Balanced attack seals Tyrone girls’ fate against Marauders

The Tyrone Lady Eagles have been looking for a consistent third scorer all season – someone who can alleviate the burden on offensive leaders Emily McKenna and Hilary McNelis, and pick up her game when options 1 and 2 aren’t connecting.
Bishop Guilfoyle demonstrated how valuable a commodity a third scorer is last night against Tyrone at the Pleasant Valley gymnasium.
Sure, Mary Forr had another productive night in the paint with 18 points, and Lindsey Sissler’s 10 points were crucial. But the key to the game was the offensive production of sophomore Ashley Helsel.
With the Lady Eagles determined to pack in their man-to-man defense on the weak side to limit the 6-foot Forr’s touches on the interior, it was Helsel who was there to bang down critical outside shots when the Lady Marauders needed them most. She finished with 13 points to lead the Lady Marauders to a 63-50 Mountain Athletic Conference Section II victory.
“You’ve got to be able to hit some shots outside,” said Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella. “Helsel gave us some timely perimeter shots to help loosen (Tyrone) back up.”
It was Tyrone’s third consecutive loss and fourth in the last five games. The Lady Eagles fell to 7-12 overall and 2-8 in the MAC with five games remaining.
The Lady Marauders, meanwhile, swept the season series from Tyrone and improved to 15-3, 8-1 in the MAC. Guilfoyle has now won seven straight since losing to Lewistown January 6. They will have the chance to avenge that loss next Tuesday at Pleasant Valley.
Tyrone and BG shared similar defensive schemes because while the Lady Eagles were bumping and double-teaming Forr, the Lady Marauders were doing the same to McNelis. With Forr draped all over her, McNelis found even catching the ball difficult and finished with just five points.
That put the onus on McNelis’ teammates, and time and again they delivered. McKenna finished with a game-high 21, while Marissa Hoover scored a season-high 10. Ashley Roth continued her strong inside of late, adding seven, and seven of the 10 Lady Eagles who entered the game scored.
“Their game plan was to take Hilary away and they worked hard at that,” Tyrone coach Jim Swaney said. “But I thought some of the other people stepped up and helped the offense.”
Tyrone trailed 6-0 early and was behind 21-11 after the first quarter, but the Lady Eagles began to climb back into the game early in the second. McKenna and McNelis made back-to-back baskets to cut it to 21-15 before Helsel responded with her first three-pointer, extending BG’s lead to 24-15.
McKenna then took control of the game, scoring seven straight points to cut it to 24-22. Roth went 1-for-2 from the line to make it 24-23, but it was as close as the Lady Eagles would get because on Guilfoyle’s next possession Helsel drained another trey from the corner, pushing BG’s lead to 27-22.
The Lady Marauders then went back inside to Forr, who scored four in a 6-0 run that had BG up 33-27 before the half. McKenna then swished a 20-footer just before the buzzer, cutting it to 33-30 at halftime.
“We really got sloppy on defense (in the first half), and Tyrone did a great job of capitalizing on our mistakes,” said Moschella.
The Lady Marauders were also uncharacteristically cold in the second quarter, hitting just 5 of 17 from the floor, while Tyrone was as hot as its been in two seasons, finishing the period 7 for 10 after hitting a season-high six straight shots at one point.
That changed in the third quarter as the Lady Marauders came out of the locker room prepared to attack the basket. Three separate 4-0 runs, along with 7-of-10 shooting, allowed BG to build its lead to 47-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
There, Guilfoyle put the game away with an 8-0 run midway through the period to go up 61-43.
“My hat goes off to Tyrone,” said Moschella. “I thought they played a great game, and that score is not really indicative of how good a high school basketball game this was.”
HOOP NOTES: Emily Ingle left the game in the third quarter after an errant elbow cut open a spot near her right eye. She returned in the fourth quarter … McKenna’s 21 points were a season-high … Ingle and Stefani Bryan led Tyrone on the glass with four rebounds each … Tyrone hosts Indian Valley Friday.
Kayla Corle and Elizabeth Tepsic each scored nine points to lead Tyrone, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Lady Eagles from falling to BG 48-41 in the junior varsity game.
BG outscored Tyrone 14-9 in the third quarter to break open what had been a four-point lead at halftime (22-18).
TYRONE – McKenna 8 3-5 21; Ingle 0 0-0 0; Lloyd 1 0-0 2; Hoover 4 2-4 10; McNelis 2 1-1 5; Roth 2 3-4 7; Bradford 0 0-2 0; Bryan 1 0-0 3; Tepsic 0 0-0 0; Long 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 9-15 50.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE – Forr 9 0-2 18; Sissler 4 2-2 10; DeAntonio 3 0-0 7; Geishauser 3 1-1 7; Steinbugl 3 0-0 6; Filler 1 0-0 2; Helsel 5 0-0 13; Shields 0 0-0 0; Carroll 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 28 3-5 63.
TYRONE 11 19 8 12 – 50
GUILFOYLE 21 12 14 16 – 63
THREE POINT GOALS: Tyrone 3 (McKenna 2, Bryan 1).
Bishop Guilfoyle 4 (Helsel 3, DeAntonio 1).