The River Pilots have it rolling.
After some early-season hiccups, the Pilots have officially turned it on and Shadyside will certainly agree after their Friday night encounter in Tiger Town.
Using a sound defense and an impressive middle two quarters, the Pilots improved to 8-3 by virtue of a convincing 65-47 victory against the Tigers.
T-L Photo/SETH STASKEY
RIVER’S Matt Marconi goes up for a shot as Shadyside’s Adam Stupak defends during Friday’s game in Shadyside. Marconi scored 16 as the Pilots posted a 65-47 victory. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"Our defense is really coming around," said River head coach Mark Romick. "Coach (Gard) Curtis puts his heart and soul into that defense and the kids are playing well."
Need a few examples of how sticky the Pilots' defense actually was?
Not one Shadyside player reached double figures and its leading scorer was freshman Jon Michael Schuetz, who played only in the fourth quarter.
On top of the individual stats, the Pilots forced 21 turnovers and in the third quarter, held Shadyside to just six points.
Shadyside head coach Ed Andes sent a message to his club in the fourth quarter. He emptied his bench and played reserves for the entire duration of the final chapter.
"Through three quarters, we had 27 points," Andes lamented. "We're getting beat by 23 after the third and I knew we weren't coming back. We just didn't have it. So, why play kids when the effort isn't there? I just played these other kids because I wanted to see effort. We got worse as the game went along."
Shadyside led by six at a juncture in the middle of the first quarter after an Adam Stupak triple made it 17-11.
The Pilots made sure that was the Tigers' final spurt. River closed the half on a 17-4 run to lead 28-21 at the intermission and never looked back.
"We told the kids to just keep shooting, they'll start falling," Romick said. "The adage says, 'sometimes you've got to shoot your way out of a slump,' and that can go quarter to quarter for us. We were able to up the tempo in the second quarter and that really seemed to get us going."
Senior Matt Marconi ignited the Pilots in the first half, scoring 12 of his 16 points.
The Pilots only had one trey in the first half.
"We were trying to take away the 3-point shot," Andes said. "But, we must have not realized that they were back-cutting us for layups. I think they got three quick layups. I thought Marconi gave them a really nice lift. River's a good team and we knew that. I was just not pleased with our effort."
In the third, talented senior Brett Price found the groove, scoring in a bevy of ways. He hit two treys, including an impressive step-back triple. He slashed and scored on the drive as well. He finished with a team-high 21 points. He also yanked down seven rebounds.
Shadyside's leading scorers - Austin Dorris and Adam Stupak - evenly divided 14 points.
The Pilots were out-rebounded 28-24, but they only had nine turnovers.
Both teams are in action this evening. River hosts Frontier, while Shadyside welcomes Rosecrans.
Shadyside managed a split thanks to its jayvee squad, which prevailed in overtime.
RIVER (65) - Marconi 6, 2-6 16; Isaly 2, 0-0 4; R. Indermuhle 0, 0-0 0; Dierkes 0, 3-4 3; Brown 3, 0-0 6; J. Indermuhle 3, 0-0 6; Ramsier 2, 0-0 5; Caldwell 2, 0-0 4; Price 8, 3-4 21; Eggleston 0, 0-0 0; Flannery 0, 0-0 0; Armann 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 26, 8-14 65. SHADYSIDE (47) - Nardo 1, 0-0 2; Stupak 3, 0-0 7; Johnson 2, 2-2 6; Brooks 2, 2-4 6; Frizzi 0, 0-0 0; Schuetz 2, 2-2 8; Edgar 2, 0-0 5; Richardson 2, 1-2 5; Dorris 3, 1-3 7; Gibson 0, 0-0 0; Dalton 0, 2-5 2; Totals: 17, 10-18 47.
Three-Point Goals: R - Marconi (2), Price (2) Ramsier. S - Stupak, Schuetz (2), Edgar.