B-A/Tyrone Part 2: Running back a rivalry

This time, there’s way more at stake than Backyard Brawl pride


Emily Wagner

Ana Hollen will have a major hand in tonight’s game, on offense and defense.

Sapphire McCready, Sports Editor

When the Lady Blue Devils and the Lady Golden Eagles first met earlier in the season it was for the pride.

Tonight the Lady Blue Devils and the Lady Golden Eagles are meeting once again in the District 6- AA semifinals.  This game is NOT just a little rivalry game.  It’s even bigger. This is an all or nothing game that means everything.

The winner of the District 6-AA semifinals plays the winner between Bishop McCort and Westmont-Hilltop in the championship on Saturday at Saint Francis in Loretto.

If you thought everyone was pumped for the first game that the Lady Blue Devils met up with the Lady Golden Eagles, come see Round 2.

Even both girls’ teams’ coaches know it’s going to be an exciting game.

“It’s the District semifinals so it’s exciting,” said Lady Blue Devil coach Jim Swaney. “Certainly the excitement rises because it’s a rivalry.  Kids on both sides are looking forward to it. It should be a great night.”

Lady Golden Eagle coach Luke Rhoades said, “It should be an exciting atmosphere for girls on both teams.”

The Lady Blue Devils are the Number 2 seed in the tournament.  They are currently 23-1, with their only loss coming in a tournament against Blairsville the second game of the season.  Since their loss to Blairsville they have won 22 games in a row.

The Lady Eagles are the Number 3 seed in the District with a record of 19-4.  Tyrone has won 15 games in a row and their last loss was December 26.  The Lady Golden Eagles lost to Bellwood 65-47 in December.

The Lady Blue Devils have several players known for their scoring.  Sophomore Karson Swogger gets an average of 19 points per game and senior Ana Hollen gets an average of 18 points per game. Senior Kelly Leamer chips in with 13 points per game.

The Lady Eagles also have their fair share of good players.  Their top two scorers are Kasey Engle, who scores 21 points per game, and Finnley Christine, who gets 13 points per game.

Both girls’ teams are going to be watching out for the other team’s best players and both are excited for tonight’s game.

“We’d be excited no matter who we played, but it adds to it that it’s a rivalry this late in Playoffs,” said Kelly Leamer.

Leamer also offered some advice defending Tyrone’s top scorer, a job that will most likely fall on the UPJ-bound Hollen.

“We’ll probably go man and be in help defense and try not to bail out with fouls,” said Leamer.