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Stauder lifts Rockets

February 14, 2001|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

Stauder lifts Rockets



MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Shippensburg girls basketball team needed nearly 28 minutes for Megan Gephart to break from her shooting struggles, but nearly as soon as she found her range, the game was over.

Struggling for most of the game, Greyhounds senior Megan Gephart came to life in the last four minutes of the game to almost-singlehandedly forced No. 3 James Buchanan into overtime with a trio of 3-point bombs.

But, Lori Stauder, who converted an offensive rebound into the tying points at the end of regulation, scored all seven of the Rockets' extra-period points to lift JB to a 53-48 victory and the Mid Penn Colonial Division second-half championship Tuesday night.

Rockets coach John Lum went to a box-and-one defense to open the overtime period, and with Mandy Myers shadowing Gephart, Shippensburg seemed lost offensively, committing a turnover in each of its first two possessions, and allowing Stauder the opportunity to sink a pair of layups for a 50-46 advantage before the Greyhounds even took a shot.

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"We had some kids open," said Shippensburg coach Bill Reath. "I told them that they were going to have to look for somebody else. We just did some sophomoric things at the end."

A Jen Cassidy layup with 33 seconds remaining pulled the Greyhounds to within two, and Myers followed by missing the front end of a 1-and-1. But Stauder pulled down the rebound, was fouled, and hit 1 of 2 free throws with 26 second left to all but ice the win.

"I just wanted to do anything I could for us to win," said Stauder. "The last time we played (Shippensburg), Gephart hit a 3-pointer to win the game, and I didn't want that to happen again."

With James Buchanan (17-6, 7-0) holding a 40-35 lead entering the fourth quarter, Kristine Koziar quickly closed the gap to three with a layup, and after nearly three scoreless minutes, Gephart tied the score at 40-40 with the first of her three 3s.

Emily Stoner countered with a pair of free throws for the Rockets' first points of the period, but two successive Gephart bombs gave Shippensburg a 46-42 advantage with just 46 seconds left.

Ellen Poe was fouled while sinking a driving layup at the opposite end, but missed the free throw only to have Stauder grab the rebound and drill an off-balance seven-footer to send the game into overtime.

"When you play Shippensburg, the critical thing is to control Gephart," said Lum. "We didn't do that in the fourth quarter. But we fought and we hustled, and it worked out for us tonight."

Stauder's 19 points paced JB, while Gephart led all scorers with 22 points followed by Koziar's 12.

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