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Jersey Shore dominated in all facets in win over Midd-West

Peyton Dincher of Jersey Shore puts up a shot against Midd-west in the first quarter at Jersey Shore High School Friday evening. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

JERSEY SHORE — Making one more pass was the Jersey Shore mantra Friday night against Midd-West. And what a successful one it was.

Time after time, Jersey Shore made that extra pass, effectively worked the ball inside and outside and players took turns setting each other up for good shots. Jersey Shore dominated all facets, dealt assists on 17 of 21 field goals, scored the game”s first 28 points and defeated Midd-West, 52-19. The Bulldogs (7-5, 5-3 HAC-I) won their third straight game and one of the area’s youngest teams continues growing up fast.

The points piled up fast, too. This was a performance as complete as it was spectacular with 11 players scoring. All 15 players coach Darrin Bischof used did something to land on the stat sheet and Jersey Shore led 24-0 after one quarter.

“Even (Thursday) night (against Sullivan County) we preached one more. We want to make that extra pass and get everybody involved and then we’re going to be tougher to beat,” Bischof said. “I said before the game that is the key. If we can push the pace and make one more pass we’ll be successful. I don’t mind if someone scores 20 but I want others involved and then it gets tougher to defend us.”

It certainly was Friday. Five players scored during the first-quarter eruption when Jersey Shore made 9 of 15 shots and built a 24-0 advantage. The Bulldogs feasted inside, but also hit two 3-pointers and excelled in transition. That continued in the second quarter and the Bulldogs were up 28-0 less than three minutes in. By halftime they led 40-5 and were well on the way to a fourth victory in five games.

Peyton Dincher of Jersey Shore puts up a shot against Midd-west in the first quarter at Jersey Shore High School Friday evening. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

This was another step forward for an ascending team which has made massive strides after going 3-15 last season. Jersey Shore is getting better each game and showed its progress against a team which gave it a battle early this season.

“I think we’re at the point in the season where we all work together really well. It was just the little things we weren’t doing at the beginning of the season,” junior forward Rachel Lorson said after hitting nothing but net on all three of her shots and scoring seven points. “Now we’re putting all the puzzle pieces together.”

“We’re working really well for that one more (shot),ã freshman Peyton Dincher said. “It’s a good feeling. We’re just going to keep building.”

Dincher scored a game-high 15 points and made nine steals in less than three quarters. The freshman is a versatile threat who is letting the game come to her now and she has five assists the past two games. Dincher is quick and sees the court well, but it is her shooting which stood out the past two nights.

After making a program-record eight 3-pointers Thursday at Sullivan County, Dincher picked up where she left off and made her first three against Midd-West. In six quarters bridging the two contests, Dincher went 11 for 15 from behind the arc and scored 43 points in those games.

Jocelyn McCracken of Jersey Shore puts up a shot against Midd-west Friday evening at Jersey Shore High School. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

“I’ve felt pretty good,” Dincher said. “I felt locked in.”

The whole team is locking in as well and Jersey Shore made 63 percent of its first-half shots. Nobody forced anything either. The ball moved fast as the players and Jersey Shore frequently produced good shots while also playing stellar defense and forcing 15 first-half turnovers.

Eight players scored by halftime and Jersey Shore piled up 11 first-half assists with every player making a positive impact on both ends.

“We couldn’t last year, but this year we can focus on each game team by team,” Lorson said. “We can prepare in practices and then execute during the games.”

Jersey Shore continued executing well throughout the third quarter, pushing its lead to 39 entering the final eight minutes. Jocelyn McCraken was a tough matchup inside, scoring eight points and dealing four assists. She and Celia Shemory controlled the paint in the first quarter and scored 12 of Jersey Shore’s 24 points. Freshman point guard Cailyn Schall added four assists, Devon Walker grabbed four rebounds and nine players produced assists.

DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette Sophia Kauffman of Jersey Shore and Sage Phillips of Midd-west both try to gain possession of a loose ball.

The more experience this team has gained, the better it has played. This is becoming a well-rounded group and defenses are having a harder time picking a strategy than a month ago when defending it. Put it all together and Jersey Shore, a team which handed Selinsgrove its first league loss a few weeks ago, is looking mighty dangerous in the District 4 Class AAAA field.

“Selinsgrove was a really big win for us,” Lorson said. “It really turned us around.”

“I feel like they’re more comfortable. Offensively it feels like where we need to be. They can play off the play instead of letting the play dictate what they do. I think that’s been working really well,” Bischof said. “It’s been good basketball four out of the last five games.”

Jersey Shore opens a stretch next week against teams which defeated it earlier this season. The Bulldogs are excited to show the growth they have made. Time will tell what the results are, but this is a much different team than the one that lost those December games.

It is an ongoing process for a young team, but it is an exciting one. The Bulldogs ferociously compete each game and have proven quick learners. They are making the extra pass and taking some big steps.

DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette Sophia Stover of Jersey Shore steals the ball from Samantha Zechman of Midd-west in the first half.

“I don’t think they ever lacked confidence; it was just they’re so young they get down on themselves quickly,” Bischof said. “I told them we’re going to have ups and downs throughout the season. It’s a matter of battling you’re way out of them. They listen and they play hard and that’s a key to success. It’s a recipe that you need and I’m tickled to death with the way they’re playing.”

MIDD-WEST (19)

Chloe Sauer 1 2-2 4, Carmyn Markley 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Heckman 0 0-0 0, Sage Phillips 2 0-0 4, Samantha Zechman 1 0-0 2, McKennin Voss 1 0-0 2, Sara Walter 2 0-0 5, Lana Kratzer 1 0-0 2. Totals 8 2-2 19.

JERSEY SHORE (52)

Peyton Dincher 4 4-4 15, Jocelyn McCracken 3 2-2 8, Celia Shemory 3 0-0 6, Devon Walker 0 0-0 0, Natalie Haight 1 0-2 2, Cailyn Schall 1 0-0 2, Rachel Lorson 3 0-0 7, Sophia Kauffman 1 0-0 2, Sophia Stover 1 0-0 2, Jaymison Stellfox 1 0-0 2, Katrina King 0 0-0 0, Paige Wheary 1 0-0 2, Rayne Herritt 0 0-0 0, Falasha Gallman 2 0-0 4, Hannah Heaton 0 0-0 0, Isabella Fleegle 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 6-8 52.

Midd-West 0 5 4 10 — 19

Jersey Shore 24 16 8 4 — 52

3-point goals: Midd-West 1 (Walter); Jersey Shore 4 (Dincher 3, Lorson).

Records: Jersey Shore (7-5, 5-3).

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