Hendershot, Wach’s on-court chemistry began in third grade

SHADYSIDE SOPHOMORES Baylee Wach (left) and Tory Hendershot have been teammates since third grade. Now, they’ll take part in part in the OHSAA Division IV State Tournament together on Friday.

SHADYSIDE — Regardless of the sport, team chemistry is of the utmost importance.

Shadyside’s dynamic sophomore duo of Tory Hendershot and Baylee Wach have actually had a lot of practice at perfecting their on-court chemistry.

The pair, which came into high school as two more of the more bally-hooed players after an undefeated junior high career, has been playing together basically since third grade.

“It’s kind of like I know what’s she’s going to do and she knows what I am going to do on the court,” Hendershot said.

Indeed.

When watching the Lady Tigers, it doesn’t take long to realize the two have invested a lot of time in their crafts.

“We just know how to play together,” Wach said. “I can sense when Tory’s on and she can do the same thing with me and it really makes things easier.”

The pair will get to put their chemistry on display on Ohio girls basketball’s biggest stage Friday afternoon. Shadyside will meet Ottoville in a Division IV state semifinal at 3 inside the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State University campus.

“It’s not even sunk in yet, honestly,” Wach said earlier this week. “Everyone has been talking about (state) at school and stuff and it’s just exciting. We know, though, we have to come ready to play and if we do that we feel like we should be able to stick with them and hopefully get a win and play on Saturday.”

Hendershot and Wach both had strong regional tournaments. Hendershot scored 15.5 points a game in the wins over Newark Catholic and Peebles, while Wach went for 12.5 a game.

Actually, their play all season has been impressive in helping to lead Shadyside to a 24-4 record.

Either Hendershot or Wach lead Shadyside in every stat category. Actually, taking that a step farther, the pair goes one-two in all but one category.

“They’re really good players,” Shadyside head coach Serge Gentile said. “They’re good players because they’ve put a lot of time in. They’ve played a lot of basketball for a long time and that’s the reason players have good (seasons) and are good players. Both Baylee and Tory are gym rats and good things happen for players when they’re like that.”

Wach, who was recently named third-team all-Ohio, leads Shadyside in scoring at 15.5 points a game and in 3-pointers made with 70. Hendershot, meanwhile, is second in scoring at 11.8 and paces the squad in rebounds (7) and assists (4) per game.

Accolades nor stats matter to Wach and Hendershot.

“We don’t care who scores or anything like that,” Wach said. “Just winning and getting it done is the big thing.”

Hendershot believes that mentality is on display throughout the team, which has resulted in the success it’s had this winter.

“Our whole team has great chemistry,” Hendershot said. “We spend a lot of time together off the court and we all get along really well. It’s just exciting to be able to get to this point and be able to share it with the entire team.”

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