TYRONE - Tyrone's Brandon Gripp wears No. 3, which seems rather appropriate considering he's been dropping 3-pointers on opposing teams all season.
The junior guard drained seven more treys Saturday night on his way to 32 points in a 77-53 win over Bald Eagle Area that pulled the Golden Eagles into a first place tie atop the Mountain League standings.
Bald Eagle entered the game unbeaten in the Mountain League play at 11-0 and 17-1 overall. Bald Eagle previously beat Tyrone by four points last month.
If the two teams finished the season tied, they will share the league championship.
"We've had this game circled for awhile now. We knew if we wanted to be co-champions we had to get this game," Tyrone coach George Gripp said. "It was an unbelievable effort on both offense and defense."
Bald Eagle's top scorer Dennis Fisher entered the game averaging 17 points per game. Tyrone held the senior center to just six points with a very active 2-1-2 zone defense that collapsed on Fisher every time he touched the ball.
"We have a lot of quick, athletic kids who really get after it. Defense and rebounding were the keys to this win," Gripp said.
Fisher's first basket did not come until late in the third quarter.
"We didn't have the opportunity to get him the ball much, and when we did, it was in bad situations," Bald Eagle coach Bill Butterworth said. "They did a good job pinning him underneath the rim. Our guards weren't able to get him the ball in a good position to score."
Jordan Miller added 14 points for Tyrone, and Preston Mitchell had a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Mitchell entered the game earlier than normal when Anthony Politza got hit in the face by a stray in the opening minute of play.
"We had to call on Preston early, and he was ready to go," Gripp said. "He did a good job rebounding the ball and getting us a few easy scores."
"I just need to be ready and step up when I get in there," Mitchell added.
Tyrone took complete control of the game late in the first half. Leading by four with less than two minutes left in second quarter, Tyrone rattled off eight straight points for a 27-15 lead at the break.
Gripp sank a 3-pointer with a minute to go and Jacob Belinda followed with a bucket. Gripp then scored on the fast break to finish out the half.
It was just a small preview of what was to come as the Golden Eagles erupted for 50 points in the second half.
Gripp kept Tyrone rolling with back-to-back 3s early in the third quarter. His 3-pointer from the top of the key near the end of the period put Tyrone ahead 53-31.
In between, Gripp was busy setting up his teammates with four assists in the quarter, and seven for the game.
"Brandon's very unselfish. When his teammates are open, he'll get them the ball," George Gripp said. "He was hitting the outside shot, driving to the basket, picking apart the defense."
BALD EAGLE AREA (53): Bryan Greene 2 2-3 7, Gettig 3 3-3 9, Bryce Greene 2 0-0 4, Dyke 3 2-2 10, Fisher 2 2-2 6, Romine 0 0-0 0, Cingle 1 5-6 7, Schall 2 0-0 6, Carolus 0 1-2 1, Riley 1 0-0 3. Totals - 16 15-18 53.
TYRONE (77): Ingle 0 0-0 0, Wagner 1 1-2 3, Gripp 12 3-4 32, Politza 3 1-1 7, Miller 4 1-1 14, Mitchell 6 0-0 12, Belinda 3 0-0 6, McKeehen 0 0-0 0, Soellner 0 0-0 0, Lingafelt 0 1-2 1, Brooks 1 0-0 2. Totals - 29 7-10 77.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bald Eagle Area10 5 16 22 - 53
Tyrone11 16 26 24 - 77
3-point goals: Bald Eagle Area 6 (Bryan Greene, Dyke 2, Schall 2, Riley); Tyrone 9 (Gripp 7, Miller 2).
Records: Bald Eagle Area (11-1 ML, 17-2 overall); Tyrone (11-1 ML, 15-4 overall).
JV: 61-38, Tyrone. High scorers-Schall 15 (BEA); Soellner 24 (T).