NEW PHILADELPHIA - Bridgeport and Shadyside are rivals located just nine miles apart on Route 7. However, Saturday night both made the 91.52 mile journey to face off in New Philadelphia for the opening round of the Division IV sectional tournament.
Having spit in the regular season and neither wanting to waste the trip, the game was an all out hardwood battle for the opportunity to play Tuscarawas Central Catholic next Friday night back in Quaker gymnasium. At the final buzzer it was the Tigers winning the rubber match edging out the Bulldogs 56-53.
"We had a little mental lapse there in the first half, (Logan) Cline had 5 three's and half their points in the first half," Bridgeport head coach Donnie Cash related. "We wanted to run him off the three-point line and that made the difference in the end."
Working against Bridgeport's height, the Tigers worked to get open looks from outside the arc and when the opportunity came Shadyside netted 6 of 13 from outside the arc, Cline was 5 of 6. Shane Johnson accounted for the sixth three point marker.
The Bulldogs 6-5 inside man, Parker Dyson, and Q.J. Williams answered with two-point buckets while Bailey McGrath drained a pair of treys to keep it close. The two teams were tied at 12 points each after the first quarter and traded leads trough most of the second period.
Bridgeport's shooting suddenly went cold, despite offensive rebounds and second, third and even fourth looks at buckets, Shadyside would outscore the 'Dogs 18-11 in the frame.
The Bulldogs' defense came out in the second half and shut down Cline allowing them to narrow the gap to a single point in the third frame. Shadyside rallied butt Bridgepot would win the period by a slim 16-14 margin.
Once again in the fourth quarter a Bridgeport rally would tie up the score but Shadyside's John Scheutz was about to step up big for the Tigers.
Knocking down a three to break the tie, Scheutz was a perfect 6-for-6 n the fourth frame capping an 8-for8 performance to ice the win for Shadyside.
"We knew they were trying to get him the ball a the end of the game," Cash said. "That was another mental breakdown. We knew we could not go under the screens and we went under the screens and he got an open three."
"We played good defense down at the end of the game," said Shadyside head coach Ed Andes "Last time we played they got a wide open look at a tree and sent it into overtime."
"Truthfully both teams played well enough to win," Andes admitted. "We won."
"We have been working at making foul shots and that's what helped us own at the end."
Overall the Tigers went 14 of 16 from the charity stripe while Bridgeport was just 6 of 18.
The Tigers had three players with 15 points, Cline, Johnson and Scheutz.
Williams paced the Bulldogs with a game high 22 points. Dyson chipped in with a double-double adding 14 points and pulling down 12 caroms.
Shadyside returns to New Phila next Friday for an 8 o'clock tip against the Saints, which routed Conotton Valley in Saturday night's opener.
SHADYSIDE (56) Nardo 0. 0-0 0; Johnson 5, 3-4 15; Cline 5, 0-0 15; Frizzi 3, 2-2 8; Scheutz 3, 8-8 15; Fahey 1, 0-0 2; Fulton 0, 1-2 1. Totals 17, 14-16. BRIDGEPORT (53) Seevers 1, 1-2 3; Cash 2, 1-6 5; McGrath 3, 0-0 9; Williams 9, 4-6 22; Dyson 5, 4-4 14; Sieger 0, 0-0 0. Totals 20, 6-18.
Three-point Goals: Shadyside Cline (5), Johnson (2), Scheutz. Bridgeport McGrath (3).