By KIM NORTH
Times Leader Sports Writer
Senior Night usually produces some memorable moments.
SHADYSIDE’S Kelsey Holloway and River’s Alexa Isaly race for a loose ball during the first half of Wednesday’s girls basketball game in Shadyside. Holloway scored 25 points as the Lady Tigers improved to 15-0 by virtue of a 42-32 victory.
Kelsey Holloway will never forget hers in a Shadyside uniform.
After sitting out last season following knee surgery, the 3-year standout has been the catalyst for Tina Yates' unbeaten Lady Tigers so far.
With her team locked in a defensive struggle with rival River Wednesday night, the 5-9 Holloway the team on her back and carried them to a 42-32 victory in the Tigers' Den.
RIVER (32) - Biesel 1 1-2 3; Isaly 3 0-0 8; Beard 0 0-0 0; Weaver 0 1-2 1; McCullough 7 1-3 16; Smith 2 0-1 4; Dierkes 0 0-0 0; Totals: 13-36 3-8. SHADYSIDE (42) - Holloway 9 2-3 25; Neavin 1 0-0 2; Bonar 4 0-1 10; Holenka 1 2-2 4; Meintel 0 0-0 0; Fijalkowski 0 1-2 1; Totals: 15-46 5-8.
Three-Point Goals: River 3 (Isaly 2, McCullough); Shadyside 7 (Holloway 5, Bonar 2)
"This was a big game for us tonight," she said before heading to a Senior Night celebration. "I felt good."
As far as sitting out last season, Holloway said, "it just made me work that much harder and want it more."
And want it she did last night.
She netted 22 of her game-high 25 points in the middle two periods as the Lady Tigers slowly pulled away. She also charted six rebounds, five steals and four assists.
"She came to play tonight," Yates said of her senior stalwart. "She had a very good game tonight."
With the hosts on the short end of a 11-9 count early in the second quarter, she drained a three-pointer from the right wing to give her team a lead it would never relinquish. Following a Karli Bonar basket, Holloway recorded a steal and went coast-to-coast for an uncontested layup and a 16-11 advantage.
Buckets by fellow senior Sarah Neavin and Bonar in the waning seconds of the half bumped the margin to 20-13 at the half.
Holloway ignited her team in the third quarter as she outscored the Pilots by herself, 14-10. Included in her total were a trio of trifectas. Her final bonus bomb of the period came just ahead of the buzzer and gave the hosts the biggest lead of the contest at 38-23.
River would mount one last comeback as it reeled off nine of the first 12 points of the fourth stanza to pull to within nine, 41-32, with 1:54 remaining, but that would be as close as they would get.
"I'm proud of my team," River head coach Rick Isaly said. "This might have been the better games we've played this season even though we got beat.
"I thought we played good defense on them and kind of had them shaken up, I thought, with our 3-2 defense," he continued. "But we left their shooters open too many times and that really hurt us, especially in the second and third quarters."
In addition to Holloway's 25, Bonar also reached double digits with 10. Brooke Meintel collected seven rebounds.
"Give River credit," Yates continued. "They are a quality ballclub and you know you're in for a game because they always come to play."
Cassidy McCullough scored half of her team's 32 points, including 11 to keep the visitors close. Alexa Isaly added eight points and a like number of rebounds.
"Shadyside's a good team," Isaly allowed. "There's no getting around that."
River won the JV game as well.
Shadyside is right back at it tonight when John Marshall comes calling.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org