Steubenville set out to curtail Shadyside's two big offensive threats in Karli Bonar and Hayley Holenka and, for a half, did an admirable job.
Holenka had a quiet nine points and Bonar was limited to five on two of five shooting at the half.
There were two problems to Big Red's strategy. They didn't plan on the remaining Tigers picking up the slack. And they certainly didn't count on a team-wide cold streak to start the game.
Led by Bonar's 16 third-quarter points, Shadyside pulled away in the second half and never faltered in downing visiting Steubenville, 64-39 in girls' basketball action Monday evening in Shadyside.
Defensively, Big Red fared well early. Offensively, the visitors couldn't buy a bucket, hitting only three of 27 attempts in the first half.
"We felt we did a good job defensively on (Bonar and Holenka) but their other girls did a nice job of stepping up," Steubenville coach Phil Casinelli said. "And offensively, we had opportunities, but we couldn't get them to drop. We felt good at the half about our defense but it got away from us in the second half."
In particular, it was Bonar who got away from the defensive pressure that had been hounding her early.
She was near perfect in the third, going six of seven from the floor and three of four at the line. She finished with 21 points and three assists.
Early on, it was the inspired play out of Toni Andes that fueled the Tigers.
Andes had five points, five rebounds and two assists in the first frame, twice driving the paint and dishing to Kenzi Fielding for easy two-footers. Fielding finished with eight points.
"The other girls did a nice job of stepping up," Shadyside coach Tina Yates noted. "Once we got settled down offensively, we were ok."
Another key for the Tigers was their work on the boards.
Big Red had a decent height advantage overall, but a smaller Shadyside club wasn't afraid to crash the boards with reckless abandon.
Andes and Fielding tied for team-highs with seven rebounds apiece while Kristen Fijalkowski added six. Bonar had four.
"We work extremely hard on boxing out," Yates said. "We're not the tallest team and are usually smaller than most teams we play so we have to play smarter and more fundamentally sound and box out and it's starting to show."
Steubenville briefly started to connect midway through the third quarter.
Amy Taylor finally got dialed in from the perimeter, canning two 3-pointers en route to 10 points.
Mytia Barker, who finished with a team-high 14 points, had six in the third panel and four in the fourth.
Barker also snagged a game-high 13 rebounds, a fact lauded by Casinelli.
"She hustled very well tonight," Casinelli said. "She was aggressive and didn't back down and played real well."
Big Red was without leading scorer Emiley Masloski, who injured her knee in their previous game against Weir. The loss dropped the visitors to 11-2 with a Wednesday meeting at home against Linsly looming.
Shadyside, meanwhile, improved to 8-6 with its brutal schedule. The road doesn't get any easier as the Tigers take on Bishop Rosecrans in Zanesville on Thursday.
The Bishops overcame a 7-point deficit to defeat Shadyside 52-49 in overtime during their first encounter.
Steubenville was a winner in the reserve game.
STEUBENVILLE (39) Young 1 0-0 2; Wilson 0 2-6 2; Barker 4 6-8 14; Bodo 1 0-0 2; Taylor 3 2-2 10; H.Masloski 1 1-4 3; Poole 0 0-2 0; Rice 2 2-2 6; Totals: 12-48 13-24 39. SHADYSIDE (64) Holenka 6 4-6 19; Fielding 4 0-0 8; Andes 3 1-1 7; Fijalkowski 1 0-0 2; Bonar 8 3-4 21; Johnson 1 0-1 2; Jackson 1 0-0 2; Gulley 1 0-0 3; Benedetta 0 0-0 0; Rossen 0 0-0 0; Totals: 25-56 8-12 64.
Three-point Goals: Taylor (2). Holenka (3), Bonar (2), Gulley.