Lady Eagles’ 16 game win streak comes to an end after a 53-34 loss to rival Bellwood

The girls play again tonight in Hollidaysburg vs Westmont at 6:30 pm

Sophomore Alexis Cannistraci battles for the ball as Coach Rhoades looks on.

The District VI AA Semifinal game between the Tyrone Lady Eagles and the Bellwood Lady Blue Devils at times looked more like a professional wrestling match than a basketball game.

The WWE atmosphere began before tip-off with both schools bringing their fan base and student sections in force, nearly filling the Hollidaysburg High School gymnasium to capacity.

While both teams were well represented, Tyrone’s fans definitely outnumbered Bellwood’s. Tyrone’s Dawg Pound filled an entire section of bleachers in what was the largest student section of the year for the Eagles.

We really played right with them for 22 minutes. Unfortunately at this point in the season you have to play for 32 minutes

— head coach Luke Rhoades

“Having the Dawg Pound there got us pumped up for the game, they made it an exciting atmosphere,” said sophomore Alexis Cannistraci.

But when the dust cleared, the Lady Eagles’ 16 game win streak came to an end with a 53-34 loss.

“We really played right with them for 22 minutes. Unfortunately at this point in the season you have to play for 32 minutes,” said Tyrone head coach Luke Rhoades.

The game started off slowly with neither team scoring.  Tyrone sophomore Alexis Cannistraci fouled Bellwood senior Ana Hollen which allowed Bellwood make the first score form the foul line.

But Tyrone sophomore Kasey Engle pulled up from far behind the arc and swished the deep three to get Tyrone on the board.

Senior Lindsey Kemp was able to get open and score two more for Tyrone, but the Blue Devils held a three point lead as they approached the end of the first quarter.  Engle then hit a vital 3-pointer as the clock expired tying the game at eight after one quarter.

The second quarter scoring began with junior Finnley Christine on the foul line where she made one of the two shots which allowed Tyrone to take the lead for the first time.

The Lady Eagles were able to hold the lead until they fouled on a Bellwood drive to the basket which tied the game at nine.

Christine then drove to the basket to add two more points for Tyrone, but Bellwood remained consistent throughout the quarter.

Engle connected with a basket on another deep 3-pointer, followed by Cannistraci who made a foul shot to take the 15-14 lead.

Another impressive drive from Christine allowed Tyrone to take a 17-16 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, the game became much more physical and intense. Engle started out the quarter scoring her fourth and final 3-pointer of the game.

Bellwood’s Karson Swogger and Kelly Leamer then hit back to back 3-pointers which allowed Bellwood to take the lead.

“We had a little lead at the beginning of the third and I thought it was going to be our game,” said Engle. “Then we made a few mistakes of our own and lost it.”

The Lady Eagles still led by five with a few minutes left in the third, but Bellwood began to make their comeback which enabled them to lead by six going into the fourth.

Kemp quickly added two for Tyrone but Bellwood forced many key turnovers that ultimately led to their victory.

“It was a tough loss for everyone. We need to forget about that game and move on,” said Kemp.

“We need to emotionally bounce back and get the win against Westmont,” said Engle.

The Lady Eagles are back in action tonight against Westmont Hilltop in Hollidaysburg at 6:30.  The winner of tonight’s game qualifies for the state playoffs.

Box Score:

TYRONE (34): Kemp 3 0-0 6, Christine 3 2-6 8, Engle 5 5-6 19, Cannistrasi 0 1-2 1, Sprankle 0 0-0 0, Noll 0 0-0 0, Lehman 0 0-0 0.

Totals – 11 8-14 34.

BELLWOOD-ANTIS (53): Swogger 8 5-6 24, Leamer 2 0-0 6, A. Hollen 4 4-4 13, Damiano 0 2-2 2, Carles 0 0-0 0, Showalter 0 0-0 0, Lynn 4 0-0 8.

Totals – 18 11-12 53.


Tyrone: 8 9 8 9 – 34

Bellwood-Antis: 8 8 15 22 – 53


3-point goals:

Tyrone:  4 (Engle 4)

Bellwood-Antis:  6 (Swogger 3, Leamer 2, Hollen).


Records: Tyrone (19-5); Bellwood-Antis (24-1).