Tyrone wins its second consecutive Kiwanis Tournament; Brooks named tourney MVP

Tyrone’s Blake Brooks and Anthony Politiza were both named to the All-Tourney team, with brooks taking MVP honors.

Tyrone took down two tough out of league teams to win the fourth annual Reliance Bank-Kiwanis annual Holiday tournament at Tyrone High School on December 29th and 30th.

Tyrone beat Penn Cambria 77-53 in the first round of the tournament and defeated Chestnut Ridge in the championship game, 72-59.

“Chestnut Ridge is a high quality team, and for us to beat them in the fashion that we did it was pretty impressive,” said Head Coach George Gripp. “their size really scared me a bit, but these boys came out and rebounded the heck out of the ball.”

Tyrone had to play the first game of the tournament verses Penn Cambria without their starting guard Nathaniel “Pooky” Soellner.

Soellner received two technical fouls in Tyrone’s previous game against Clearfield on December 19th. By PIAA rules if a player receives two technical fouls and is ejected from a game they are not permitted to play in the next regulation game.

However, freshman Parker Mitchell filled in admirably for Soellner at guard, scoring 10 points on Monday night.

“It wasn’t fun sitting out the first game against Penn Cambria. I was rooting for us to win that game,” said Soellner.

Tyrone played good defense and had an electrifying inside game against the Panthers with Junior big man Anthony Politza scoring a career high 36 points.

“I have to thank my guards for my huge numbers on Monday night,” said Politza, “they moved the ball well and found me for lay-ups.”

As Tyrone was busy winning their first game of the tournament, so was Chestnut Ridge as they defeated Tyrone’s rival Bellwood Antis 67-65.

The Blue Devils had a chance to tie the game at the end of regulation, but Nathan Davis’s lay up was blocked just as time expired.

On Tuesday the Blue Devils played the consolation game against Penn Cambria and were defeated 65-50. Penn Cambria placed 3rd in the tournament.

In the championship game against Chestnut Ridge, Tyrone started hot and never let up, winning 72-59.

Within the first two minutes of play starting guard Blake Brooks had the team’s first 10 points, hitting two threes early. Brooks finished with 21 points.

“Defense was the motor. It really gave me opportunities to score in transition,” said Brooks.

Brooks was named the Tournament MVP with 34 total tournament points. He received a plaque for his accomplishment.

“I was shocked when I was announced as MVP. I really think Anthony Politza deserved it more than me,” said Brooks.

Anthony Politza also was a selected as a member of the all-tournament team. He also received a plaque along with other Bellwood Chestnut ridge players for their accomplishments.

“Winning the all-Tourney team wasn’t something I thought about coming into the tournament,” said Politza.

The Eagles managed to bring home its second consecutive Kiwanis tournament trophy.

Tyrone’s next game is away at Bellefonte on Tuesday the 6th. Tip-off is at 7:00pm.