Page Hangs On
Beats East Rock 56-54 In Semis
Posted: February 15, 2013
Page’s Tanner Dofflemyer shoots in the fourth quarter of the Panthers’ win Thursday at EMU. (Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
“I think everybody in the building knew,” Purdham said — knew that East Rock wanted Hensley to get the last shot.
The Panthers successfully denied Hensley the ball – but East Rock sure had its chances.
Joseph Gooden and Logan Lam each had shots between 4 and 8 feet from the rim in the closing seconds. Both fell just short – and so did the fourth-seeded Eagles, 56-54 to top-seed Page County on Thursday at Eastern Mennonite University.
“Oh yeah – I mean, come on, great shots,” ERHS coach Mark Palmer said when asked if he was happy with the two late looks.
The Panthers (20-4), the regular-season district champions, advanced to play in the tournament title game against Stuarts Draft at 8 p.m. today at EMU. The Eagles (13-11) still advance to the Region B, Division 1 tournament next week, starting with a first-round road game Wednesday.
Playing a Page team that had throttled them 69-38 12 days earlier, the Eagles fought back from down 42-29 in the third quarter to 49-49 with 3 minutes, 15 seconds left in this one.
“We could have cashed it in and lost by 20 very easily, and we came back and battled and had a shot to take it right into overtime,” Palmer said.
East Rock junior Chase Comer swished a 25-foot bomb with 1:06 left that cut it to 56-54 – the ultimate final score.
After Page sophomore Adam Campbell rimmed out two free throws, East Rock had plenty of time – 52 seconds – to try and tie or win the game. Palmer, though, decided to reduce that time.
The backcourt tandem of Comer and senior Tyler Hensley played catch near half-court with the Panthers sitting back in a zone, before calling timeout with 12.9 on the clock.
Some teams, when trailing by two points late, try to score early, so that if they miss, they can keep extending the game with a foul. But Palmer wanted to take the game out of the Page offense’s hands – and it was hard to blame him, given weapons like senior Tanner Dofflemyer (25 points), senior Kol Shuler (13) and junior Tim Brown (10).
“We wanted to go for one [shot],” Palmer said. “We figured, if we didn’t get a look and we didn’t get a good shot, and we miss, you say, ‘Well, we’ll foul.’ Foul? OK, that’s automatic. Brown, Dofflemyer and Shuler, what’s going to happen?”
After Page deflected the ball out-of-bounds on a dribble-handoff attempt to Hensley, the next in-bounds pass swung away from Hensley and inside to Gooden, who already had a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.
His turnaround bounced off the front rim with about five seconds left. It appeared that Page secured the rebound, but the ball bounced off a Panther’s foot and to Lam, who turned and shot an in-rhythm 10-footer. The front rim was unkind again.
“Most of them,” Lam said when asked how often he’d make that shot. “Didn’t make it this time.”
Dofflemyer wasn’t particularly pleasant for East Rock, either.
Listed as a power forward on the roster, Dofflemyer scored most of his points on mid-range jumpers, including some fading away with a hand in his face. He scored 13 of his team’s first 21 points on a night when, PCHS coach Mike Purdham said, “at times, we looked like deer in the headlights.”
But it was enough for Page to beat East Rock – which got 11 points from Hensley and 10 each from Lam, Gooden and senior John Wright – for the fourth straight time.
Hensley 5 0-0 11, Harman 0 1-2 1, James 1 1-2 3, Lam 3 3-3 10, Comer 4 0-0 9, Gooden 4 2-3 10, Wright 4 2-3 10. Totals 21 9-13 54.
McKay 2 0-0 4, Shuler 5 2-6 13, Campbell 0 2-4 2, Doflemyer 11 3-6 25, Brown 3 4-6 10, Kibler 1 0-2 2. Totals 22 11-24 56.
East Rock 11 11 12 20 - 54
Page Co. 10 18 16 12 - 56
3-Point Goals—East Rock 3 (Hensley 1, Lam 1, Comer 1), Page 1 (Shuler). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Page 31 (Brown 7), East Rock 38 (Gooden 15). Total Fouls—East Rock 19, Page 15.