JERSEY SHORE - Jersey Shore head coach Butch Barnhart knew he wasn't going to be able to mix it up in the paint with most teams this winter.
Employing a spirited, fast-paced approach to the game, Barnhart and his crew have now won four in a row, including Tuesday night's 59-54 victory over Selinsgrove in a HAC-I contest.
"Things are working real well for us right now," said Barnhart. "The kids are adapting into the team concept and we are getting a lot of effort from some of our non-starters. We struggle a little bit on defense at times, but the good thing is that we are getting better with each game."
After dropping three of their first four games of the season, the Bulldogs are on a roll as they have now won five of their last six games.
"I guess we are on a roll right now," said Barnhart. "I am starting all underclassmen and they are really picking it up. The seniors who are on the bench are adjusting to the system and they are coming off the bench and giving us a lot of good minutes. When they do that, it makes our bench stronger than it might have been."
A close look at the game scoring pretty much tells the story. The Seals outscored the Bulldogs 23-21 from the field, but Shore made good on 15 of 26 attempts from the free throw line, while the Seals only went to the charity stripe 10 times, making only four.
Tyler Fulkrod led Shore (6-4, 3-1) with 13 points, while Cody Confair and Zach Miller scored 12.
For Selinsgrove (3-5, 2-2) sharp-shooter Dillon Hoke led all scorers with 20 points, and counting three treys in his game total.
When several of the starters on a team have a less than productive game, winning or losing can depend on how the players off the bench produce and for Shore, those efforts were key.
"That is the team concept we preach to them all the time," said Barnhart. "When one guy is down, someone else has to pick him up. We don't have just one or two go-to guys who are going to give us 18 or 20 points a game consistently.
The game was about as close as it could have been in the opening period with the scoreboard showing three ties and seven lead changes until Selinsgrove held a 17-16 lead at the first turn.
Shore gained a little separation in the first four minutes of the second quarter to take a 27-22 lead, but the Seals again battled back to cut the Shore lead to 34-31 at halftime.
In direct contrast to the fast-pace and high-scoring of the first two periods, the third quarter saw the two teams only combine for 13 points with the Bulldogs still clinging to a slim lead at 40-38. In the period, Miller scored all of Shore's points on three field goals.
Selinsgrove, behind the efforts of Bobby Lamont, scrapped its way back into a tie at 50-all with slightly less than three minutes left in the game.
During the final eight minutes, it was Fulkrod who kept the Bulldogs in the game as he scored 10 of his game total of 13 in the quarter, including four clutch free throws in the final two minutes.
"He is a senior guard for us and I told the guys at the end of the third quarter they only had three fouls so we needed to start attacking them," Barnhart said. "I felt we needed to get ourselves into the bonus if we were going to win the game and he (Fulkrod) did a nice job for us."
Andy Ryan 0 1-2 1, Tyler Krebs 1 0-0 2, Dillon Hoke 8 1-1 20, Ethan Fadale 3 0-0 7, Isaiah Rapp 3 0-2 6, Bobby Lamont 5 1-3 11, Jack Moyer 1 1-2 3, Javon Batts 2 0-0 4. Totals 23 4-10 54.
Jersey Shore (59)
Eric Huling 0 0-4 0, Tyler Fulkrod 3 6-10 13, Steven Baier 0 6-6 6, Clay Newton 2 1-2 5, Frankie Stetts 0 0-0 0, Jordan Bartges 0 0-0 0, Brody Smith 3 1-2 8, Cody Confair 6 0-0 12, Zach Miller 6 0-0 12, Jeff Dincher 1 1-2 3. Totals 21 15-26 59.
Selinsgrove 17 14 7 16 -- 54
Jersey Shore 16 18 6 19 -- 59
Three-Point Goals: Selinsgrove 4 (Hoke 3, Fadale 1). Jersey Shore 2 (Ty. Fulkrod 1, Smith 1).
Next:?Jersey Shore at Danville, Friday