Tyrone Boys Open at Home vs. Bellwood on Saturday


Ellie Oakes

Ross Gampe

The new-look Tyrone boys basketball team will begin their 2022-23 season when they take on Bellwood on Saturday afternoon at home.

Despite being young, the team expects to be competitive and vie for the final Mountain League title this year before the switch to the Laurel Highlands next year.

”We will surprise a lot of people. A lot of teams think that last year was our last chance to have a good team,” said sophomore starter Drew Escala. “Coach Gripp has been building us into a better team since the start of summer, practicing daily.”

We will surprise a lot of people. A lot of teams think that last year was our last chance to have a good team

— Drew Escala

Tyrone lost four senior starters to graduation in 2022. However, up-and-coming sophomores Drew Escala, Ashton Walk, Samuel Crilly, and Kendall Lehner will add depth to returning starter Ross Gampe and letter winners Zac LeGars and Dravyn Crowell.

The starting five for the Golden Eagles on Saturday will be LeGars, Gampe, Escala, Walk, and Crowell.

Despite their youth, the team has a lot of experience and has played together since a very young age. The chemistry between each player is there and continues to grow.

Also returning to the team from the 2020 season is Tyrone alum, Brandon Lucas.  Lucas is the new assistant coach under head coach George Gripp. Lucas will be a big help to the underclassmen since he has been playing on this team since he was young and is very familiar with the team.

Bellwood hasn’t beaten Tyrone in several years and all signs point to another Backyard Brawl win this season.

“We will come into this game as if it’s a state playoff game. We are confident in winning this game, we will be playing fast and we will be playing hard. We don’t care what the score is, we are running the Blue Devils back to Bellwood,” said Escala.

Varsity will take over the home court for tip-off at 3 pm.  They will then host Hollidaysburg on Monday for their second game of the season.