Lady Eagles win the Mountain League by defeating Penns Valley

Tyrone girls have won back-to-back Mountain League Championships.

the Mountain League Champions!

After losing standouts Jordyn Swogger, Emily Izzolino and Lucy Raftery to graduation, the 2014-2015 Lady Eagles began the season with a disappointing 1-3 record.

With a lot of youth on this year’s squad, it looked like this might be a rebuilding season for Coach Rhoades and the Lady Eagles.

But the 2014-2015 Lady Eagles weren’t rebuilding, they were just reloading.

Reeling off fifteen straight wins after Christmas, the Lady Eagles put an exclamation point on their regular season on Wednesday by defeating the Penns Valley Lady Rams 56-46 to claim back-to-back Mountain League titles.

“We achieved our first goal and now we’re on our way to our ultimate goal. It was the best feeling and I’m so proud of everyone”

— sophomore Alexis Cannistraci

“It was such an exciting atmosphere and everyone was pumped up and ready to go,” said sophomore Alexis Cannistraci. “Our defense was intense, we moved our feet well and got out to shooters. We worked so well as a team, we found the open girl when we needed to.”

The first score of the game came from Cannistraci, who was fouled on an offensive rebound.  She sunk both shots from the line and finished the quarter with six points.

Tyrone’s tough defense allowed them to hold a 10 point lead over the Lady Rams at the end of the first quarter.

Junior Finnley Christine started off the second quarter with a nice drive to the basket, followed by Marissa Sprankle who also shook off some defenders to get the score.

“The game was very intense. Nothing feels better than being the Mountain League champions, now it’s time to get ready for playoffs,” said Sprankle.

As the game progressed, it became more physical. Half of Tyrone’s 12 points came from the line in the second quarter.

With less than a second left in the half, Tyrone’s head coach Luke Rhoades was called for a technical after disputing a call.

Tyrone kept the lead going into the half 27-18.

Tyrone jumped out to a quick start after the half when Christine connected with sophomore Kasey Engle to set her up with a clear shot under the basket.

Christine also hit a vital 3-pointer and Tyrone ended the third quarter with a 40-28 lead.

The fourth quarter was filled with intense physical play as three of Penns Valley players fouled out.

With six minutes left in the game, the Lady Rams came back within eight points, and trailed no more than ten points for the rest of the quarter.

Twelve of Tyrone’s 16 points were from the foul line in the fourth quarter, but after Engle drained both free throws, the Lady Eagles knew they became the Mountain League champions.

“We achieved our first goal and now we’re on our way to our ultimate goal. It was the best feeling and I’m so proud of everyone,” said Cannistraci.

The Lady Eagles will play the winner of the Penns Valley and Philipsburg game on Monday, February 16 for their first playoff game. No date has yet been set.

Box Scores

TYRONE (56): Christine 4 3-3 12, Kemp 3 2-2 8, Sprankle 2 0-0 4, Gill 0 0-0 0, Engle 5 9-12 20, Cannistraci 3 3-4 9, Mountz 0 0-0 0, Wagner 0 0-0 0, Lehman 0 3-6 3.

Totals – 17 20-27 56.

PENNS VALLEY (46): Ripka 2 6-6 11, Ilgen 5 7-12 17, Swartz 0 0-0 0, Ironside 2 6-8 11, Orndorf 1 3-4 5, Miller 1 0-1 2.

Totals – 11 22-31 46.


Tyrone: 15 12 13 16 – 56

Penns Valley: 5 13 10 18 – 46

3-point goals: Tyrone 2 (Engle, Christine); Penns Valley 2 (Ironside, Ripka).

Records: Tyrone (18-4, 13-1 in Mountain League); Penns Valley (10-9, 9-3 in Mountain League).