Bulldogs fall to Montoursville, 60-32

KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY Montoursville's Josh Burger and Jersey Shore's Nate Ewing dive for the ball during the game Friday night in Jersey Shore.

By CHRIS MASSE

cmasse@sungazette.com

JERSEY SHORE–Brandon Good and Nate Ewing are good friends. Maybe that is why Good never left Ewing’s side Friday night. Or maybe it was because that is how Good defends opponents on a nightly basis.

The Montoursville forward might not look like a star when one views stat sheets, but he consistently delivers big-time performances and last night might have been his best. Good and Josh Burger took turns smothering Ewing, the area’s leading scorer, holding him without a field goal until the game’s final five seconds. Those two helped erase Ewing and made the Jersey Shore offense disappear in the process.

Good sparked the stifling defense, Burger carried it on and the offense efficiently executed as Montoursville dominated from the start and thumped Jersey Shore, 60-32. Austin Loe (18 points, 14 rebounds, 6 blocks) made a run at a triple-double, eight players scored at least six points and Good and Burger helped hold Ewing to four points as Montoursville (12-2) won its ninth straight game.

“I was pretty excited. Nate is one of my good friends and it’s always fun guarding someone that you know,” Good said. “He’s a great player so I had to stay on him all the time and never leave him.”

Good was anything but friendly and did that from the start as Montoursville led 16-5 after a quarter and built a 24-point lead by halftime. When Good needed a breather, Burger took over and emulated him. They were on Ewing as soon as he crossed midcourt, obstructed his shooting views and rarely let him get the ball back after passing. Ewing entered the game averaging 22.6 points, but Good and Burger held him to four with his only field goal coming on a steal and layup with five seconds remaining.

Burger also scored eight points and dealt three assists. Good scored four straight fourth-quarter points but he knows scoring is not his thing. The first-time starter has helped the defending District 4 Class AAAA champions keep rolling despite losing four starters from last year by playing stifling defense, passing well, rebounding effectively and doing so many little things right.

“I’m just glad my team appreciates the way I play,” Good said. “I don’t really care much about the boxscore. I just want to play my game and play to the best of my ability.”

“It’s a tremendous benefit to know we’re not going to stop the guy but we’re going to slow him down. He rebounds really well. he knows what he can do,” Montoursville coach Mike Mussina said. “He’s not trying to take shots that aren’t the type of shots he wants to shoot. He rebounds well and he does the stuff that doesn’t show up in the boxscore. You look in the paper and you think he didn’t do much, but he does a lot.”

Montoursville has many players doing a lot these days and the nine-game winning streak is its longest in the 2000s. The Warriors continue getting good balance and are as unselfish as they are talented. Montoursville displayed a smooth inside-outside game against Jersey Shore and had 19 assists on its 25 field goals. Loe is a difference-maker inside and the 6-foot-5 center scored 12 first-half points.

When the defense collapsed on Loe, he and his teammates kicked the ball out and Montoursville went to work outside. The Warriors hit five first-half 3-pointers and made 14 of 25 first-half shots while scoring 37 points. During the second half, Montoursville effectively moved the ball for 30 and 45-second intervals, setting up good shots inside and outside. Dylan Bower (10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists), Hunter Shearer (6 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) and Dillon Young (3 assists) saw the court well, while Burger, Jake Simms and Peyton Mussina (8 points, 5 rebounds) shined off the bench.

“It was a great team effort. We got the ball where it was supposed to go. We got it inside and used our height and they kicked it out and we hit some 3s,” Mussina said. “We spend a good amount of time making sure how we’re running it and making sure we get the screens we are supposed to get and making sure we get the shot that we want. It takes a while to get these guys to understand it’s not about whose scoring, it’s about winning the basketball game however we do it and all in all we played pretty well.”

Jersey Shore (5-9) started the season strong, recording a series of quality wins, but lost its eighth straight last night. The Warriors had Jersey Shore on the ropes early and the Bulldogs never recovered. Jersey Shore made just 5 of 25 first-half shots and never pulled closer than 19 in the second half.

Despite the loss, Jersey Shore still controls its own 4A playoff destiny. Eight of the 10 teams qualify and Jersey Shore is one of five teams that has five wins or fewer. It showed its potential early this season and could be dangerous again if it rediscovers that form.

“Our problem for the last few weeks is we cannot focus for four straight quarters,” Jersey Shore coach Scott Munro said. “We’re not the same team you saw at the beginning of the year. If we can just maintain our focus for four quarters we can get back to playing the way we were earlier in the year.”

With Good and Burger taking Ewing out, Jersey Shore never found an offensive rhythm. Tanner Lorson played a good game, scoring 11 points, grabbing six rebounds and making three steals. Trevor Gee added 10 points but not other Bulldog scored more than four points and Jersey Shore went 0 for 9 from behind the arc.

“Tanner Lorson plays hard all the time and plays well, but he’s not really a scorer, but he tries and puts that effort forth,” Munro said. “If we can get 8-9 guys to do that it would be great and we can get ourselves back on track.”

MONTOURSVILLE (60)

Austin Loe 8 2-2 18, Dylan Bower 4 2-2 10, Dillon Young 3 0-0 6, Hunter Shearer 2 0-0 6, Brandon Good 2 0-0 4, Eddie Rodriguez 0 0-0 0, Peyton Mussina 3 0-0 8, Jake Simms 0 0-2 0, Josh Burger 3 0-0 8. Totals 25 4-6 60.

JERSEY SHORE (32)

Nate Ewing 1 2-2 4, Tanner Lorson 5 1-1 11, Trevor Gee 4 2-6 10, Sean Anderson 0 0-0 0, Alec Carpenter 2 0-0 4, Eli Fishel 1 0-0 2, Cayden Hess 0 1-2 1, Aaron Best 0 0-0 0, Terrence Stetts 0 0-0 0, Cameron Holt 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 5-11 32.

Montoursville 16 21 8 15–60

Jersey Shore 5 8 12 7–32

3-pointers: Montoursville 6 (Shearer 2, Mussina 2, Burger 2).

Records: Montoursville 12-2. Jersey Shore 5-9.

JV Score: Montoursville 60-56, OT

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