Missed opportunities haunt Lady Eagles

One way to look at the Tyrone Lady Eagles’ game last night at home against Williamsburg would be a missed opportunity.
Another way to look at it would be 18 missed opportunities – all in the first half, when the game was there to be had for the Lady Eagles.
So what ultimately looks like a game that almost got out of hand – Williamsburg won 49-39 thanks to some hot foul shooting in the fourth quarter – was actually one Tyrone let slip away, one that could easily be the difference between the Lady Eagles reaching double-figure wins for the first time in coach Luke Rhoades two-year career, or ending the season on a disappointing skid heading to the playoffs.
“We missed way too many lay ups early,” said Rhoades. “When you let a team like Williamsburg in the game because of missed shots, you’re going to lose most times.”
In fact, Tyrone missed four lay ups in the early going – three by sophomore Rachel Emigh right at the rim – that could have given the Lady Eagles a nice first quarter cushion, and finished the first half making just 3-of-22 shots (13.6 percent). That meant a respectable defensive effort, which limited the Lady Pirates to 7-for-27 shooting and eight turnovers in the first two quarters, was more or less wasted.
But it was only a shadow of things to come. Tyrone rallied from a 17-13 halftime deficit to pull within 17-16 on a follow up by Kayla Corle 1:37 into the third quarter. But the Lady Eagles’ next two possessions ended in a turnover and a missed shot inside by Mara Hawes.
Williamsburg answered with a 6-2 run, ignited by a pair of baskets from Danielle Peck, to go ahead 23-18. A three-pointer by Kassie Faretta and two lay ups by Rachel Emigh closed the gap to 26-25 by the end of the period.
At the start of the fourth, Paris Harden had two looks from point blank range to tie it for the Lady Eagles, but came up short on both. On the Lady Pirates next trip down the floor, Brittany Becker was fouled with 7:36 to play, putting Tyrone over the limit and placing Williamsburg in the bonus for the remainder of the game.
The Lady Pirates took full advantage, connecting on 11 of 13 shots from the foul line in the final period. Tyrone, meanwhile, never made it to the bonus until the 1:31 mark.
“Foul shooting was a big difference, and we missed a lot of shots in key situations,” said Rhoades. “We have to finish those shots early on. Shooting in the first half was a real problem.”
The loss puts the Lady Eagles behind the eight ball in the final week of the regular season. They’re heading to the playoffs, but Rhoades was hoping to do so on a bit of a roll, starting with last night’s game against the Lady Pirates, who improved to 19-3.
The week looks all the more difficult now, with games remaining tonight against Indian Valley for Senior Night, before finishing with Philipsburg-Osceola and Lewistown.
“We’re trying to win three of four going into the playoffs,” said Rhoades, whose team fell to 8-13. “Now it just got a lot harder.”
Faretta led Tyrone with 10 points, including two three-pointers. Peck fronted a balanced attack for the Lady Pirates with a game-high 18 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Valerie Wyland added 11.
WILLIAMSBURG – Peck 8 1-4 18; Mingle 1 2-4 4; Wyland 4 2-2 11; Fay 1 1-1 3; Hileman 1 3-4 5; Becker 1 4-4 6; Everhart 1 0-1 2. TOTALS: 17 13-19 49.
TYRONE – Corle 1 3-4 5; Christine 3 0-0 6; Faretta 3 2-3 10; Garbinsky 2 0-0 6; Emigh 4 1-4 9; Hawes 1 1-2 3. TOTALS: 14 7-13 39.
WILLIAMSBURG 10 7 9 23 – 49
TYRONE 6 7 12 14 – 39
THREE-POINT GOALS: Tyrone-4 (Faretta 2, Garbinsky 2),
Williamsburg-2 (Peck, Wyland)