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Late run sparks Shadyside by Monroe Central

T-L Photo/RICK THORP Shadyside’s Tory Hendershot, right, drives past Monroe Central’s Trista Morris during Thursday night’s game in Woodsfield. Hendershot poured in a game-high 29 points as the LTs rallied for a 59-52 victory.

WOODSFIELD — Through two-plus quarters of their tussle against Monroe Central on Thursday night, Shadyside was off-kilter on both ends of the floor.

The LTs were cold from the field, listless on defense and unable to seize any type of momentum.

Despite not having the services of Amy Bettinger (illness), the Seminoles built a 12-point lead behind the leadership of floor general Kalista Friday, who went for a team-high 21 points, and hot shooting of Haylyn Hiles.

But the tables turned during the final 10 minutes, as Shadyside finished the game on a 22-3 run and raced off Junior Winland Court with a hard-fought 59-52 victory behind a game-high 29 points from Tory Hendershot.

“For us to grind one out, especially considering the way we played in the first half, is big,” Shadyside head coach Serge Gentile said. “I mean, when you win these types of games, it builds character.”

The Tigers (10-4) held the Seminoles (9-4), who handed them their first loss of the season last month inside the Tiger Den, to 13 points in the second half, including three in the fourth, after allowing 39 in the first.

“We just couldn’t guard a soul in the first half,” Gentile remarked. “They were getting everything they wanted. They were getting by us.

“In the second half, we kind of buckled down a little bit and started moving our feet trying to make it a little tougher for them. I think that was the difference.”

Back-to-back 3-point plays by Friday and freshman Abby Thompson, who filled in for Bettinger inside, made the score 49-37.

It was all Shadyside after that.

Hendershot scored four of the Tigers’ six points to end the third. And, as the fourth opened, Shadyside scored six more to knot the score at 49, capped by a Baylee Wach layup off a nifty feed from Hendershot that forced Seminoles head coach Troy Baker to call time with 5:29 left,

Hendershot made another layup coming out of the stoppage. That, combined with a free throw from Wach, who finished with 15 points, put the Tigers up three.

Trista Morris made one of two from the line with 2:35 left, but Kamdyn Elerick answered with a layup as the Tigers went up 54-50.

Haven Dick made the score 54-52 with 2:10 left, but Shadyside’s defense didn’t allow a point the rest of the way.

“I think we were 1 of 10 (from the field) in the fourth,” Baker surmised. “I think we got good shots in the fourth. They were shots that we’d taken all game.

“We just kind of got cold. They kind of hand some easier shots in the fourth and they made them.”

It’s true.

After settling for, perhaps, not the best looks early, Shadyside was more patient offensively down the stretch, Gentile said, and that resulted in some easier looks as the game reached its latter stages.

“Instead of one or two passes, we’d make four, five or six passes,” he said. “That led to some driving lanes and allowed us to get layups instead of just shooting 3s.”

Gentile said intangibles also played a role in the rally.

“I thought, in the first half, (Monroe Central) gave more effort,” he said. “They were getting every loose ball, every rebound. We kind of challenged ourselves and said, we have to be that team.”

With the game tied at 21, the Seminoles broke things open with a 13-2 run, kickstarted by a halfcourt heave by Friday to end the first.

Hiles scored 15 points in the first quarter-and-a-half, 12 coming off four 3-pointers. She hurt her ankle in the second and, although she played the rest of the game, clearly wasn’t the same the rest of the way.

Down 13, Shadyside closed to within nine at halftime thanks to a 6-2 run to end the half, that included four points from Hendershot.

Both teams hit the road Monday, with Shadyside visiting River and Monroe Central trekking to Frontier.

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