AMHERST — With players leaping and diving all over the floor, Amherst staged a gutsy comeback Friday night in the championship game of its own holiday tournament.
Unfortunately, the Comets didn’t come back far enough.
After trailing by 10 points two minutes into the fourth quarter, they fought back to a one-point lead in the final 1:15, but lost a 47-46 thriller to St. Joseph Academy. Amherst got off a shot at the buzzer that would have won the game, but it was deflected by a Jaguar defender.
The game went down to the wire and had the crowd on its feet for most of the last three minutes. It was the first time in the three-year history of the Comet Holiday Tournament that Amherst failed to win the trophy.
In the consolation game, Midview turned in a mirror-image effort of its Thursday night loss to Amherst and posted a 48-40 victory over Ashtabula Lakeside. It was the fifth win of the season for the Middies in 10 games. They had won just three games at the equivalent point of last season.
Lakeside (2-7) trailed after every quarter, but got a game-high 21 points from Miranda Newsome. Midview got 15 and 13 from Jacki Street and Megan Snow, respectively, and Snow drilled three of the Middies’ five 3-point field goals.
The Comets (6-4) trailed St. Joe’s 40-30 two minutes into the fourth quarter, then went on a
9-0 run. Courtney Jarvis scored three points and Miranda Szucs, Bridget Beury and Olivia Sliman two each as Amherst cut the lead to 40-39 with just under three minutes to play.
St. Joseph (5-5) regained the lead, 44-43, but Jarvis’ foul shot tied it with 58 seconds to play. Jarvis hit two more foul shots with 21 seconds left, but the Jaguars got the eventual winner when Molly Lehane made a free throw with six seconds to go.
The Comets’ Jarvis finished with 16 points and Beury with 14.
“You can’t play the last four minutes of a game with a sense of urgency and expect to win,” said Amherst coach John Rositano. “We just pretty much came out and played a game without any emotion. We’re not that good a team that we can just come out and go through the motions.”
Midview was leading Lakeside, 44-40, but was under pressure in the last half-minute. Then when they needed it most, the Middies got a huge steal from Gina Laufman, who was headed for what was almost certainly an easy layup when a Lakeside player grabbed her from behind.
She was awarded two foul shots because of the deliberate foul and made them both to give Midview a 46-40 lead with
26 seconds to go.
“The ball got deflected and I just went after it,” Laufman said of the big steal. “Then the girl grabbed me and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ I was a little nervous taking the foul shots, but after I made the first one, I was like, ‘Well, I might as well make the next one, too.’”
Midview coach Kim Kauffman was happy with the outcome, especially after the Middies had been routed by Amherst on Thursday.
“Confidence is huge and our girls are confident because we’re at .500 right now,” Kauffman said. “Last year at this point we only had three wins. When you lose tough games, just the ability to bounce back makes a good team.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7137 or email@example.com.
St. Joseph 47, Amherst 46
ST. JOSEPH (47): Bridget Urban 1-0-2, Gabby Kreuz 0-0-0, Molly Lehane 6-4-16, Claire Guzik 0-0-0, Teresa Mangan 1-0-3, Donna Friedman 0-0-0, Maggie Berry 5-2-13, Samantha Sulzer 4-1-9, Caitlin Kehler 0-0-0, Maura Heffernam 1-1-3, Leighann Larsen 0-1-1. Totals 18-9-47.
AMHERST (46): Ashley Aponte 1-1-3, Brittany Cruz 0-0-0, Lizzie Soto 2-0-5, Olivia Sliman 1-2-4, Miranda Szucs 2-0-4, Courtney Jarvis 4-8-16, Bridget Beury 7-0-14. Totals 17-11-46.
St. Joseph 8 16 11 12 — 47
Amherst 8 10 10 18 — 46
Three-point goals: St. Joseph 2-4 (Berry, Mangan); Amherst 1-6 (Soto). Field goals: St. Joseph 18-49 (36.7 percent); Amherst 17-47 (36.2 percent). Free throws: St. Joseph 9-19; Amherst 11-17. Rebounds: St. Joseph 31; Amherst 28. Turnovers: St. Joseph 22; Amherst 31. Fouled out: Beury.
Midview 48, Lakeside 40
LAKESIDE (40): Arianna Morris 0-0-0, Tayler Pugliese 4-3-14, Jessica Kaydo 1-0-2, Azaria Lee 0-1-1, Miranda Newsome 8-5-21, Darrah Smith 0-0-0, Chyni Coleman 1-0-2. Totals 14-9-40.
MIDVIEW (48): Gina Laufman 2-3-8, Lauren Gauvreau 0-1-1, Megan Snow 4-2-13, Jacki Street 3-9-15, Janie Rauscher 1-0-2, Hannah Duran 2-2-7, Danielle Szpak 0-0-0, Kelsey Voit 0-0-0, Kaylee Cromling 1-0-2. Totals 13-17-48.
Lakeside 8 10 7 15 — 40
Midview 10 14 10 14 — 48
Three-point goals: Lakeside 3-8 (Pugliese 3); Midview 5-16 (Snow 3, Duran, Laufman). Field goals: Lakeside 14-37 (37.8 percent); Midview (13-32 (31 percent). Free throws: Lakeside 9-15; Midview 17-23. Rebounds: Lakeside 31; Midview 33.