Thu. May 30th, 2024

Coach Jim Swaney will be the first one to admit that he expected the Tyrone girls basketball team to be in a somewhat better position after eight games than the one it finds itself in now.
After losing 43-34 to Indian Valley at Highland Park in Mifflin County last Friday, the Lady Eagles were 3-5 and desperately in need of a victory. It was Tyrone\’s fourth consecutive loss after opening the season 3-1, and it made the team\’s record to begin play in Section II of the MAC 0-4.
But despite the Lady Eagles\’ rocky start, despite whatever problems they may be experiencing offensively, despite the fact that they may have let one or two winnable games slip away through the first third of the season, Swaney is not ready to hit the panic button just yet.
“What I\’m trying to impress on the kids is that we\’ve just gone through the roughest part of our schedule,” said Swaney. “We won\’t play four teams as good as the ones we just played until the second half of the season, and three of those four teams we played on the road.
“We can\’t look back. We\’ve got to realize that over the next six games, we should be the best team on the floor, so we\’ve got to keep a good head and stay positive.”
The quest to get back to .500 will start Thursday against Blairsville in the Blairsville Kovacik Insurance Holiday Tournament – a contest where last year the Lady Eagles advanced to the championship game before blowing a 10-point second half lead in a 40-37 loss to Derry.
Then, as against Indian Valley Tuesday, as against six of eight opponents this season, Tyrone simply ran out of offense despite playing an excellent game defensively.
The Lady Eagles are averaging 44.5 points per game, and only Emily McKenna at 16.5 points per game has given them consistent scoring night in and night out. They\’ve yet to break 60 points in a single game, and after the loss to the Lady Warriors they had been held below 40 three times.
Tyrone trailed in that one 31-26 at halftime before its offense went completely south in the second half. However, the bright spot for Swaney was that while a team limited McKenna\’s production for the first time this season – the senior guard had only nine points – Emily Lloyd and Tiffany Bradford stepped up to score 10 points each.
“Despite the loss, we did do some good things,” said Swaney. “We outrebounded Indian Valley by six, took nine more shots and forced a pretty good team into 16 turnovers. But after the first half, we just couldn\’t keep pace offensively. We\’ve just got to find a way to shoot better than 25 percent from the floor.”
The hard part for the Lady Eagles to deal with through their slow start has been that few teams – perhaps only Bishop Guilfoyle – could keep pace with them defensively. While Tyrone has lost five of eight, they\’re still outscoring their opponents 356-353.
The Lady Eagles have kept two opponents below 30 points, and two others below 50.
That more than anything is why Swaney is not ready to abandon ship on a season the Lady Eagles were very optimistic about in November.
“Everyone just needs to stay calm at this point and realize that we have a chance to really improve our position over the next three weeks,” he said.
Indian Valley 54 Tyrone 43
Tyrone (2-4) – Ingle 1 1-1 3, Lloyd 4 2-2 10, McKenna 3 2-2 9, Tepsic 2 2-2 6, Bradford 4 2-4 11, Hoover 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 9-13 43.
Indian Valley (6-1) – Schulze 3 0-1 6, Mernin 5 0-0 10, Mitchell 6 5-8, 20, Narehood 1 2-2 5, Shearer 2 0-0 4, Zewe 3 1-4 9. Totals 20 8-15 54.
Score by Quarters
Tyrone 17 12 5 9 – 43
Indian Valley 11 20 9 4 – 54
Three-point goals: Tyrone 2 (McKenna, Bradford).
Indian Valley 6 (Mitchell 3, Narehood, Zewe 2).

By Rick