Shadyside blitzes Monroe, 68-35

SHADYSIDE — It was over early inside the Tiger Den Monday evening.

Making their home-court debut, Shadyside wasted no time in asserting itself against Monroe Central en route to a 68-35 victory.

Now 3-0 on the young season, the Tigers scored the first 14 points of the game and eventually held a 17-2 lead after one. The bleeding didn’t stop there for the Seminoles, who were charted for 17 turnovers and a bone-chilling 1-of-30 shooting effort in the first half.

At the half, Shadyside (3-0) found itself a 34-2 upperhand thanks to impressive shooting and a pressure defense, which simply gave the Seminoles fits.

“Our five starters played outstanding and definitely set the tone,” Shadyside head coach Serge Gentile said. “Our pressure defense really sparked us offensively. I just can’t say enough about the first five on how they played.”

Utilizing a line-changing type system, Gentile played his two five-player groups for basically even minutes and there was very little dropoff, which was very impressive to Seminoles’ head coach Troy Baker.

“They’re running five in and five out and both groups are pretty solid,” Baker said. “They knocked down some shots, but when you shoot as poorly as we did and turn the ball over like we did, you’re not going to win too many games.”

Shadyside’s first group played the bulk of the opening quarter. Jaycee Mayeres, Jess Cicogna, Maci Coffland and Haylee Gregan all tallied in the opening quarter, while junior guard Sydney Destifanes supplied relentless energy on both ends.

When that group went to the bench, Shadyside simply kept on keeping on with a cast that included a talented trio of freshmen in Brinley Steen, Tory Hendershot and Baylee Wach.

It didn’t matter who was in the game because Monroe, which actually rebounded well in the opening half, continually clanged shots off the rim or turned the ball over, allowing the Tigers several run-out chances.

“We’ve not been rotating like that, but instead just seeing how the games have been going,” Gentile said. “We’ve not been platooning too much. It just kind of worked out that way tonight. We feel comfortable in playing any of those 10 girls anytime we need to.”

Shadyside called off its press during the entire second half, but it continued to knock down triples. Gregan buried three of her four in the third quarter before finishing with 14. Mayeres scored seven of her game-high 18 in the third quarter.

All told, the Tigers had 12 of their 15 players crack the scoring column.

Monroe Central, which is now 0-2, was led by Sierra Rainey and Amy Bettinger, who evenly divided 18 points.

The Tigers are off until Dec. 11 when they welcome Linsly. Monroe Central, meanwhile, hosts Fort Frye Thursday evening.

Shadyside also prevailed in the reserve game.