SHADYSIDE - For Bridgeport, the Tiger Den has normally proven to be like a house of horrors.
The Bulldogs have found tough going over the years playing against Shadyside, but Tuesday evening they exacted a little revenge.
Using a strong final three minutes, Bridgeport got the game into overtime and eventually made enough plays and got enough stops to outlast debuting Shadyside, 77-73, before a large and boisterous crowd.
"I think this will pay dividends for us down the road," Bridgeport head coach Donnie Cash said. "I don't know what our record against Shadyside is in the last 13 years exactly, but it's not good, so to come down here and win will definitely give us some confidence."
The Bulldogs appeared to be headed for another loss to the Tigers. Shadyside, which trailed by as many as eight in the third quarter, owned a seven-point lead at 57-50 and had the ball with less than three minutes to go.
"That was a tough possession because if we can get up nine, I think it's probably a completely different game," Shadyside head coach Ed Andes said.
The Tigers, however, missed a layup in transition and the Bulldogs got going by dumping the ball into the low post to senior Parker Dyson, who had a field day against the Tigers' youthful and lanky bodies.
"We were down and it didn't look real good, but our kids turned it out and made some plays," Cash said. "Give Shadyside credit because they really battled for the entire 36 minutes. We're just fortunate we made a few plays."
Dyson tallied on the possession and the Tigers immediately hit the panic button as Bridgeport turned up the heat defensively.
"Our kids played really hard, but we have to take much better care of the ball," Andes said. "We didn't do a very good job managing the game in the fourth quarter. There are a lot of things we need to go over and improve on. You could tell (Bridgeport) was more of a veteran team just by the way they handled the game down the stretch."
Talented junior Q.J. Williams got a rebound goal and then after a turnover, Dyson converted with a minute to go, bringing the Bulldogs to within two at 59-57. Savvy sophomore John Michael Schuetz cashed a pair at the line, however, on the ensuing trip to keep the Tigers' lead at four.
More Dyson, another turnover and more Williams got the Bulldogs within one with less than 30 seconds to go. Shadyside's Logan Cline, who gave really good minutes off the bench, converted a pair at the foul line after Bridgeport had missed on a couple of chances to take the lead.
Bridgeport drove the ball down the floor and kicked it out to junior Bailey McGrath who drained a challenged triple to tie the game just before the horn in regulation, knotting the game at 63.
"It was like deja vu for Bailey down here," Cash said. "Last year, he shot one from the corner and it went in and popped out. He had one of those again tonight and I told him, 'if you get another chance, gun it.'"
In the extra session, Bridgeport never trailed. It scored the first six points of session thanks to a conventional three-point play from Dyson, who finished with a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds.
"We knew they were in foul trouble, so we wanted to go inside a lot more," Cash said. "I thought we ran our offense well for the most part. Parker had a really good pre-season, so I am happy for him."
Cody Seevers had a strong overtime as well. He scored seven of his 16 points in the extra time. Importantly, he cashed five-of-six from the line as Shadyside tried to chip away.
The Tigers, who had five players foul out, got as close as two at 72-70 with 1:52 to go in the OT when Schuetz buried another trey. However, Dyson again was too much.
"I thought we kind of had the game where we wanted it in regulation," Andes said. "We just didn't make a lot of good decisions when it really counted."
Dyson's production was complemented by Seevers and Williams, each of whom went for 16. McGrath had three bonus goals for nine.
Shadyside was balanced with five players in double figures. Travis Fulton had 15 to lead the way. Schuetz had 14, including 12 in the fourth quarter and OT. Luke Nardo and Cline each had 12. Shane Johnson added 11, while Zach Frizzi had a trio of treys for nine.
The Tigers were charted for 23 turnovers, which was nine more than the winners. Nardo grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for Shadyside.
Both teams are in action Friday. Bridgeport hosts Barnesville and Shadyside treks to Shenandoah.
Shadyside managed a split with a 47-37 victory in the reserve game.
BRIDGEPORT (77) - Williams 6, 3-9 16; McGrath 3, 0-0 9; Dyson 11, 3-9 25; Seevers 3, 9-14 16; Teeman 1, 2-4 4; Cash 1, 2-4 4; Sieber 0, 3-4 3; Touvell 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 25, 22-44 77. SHADYSIDE (73) - Frizzi 3, 0-0 9; Schuetz 4, 3-4 14; Nardo 4, 4-5 12; Fulton 6, 2-6 15; Johnson 3, 4-6 11; Cline 4, 3-4 12; McFarland 0, 0-2 0; Fahey 0, 0-2 0; Carroll 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 24, 16-29 73.
3-Point Goals: B - McGrath (3), Williams, Seevers. S - Frizzi (3), Schuetz (3), Johnson, Fulton, Cline.