HUGHESVILLE – One day after going through physical agony, Tristan Gallick experienced euphoria. He lived a player’s dream and made a spectacular last-second basket, winning the game, helping Jersey Shore win a thriller.
Really, though, Gallick was just thrilled because Jersey Shore won. A team with all the pieces to be a District title contender had lost five straight games, but the way they hit back Wednesday against Wyalusing could provide both a launching pad and a springboard. If so, what is the way to start this journey home. And that journey started with the return from the Jersey Shore and got out of a big hole.
A day after battling stomach flu, Gallick scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and pierced the winning 3-point with 8.3 seconds left as Jersey Shore erased a 17-point halftime deficit and stunned reigning District 4 Class AA champion Wyalusing, 57-54 at the Christmas tournament Bill Babcock. All the Bulldogs put on strong second-half performances and Jersey Shore (2-5) reached the championship Thursday against Hughesville.
“I didn’t even care if I had zero points. I don’t care. I just care about winning ”, said Gallick. “We just need to get something going so this was the perfect opportunity. It was good. It’s a change of momentum for sure.
“Maybe we found something with this. It could be that something we need. I hope that’s what it is ”, Jersey Shore coach Scott Munro said. “I tell these guys all the time, I believe in their talent.”
That talent, along with determination and conviction, shone in a second half in which Jersey Shore edged Wyalusing, 37-17. The Bulldogs built up the defense, using an all-field press and began to chop in the third quarter, shooting to less than eight points before the fourth. Then, after struggling offensively for three quarters, Jersey Shore really woke up, scored 24 points and connected on 5 of the 7 3 points.
Gallick led the charge.
The main playmaker spent much of Tuesday throwing up and was nowhere near 100% on Wednesday. He was held scoreless in the first half before scoring four in the third quarter. He then shook off the first few fights, left his illness behind and dominated the final eight minutes. Gallick missed just two shots in the fourth quarter and calmly gutted both ends of a 1 and 1 at the foul line, tying the game 54-54 with 78 seconds left.
After Damian McAllister rebounded from Wyalusing’s failed 3-point attempt, Jersey Shore called the time-out at the 54-second mark. The Bulldogs patiently worked the ball and called for another time-out 18 seconds later. They then produced a close shot in front of the basket, but it exploded. Alert, Spencer Brion rushed past the ball, bounced it and spotted Gallick on the left wing. Gallick never hesitated and swept the match winner with 8.3 seconds left.
Wyalusing had a tied shot in the final four seconds, but Damian Williams had a free entry pass and Jersey Shore picked up a game-changing victory.
“When he (Brion) got the rebound I already knew he would see me. He’s good at finding people, so I knew I had to take this shot and was lucky he came in. said Gallick. “We fought in every game. We start slowly, but we always defend ourselves. It’s just something where we have to stop doing this. If we play the whole game like we did in the second half, we can win any game.
Gallick scored his 17 points in the second half and added four assists and two steals. He had 16 of the team’s 24 points, also handing out an assist to Cayden Hess who drained a 3-point that brought Jersey Shore down to two points two minutes into the start of the fourth quarter.
“Tristan went for a run over there. I keep telling him that he doesn’t understand how dynamic he is and how much he is our engine. He kicks us off and even if he doesn’t score, if he just puts pressure on the defenses and attacks the defenses, it helps us to move forward. Munro said. “We are not as good on offense as when he is attacking. He makes us work.
Everything started to work in the second half. The Bulldogs wreaked havoc on their press and forced 10 turnovers, including six in the fourth quarter. They played hard and selflessly, working for good shots and showing solid indoor-outdoor play.
Williams (12 points, 9 rebounds) was eye-catching in the fourth quarter, scoring five points behind and converting a 3-point play to bring the score to 53-52 with 1:35 to go. McAllister provided 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench and did a critical steal after Wyalusing started on a 5-0 run and built a six-point lead with three minutes remaining. Hess scored two 3 points in the fourth quarter and added seven rebounds off the bench while Kaimen West played solid defense and Kyle Mundrick added a key 3 point as Jersey Shore started moving in the third quarter.
Every player had their part in the comeback and that made this victory particularly gratifying.
“We don’t want one person to score all the time” said Gallick. “We want everyone to ride. “
Jersey Shore really rolled in the last three minutes, beating Wyalusing 10-1. Williams scored five straight points after Wyalusing rose six. After Kashawn Cameron’s free throw gave Wyalusing the lead, Gallick was fouled and his free throws tied the score. Jersey Shore forced a long shot on the Rams’ next possession and gave up just seven field goals in the second half.
“The thing we have to hang our hat on was our defensive effort in the second half. We have really struggled to be fundamentally strong in defense all year and I think in the second half we are finally where we should be.
Grayden Cobb 7 2-3 16, Blake Morningstar 12 5-7 29, Kashawn Cameron 0 1-2 1, Abram Bennett 2 0-0 5, Hunter Moss 1 0-0 3. Totals 22 8-12 54.
RIVE JERSEY (57)
Tristan Gallick 6 2-2 17, Damian McCallister 5 0-2 10, Damian Williams 5 2-7 12, Owen Bloom 1 1-2 3, Cayden Hess 3 0-0 9, Mason Miller 0 0-0 0, Kyle Mundrick 1 0-0 3, Kaimen West 0 0-1 0, Karter Peacock 0 0-0 0, Spencer Brion 1 0-0 3. Totals 22 5-14 57.
Wyalusing 14 23 4 13ä54
Jersey Shore 11 9 13 24ä57
3 points: Wyalusing 2 (Bennett, Moss); Jersey Shore 8 (Gallick 3, Hess 3, Mundrick, Brion).
Records: Jersey Shore 2-5. Wyalusing 4-3.