Bulldogs move on in AAAA quarterfinals
SHAMOKIN — Jersey Shore surrendered a late 3 as time expired in the second quarter to fall into a 12-point hole entering halftime. But once they entered locker room the message was clear: defense was going to lift the Bulldogs back into the game.
The defense helped surge Jersey Shore in the third quarter as the Bulldogs won, 69-56, in the District 4 Class AAAA quarterfinals at Shamokin.
“In the first half I thought we really didn’t do a good job at all on the defensive end, and that’s all we talked about in the locker room at halftime,” Jersey Shore coach Scott Munro said. “We said ‘let’s get back to the basics and exactly what we talked about at practice and focused on all week.'”
The Bulldog squad heeded their coach’s advice and transformed into a stingy-defensive squad in the third. The unit surrendered just four points in the period, after allowing 24 points in the previous quarter, en route to a second-half beatdown and win.
“We were hungry and we wanted to win this game, and we weren’t trying to end (our season) here,” Jersey Shore’s Nate Ewing said. “We wanted to at least get a couple more wins out of it and get what we can get.”
Ewing was a juggernaut on the offensive side of the ball and posted a game-high 29 points. He struggled early in the night and was limited to just two points in the opening period, but once he caught fire he ignited the squad and bamboozled the Shamokin defense.
“Nate’s obviously our leading scorer and does a really good job,” Munro said of Ewing. “Sometimes I have to get on him to be more aggressive, but when he’s aggressive it’s really tough to guard him. I thought after the first he did a super job of keeping us in the game when we were not defending well.
“And then in the second half he did a good job of continuing to attack and attack and get everything he wanted.”
Ewing’s dynamic-scoring ability warranted double teams on the floor, and he exploited Shamokin’s aggressiveness with excellent-ball movement to facilitate the offense. No player benefited more than Trevor Gee, who quietly had a dominant game with 20 points– with all 20 in the second half.
“He’s kind of the glue that keeps us together,” Munro said of Gee. “Everybody knows about Nate and what he can do, but Trevor’s very similar. He maybe has less of an outside shot, but Trevor runs the floor in transition really well and he defends really well. He’s kind of the guy who keeps it together on both ends for us and I thought he did a phenomenal job tonight for us.”
Gee’s second-half surge helped eradicate Jersey Shore’s deficit in game’s final 16 minutes, but when the team trailed in the second period Ewing was the one who sparked the group. He scored ten consecutive points in the period for the Bulldogs, and had it not been for his efficiency Shamokin may have ran away with the game by halftime.
“I was just confident out there,” Ewing said. “Coach just kept telling me to attack the rim and that’s what I tried to do tonight. I think we all stepped up as a team coming into it, and I’m just glad we got that win.”
Jersey Shore 69, Shamokin 56
JERSEY SHORE (69)
Damian Williams 1 1-2 3, Terrance Stetts 0 1-2 1, Tanner Lorson 1 4-7 6, Nate Ewing 9 9-13 29, Alec Carpenter 1 1-2 4, Trevor Gee 9 0-2 20, Cayden Hess 3 0-0 6
Joe Masser 2 3-6 7, Matt Schiccatano 3 2-4 8, Joey Tarr 2 0-0 6, Mason Filarski 6 3-5 16, Colin Seedor 3 1-1 8, Brent Reed 4 2-3 11
Jersey Shore 6 18 22 19 — 69
Shamokin 12 24 4 16 — 56
3-point goals: Jersey Shore 5 (Ewing 2, Gee 2, Carpenter 1), Shamokin 5 (Tarr 2, Filarski 1, Reed 1, Seedor 1).