Hannah Kauffman’s buzzer beater sends Shore to state tournament
By SHAREIK FLOWERS
SUNBURY- Trailing 56-54, with 3.3 seconds remaining on the clock, everyone in the gym knew the Jersey Shore Bulldogs would commit to Hannah Kauffman for the game’s final shot.
Following a Shamokin free throw, Aubrey Stetts inbounded the ball to mid court where Haley Stetts tipped the throw-in. Kauffman quickly corralled the loose ball and launched a long-range three pointer that banked off the backboard and fell through the net to lift Jersey Shore over Shamokin, 57-56.
Kauffman was confident the shot would land the second she released the ball.
“It felt good,” Kauffman explained. “You just get some of those shots that feel good right when it leaves your hand, and I banked it in as time expired.”
Kauffman’s late-game heroics increased Jersey Shore’s record to 13-12, but more importantly secured Shore a berth in the state tournament.
“I’m very excited,” Jersey Shore coach Darrin Bischof said of the win. “That was a battle to the end. They really fought, battled, wanted this one and it was just a great win against a good Shamokin team.”
Aubrey Stetts recorded a game-high 21 points and recorded six rebounds. She converted 9-of-13 foul shots as her aggressive play saw her shoot Jersey Shore’s first 12 free throws of the game. Bischof praised Stetts’ performance following the win.
“That was the best game Aubrey Stetts has played all year,” Bischof said. “We needed a point guard to run the show, and she’s not even a point guard. So for her to step up and do the things that she did in the first half was awesome. I’m very proud of her.”
Stetts’ game-high 21 points were pivotal as Kauffman went scoreless in the first half, and didn’t record her first bucket until 2:30 remaining in the third to extend Shore’s lead, 37-30. Kauffman finished the evening with nine points as six athletes recorded figures for Shore.
“Tonight we played one of our best games both mentally and physically, and we all clicked,” Kauffman said. “We were moving the ball really well, just playing a team-game and no one was selfish. We were getting boards and controlling the ball. It was just an all-out performance.”
Jersey Shore and Shamokin were knotted 10-10 after the first, before the Bulldogs exploded for 19 in the second. Aubrey and Haley Stetts combined for eights points to open the quarter as JS built up an 18-10 lead. Aubrey scored 10 of Jersey Shore’s 19 -second quarter points as the Bulldogs entered intermission ahead, 29-21.
Shamokin out-scored Shore, 16-12, in the third as Sophie Rossnock and Kaitlyn Dunn began to take over the game for the Indians. Rossnock and Dunn posted 12 of Shamokin’s 16 points in the period as they cut Jersey Shore’s lead, 41-37, entering the fourth.
The Bulldogs built a 45-40 lead in the fourth before a 6-0 rally by the Indians saw them claim their first lead of the game, 46-45. Jersey Shore responded when Kauffman delivered an assist to Reba Lorson to regain the lead, 47-46. Both teams then traded buckets before Shamokin built a 54-49 lead.
Bischof quickly called a timeout with his team trailing by five with 50 seconds remaining. Immediately after the break, Kauffman connected with Aubrey Stetts under the basket for a score. Stetts was hacked on the field goal attempt and completed the three-point play, cutting Shore’s deficit, 54-52.
Following a Shamokin free throw attempt, Aubrey Stetts recorded another basket with 8.3 seconds remaining to bring Shore within one of tying the game.
Jersey Shore intentionally fouled Shamokin’s Kaitlyn Dunn on the ensuing possession. Dunn converted her first foul shot, but a lane-violation wiped away the score. Dunn’s second attempt sent Shamokin ahead 56-54 with 3.3 remaining on the clock
Shamokin’s lane-violation proved to be costly. On Jersey Shore’s next possession Kauffman hit the game-winner near mid court. Had Shamokin not committed the lane violation, Kauffman’s shot would’ve sent the game into overtime.
“This is a really awesome feeling,” Kauffman said. “We have a lot of young girls, so as a senior to hit that shot, and get us one more game at least, is a great feeling. To have one more week with these girls, as a senior, is unbelievable.”
Jersey Shore (13-12) returns Saturday to face the No. 2 seed out of District 2, Lake Lehman.
Jersey Shore 57, Shamokin 56
JS 10 19 12 16- 57
SH 10 11 16 19 -56
Jersey Shore: Aubrey Stetts 6 9-13 21, Sadie Griswold 4 2-4 10, Hannah Kauffman 4 0-0 9, Reba Lorson 3 0-0 6, Brielle Hess 3 0-0 6, Haley Stetts 2 0-0 5.
Shamokin: Sohpie Rossnock 6 6-8 20, Kaitlyn Dunn 5 5-7 18, Chloe Yoder 1 6-6 8, Lydia Deptula 2 0-0 4, Emma Tomcavage 1 0-2 2, Grace Nazih 1 0-0 2, Lauren Wagner 1 0-0 2.
Three Point Shots
Jersey Shore 2 (Kauffman 1, Haley Stetts 1)
Shamokin 5 (Dunn 3, Rossnock 2)