Defense propels Shadyside
LTs roll past Seminoles
SHADYSIDE — Shadyside didn’t come out as sharp, perhaps, as it had in its previous 13 games Thursday night against Monroe Central. But once the LTs found their groove, there wasn’t much that could slow them down.
Behind a 20-7 second quarter — bookended by a pair of double-digit scoring runs — Shadyside raced past Monroe Central, 57-31, in girls’ high school basketball action inside the Tiger Den.
“It was a great team win,” LTs head coach Serge Gentile said. “I told the girls it’s tough to give your best performance every night in a long 22-game season, but you always need to find a way to steer the ship in the right direction.
“We did that.”
After coming out the gate slow, Shadyside (12-2) produced runs of 11-0 and 15-0 in the second quarter to put the Seminoles (6-7) away. And the LTs did it with defense, turning turnovers into points time and time again.
“We turned the ball over way too many times and then we kept giving then second and third opportunities,” Monroe Central head coach Troy Baker said. “I think we allowed 11 or 12 offensive boards in the first half and 16 turnovers. That’s going to lead to transition points and easy shots and not knowing who you have.”
Amy Bettinger’s jumper tied the game at 9-9, but Baylee Wach’s triple just before the conclusion of the first period sparked the initial run. She finished with 12 points.
Julie Hendershot was true for 3 to begin the second. Another triple, this one by Jaycee Mayeres, put the LTs up 20-9 with 5:45 left in the first half.
“We came out a little bit flat,” Gentile admitted, noting that caused him to go to his bench in an attempt to shake things up. “Everyone who came in sparked us and got us going in the right direction.”
The Seminoles answered with a 7-0 run capped by one of three 3s by Sydney Yoho (11 points) that made the score 20-16. But Tory Hendershot’s two free throws moments later (she finished 7 of 12 from at the stripe en route to a team-high 13 points) started the other spurt that stretched into the second half.
Syd Destifanes’ bonus bomb made the score 27-16 at the 2-minute mark of the second. Later, she closed out the half with a layup off a nifty feed from Tory Hendershot giving the LTs a 16-point halftime cushion.
“For whatever reason it felt like our feet were a little bit slow,” Gentile said. “We weren’t anticipating. Once we got going a little bit, we got to be on our toes and active a little bit more and being in the passing lanes and that really helped us get some easy buckets.”
Shadyside held Monroe Central to single-digit scoring in each quarter and led by as many 27 in the latter stages.
“Their 2-3 (defense) gave us some trouble,” Baker said. “I thought we did a good job of getting the ball inside at the beginning and were patient. Then we started kind of forcing things and started having some turnovers. Then we’d miss shots and give them some run outs.
“They’re a good team.”