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Eagle’s Successful Season Builds for Future

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The Tyrone Golden Eagles ended the season with a 14-10 record and a heartbreaking loss to rival Central in the district semifinals. Even though many players, coaches, and fans would call this a very average season, there were many bright spots and reasons to be optimistic for the future.

The Eagles will lose two seniors next season in Michael Lewis and Alex Weaver. Both were key players this season for the time that they had on the court.

Lewis started the season with a lower back injury that lingered all year. But he was a tough player and fought through it to average just over 10 rebounds a game in the second half of the season.

Senior Alex Weaver’s senior campaign did not go as planned. Weaver played in the first 13 games and averaged a double-double in points and rebounds. Unfortunately Alex hurt his hand during the second meeting with the Central Dragons and missed the rest of season.

The boys began the season with a rough loss in their opener, 55-38 to the Blue Devils from Bellwood.

After that first loss the Eagles went on a four game winning streak, including knocking off Huntingdon and Central in a great overtime road victory.

In late December Tyrone ran into powerhouse, state ranked Clearfield and picked up their second loss of the season.

In the annual Kiwanis Christmas Tourney the Golden Eagles made the championship game but failed to bring home the title, losing a close game to Penn Cambria.

After Christmas Tyrone had a tough road stretch of four straight games but was able to pick up wins in all of those games.

Then the Golden Eagles hit the toughest stretch of their season with six straight games against good ball teams. Unfortunately they failed to pick up a single win during this stretch, going on a very difficult six game losing streak.

“That was a really tough part of the season for us. You play a sport for the love of the game and the thrill of winning, and when you take away the winning it’s hard to find the love,” said junior guard Jake Meredith.

But the Eagles didn’t give up, and were able to salvage their season by winning their last four games before the playoffs, including a solid 20 point victory over Juniata, the number one seed in AAA.

“I was excited after that game. I watched a team play that I knew had been there all year and finally decided to play. This was a great win heading into the playoffs,” said head coach George Gripp.

The most exciting moment of the season came in the first round of the playoffs. The Eagles faced off against the Rangers of Forest Hills at the Tony Politza gymnasium in Tyrone. In the final second of a very tight contest the Rangers tied the game, and it seemed for sure that it would head into overtime.

The Eagles drove down the lane and shot a layup with seconds remaining and missed. Captain Mike Lewis grabbed the offensive rebound and threw up a prayer and drew the foul as the buzzer sounded.

Lewis was able to step to the line and knock down the first foul shot and send the Eagles to the semis.

“I never really thought of myself as a great player, so as a senior to be able to seal it for the guys and continue the ride it was an amazing feeling,” said Lewis about the big shot.

In the District semis the Eagles again faced off against the rival Central Dragons at their home court. Tyrone played tough and battled back from a 14 point deficit to take a one point lead with two minutes remaining but came up short in a heartbreaking loss.

I never really thought of myself as a great player, so as a senior to be able to seal it for the guys and continue the ride it was an amazing feeling”

— Mike Lewis

“It was tough. Knowing I wouldn’t play another game with some of my brothers was real tough,” said junior Parker Mitchell.

Both seniors will be missed but lucky enough for Tyrone basketball, there will be a few key players returning next year. Juniors Parker Mitchell, Dylan Thomas, Jake Meredith, and Hunter Anderson all played valuable minutes this year and will look to build off that for next season. Noel Polizta, Joe Kohler, and Andrew Ferguson will play big roles for the Eagles next season as well.

To go with all those players, don’t be surprised to see a few freshman out there as the junior high team went undefeated this season.

Be ready for next year, it should be a good one.

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The voice of the Tyrone Area High School
Eagle’s Successful Season Builds for Future