Buzzer-beater stops Tupper hoops

TUPPER LAKE – Jenna Susice hit a layup at the buzzer to lift the St. Regis Falls girls basketball team to a 53-51 win over Tupper Lake Monday night.

The shot capped off a late rally by the Saints in a game that was close throughout.

The Saints trailed 51-45 with three minutes left in the game, but were able to tie the score at 51 with just over a minute left when Susice completed a four-point play. She hit the 3-pointer and was fouled on the play.

“We’ve had a lot of hard luck this year,” Saints coach Wilbur Bailey said. “We have a young team, just like she (Tupper Lake coach Jenn Cook) does. So hey, I’m just happy to win.”

For Tupper Lake, it was tough loss. The Lumberjacks played well in the fourth quarter to gain momentum and take the lead. Cook credited the team’s defense with allowing them to take the lead.

“Our defense was much better,” she said. “We weren’t letting them get it inside. We were getting steals. We were pushing the ball. We missed a couple of open layups that we should have had, but our defense really helped us get back into it.”

Tupper Lake was led on offense by point guard Lizzie Zurek, who had 12 points. Zurek hit a couple of key 3-pointers in the second half to keep the Lumberjacks close.

“She makes improvements every single game,” Cook said. “We kind of threw her into that leadership role and she keeps getting better every game.”

Overall, the Lumberjacks were pretty balanced on offense. Freshman Katie Zurek played a strong game, scoring a dozen points. Amie Luton had nine points, Lindsey Maroun had eight, Malorie McLear had seven points and Sidney Kulzer chipped in three points.

McLear, Luton and Kulzer each scored key points during the Lumberjacks’ fourth-quarter rally.

St. Regis Falls was led by Susice, who had 19 points. Teammates Brianah Work and Madison Greenwood each tallied 15.

“Tupper played well,” Bailey said. “They shot well. It was a tough battle. They hit some key shots.”