George Gripp’s keys to success aren’t complicated, but they have been effective.
After allowing Bellefonte to trim a nine-point lead to just two by the end of the third quarter, the Tyrone head coach and his squad got back to basics for a fourth-quarter eruption that sealed a 58-43 victory for the Golden Eagles over the Red Raiders.
Gripp found one area of the court especially important in that final frame.
“I like our chances when my guys get two-foot shots,” he said following the Mountain League game.
Those close range shots allowed the Eagles to hit 8 of their 11 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter. That dominance in shooting efficiency also seemed to frustrate the opposition, as the Red Raiders made just one field goal on 13 attempts.
By the time Caleb Rockey got the Raiders on the board in the closing minutes of the game, the Eagles already had the game out of reach with a double-digit lead.
The second half didn’t start so smoothly for the Eagles. Coming out of halftime with a nine-point lead, the Red Raiders went on a streak that cut their deficit to just two, thanks in large part to an 11-point quarter by Ben McCartney.
Red Raider coach Kris Glunt thought, even during an uplifting third quarter, that the Eagles always seemed to have an answer to what Bellefonte threw at them.
“It seemed like any time we made a run there, something didn’t go our way,” Glunt said. “Whether it was a foul call or a missed rebound or (we) missed a layup around the basket, any time we got close it just felt like we couldn’t get over the hump.”
That was especially apparent in the final quarter, when Bellefonte made several uncharacteristic plays, Glunt thought.
“I don’t know that the score was indicative of how close the game actually was,” Glunt said. “I thought we had our chances. I don’t think we played particularly well.”
Rockey finished with a game-high 18 points and McCartney netted 11.
Gary Weaver’s 15 points led the Eagles, with Dylan Thomas adding 14 Parker Mitchell scoring 12 and Jake Meredith 11.
While the Eagles will try to carry the momentum from this game into their next matchup against West Branch, the Raiders will attempt to correct their mistakes from this contest when they host Central on Wednesday.
“We were down three varsity players tonight, which makes it really tough when you’re depleted like that, but we’re not making any excuses,” Glunt said. “(It’s) just a disappointing game, because I thought we had a lot of opportunities to win.”