Tyrone gets knocked off by Bellwood in season opener

Meredith leads the Eagles with 14 in loss to Blue Devils

Anthony Politza closes out on the shot.

The Tyrone boys’ varsity basketball team opened on a sour note, losing 73-62 at Bellwood-Antis High School on Friday in the annual hardwood version of the Backyard Brawl.

After losing to Tyrone by 10 in last year’s Brawl, the Blue Devils were confident and looking for revenge.  The Devils returned four of five starters from last season, including area standout Nathan Davis, while the Eagles lost four of five starters from last year’s Mountain League championship team, so the Blue Devils were definitely the favorite coming into the game.

We came out flat in the third quarter and it cost us”

— senior Zack Soellner

The first quarter started out slow with both teams fighting hard under the basket. It ended with  the underdog Eagles up 17-14. Tyrone was on and off throughout the first half winning the first quarter and then losing the second 16-12.  Tyrone went into the half down by only one, 30-29.

However, the Blue Devils came out swinging after halftime, scoring 23 points and only allowing eight.

“We came out flat in the third quarter and it cost us,” said senior guard Zack Soellner.

Tyrone shot back in the fourth scoring 25 points while limiting the Blue Devils to 20 points. But that wasn’t enough for the win as Bellwood pulled off the 73-62 victory.

Tyrone had several players in foul trouble early, including senior Anthony Politza, who spent time on the bench early after picking up two fouls in the first half.  The Eagles were also charged with three technical fouls in the game.

Sophomore Jake Meredith got his first varsity start and led his team in scoring with 14. Right behind him with 13 points was sophomore teammate Dylan Thomas.

“It was definitely overwhelming. The atmosphere in the gym was amazing,” said Meredith.

Both teams showed plenty talent. The Blue Devils Nathan Davis scored 24 points, out scoring all players on either teams.

“We had a makeshift line up and had a lot of kids that aren’t used to playing together and that showed. I am proud of these guys, they played their hearts out to the very end,” said Head Coach George Gripp.

“They played four quarters and we only played three,” added sophomore Dylan Thomas, who scored 13, including three from beyond the arc in his varsity debut.

The Eagles next game is a Mountain League conference game this Wednesday at Phillipsburg. Tipoff is at 7:00pm.

TYRONE (62): Soellner 2 0-0 6, Meredith 4 5-7 14, G. Weaver 2 2-6 7, A. Weaver 2 2-2 6, Lewis 1 1-1 3, Thomas 3 4-4 13, Light 0 0-2 0, A. Politza 2 1-2 5, Anderson 2 0-0 6, N. Politza 0 0-0 0, Ferguson 0 2-2 2. Totals – 17 17-26 62.

BELLWOOD-ANTIS (73): Davis 4 14-18 24, Burch 2 1-3 7, Padula 9 1-4 21, McGee 0 0-2 0, Taneyhill 7 2-2 16, D’Angelo 1 0-0 2, Walker 1 0-2 3, Wood 0 0-0 0, Engle 0 0-0 0, Worthing 0 0-0 0, Aiken 0 0-0 0. Totals – 24 18-31 73.


Tyrone: 17 12 8 25 – 62

Bellwood-Antis: 14 16 23 20 – 73

3-point goals: Tyrone 9 (Thomas 3, Soellner 2, Anderson 2, Meredith, G. Weaver); Bellwood-Antis 7 (Davis 2, Burch 2, Padula 2, Walker).

Records: Tyrone (0-1); Bellwood-Antis (1-0).

JV: Tyrone, 40-30. High scorers-Gary Weaver, T, 15; Trent Walker, BA, 15.