 2-3 zone left holes open in the first half, when the Lady Eagles made three three-point baskets and trailed just 20-18. But most of those gaps were sealed up by the second half, when the Lady Stingers opted to leave the high post area relatively unguarded in order to take away skip passes that were leading top open three-point tries.
The switch made things tough on the Lady Eagles’ turnover-prone offense, and things were even tougher with point guard Rachel Emigh playing limited minutes after picking up her third foul in the second quarter. She was joined with three fouls by Kayla Corle and Kassie Faretta in the third.
Tyrone turned the ball over five times in the third quarter and 10 times in the fourth.
Still, Tyrone was close, trailing by a single point after Brooke Garbinsky’s buzzer-beating three-pointer from eight feet beyond the arc allowed the Lady Eagles to close the third down 30-29. But Center opened the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run, and led 43-32 by the time Emigh picked up her fourth foul three minutes into the fourth quarter.
“Foul trouble was a problem throughout the game,” Rhoades said. “We put ourselves in a bad situation by fouling too much.”
Marion Center made 8 of 9 foul shots in the fourth quarter to help put the game away. The Lady Stingers finished 22-for-27 from the charity stripe, making almost twice as many as Tyrone attempted.
Lauren Glasser made 10 of 14 free throws as part of her game-high 18 points, while teammate Amy Fairman was a perfect 8-for-8, giving her 14.
Tyrone was in control for most of the first half, despite making just 6 of 24 shots. Garbinsky and Faretta each had three-pointers in the first half as Tyrone took a 9-6 lead. The Lady Eagles opened the game in a 2-1-2 full-court press that slowed the Lady Stingers, but also put Tyrone’s thin line up in danger of picking up fouls.
“Early, we were pressing and pushing the ball,” said Rhoades. “We knew they would play a zone so we wanted to push the ball. But you can’t live and die by the three. We eventually had to back out of the press because it was too much of a risk of getting girls in foul problems.”
After Marion Center tied it on a foul shots by Marysa Frederick in the second quarter, Tyrone went on a 7-2 run to take a 16-11 lead on another Faretta trey. But the Lady Stingers made 6 of 6 foul shots over the final three minutes and a Glasser lay up with 40 seconds left in the half gave Marion Center its first lead at 20-18.
Tyrone rallied in the third and took a 25-21 lead on a three-pointer by Kayla Corle. That was at the 4:52 mark, and the Lady Eagles would make only three more shots the rest of the game.
Tyrone ended its season 8-17.
Marion Center 54 Tyrone 37
Tyrone – Corle 1 3-7 6; Christine 1 1-2 3; Faretta 3 2-2 10; Garbinsky 3 0-0 9; Emigh 3 0-0 6; Hawes 1 1-2 3; Harden 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 12 7-13 37.
Marion Center – Fyock 2 0-0 4; Frederick 1 1-2 3; Bowser 2 0-0 4; Miloser 2 3-3 7; Glasser 4 10-14 18; Fairman 3 8-8 14; Rippo 0 0-0 0; Rogerson 0 0-0 0; Ruffner 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 16 22-27 54.
Score by Quarter
Tyrone 9 9 11 8 – 37
Marion Center 6 14 10 24 – 54
Three-point goals: Tyrone 6 (Corle, Faretta 2, Garbinsky 3)