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Shadyside fights off Magnolia

SHADYSIDE — Like so many teams, Shadyside wants to play uptempo and get as many shots and possessions as it can during the course of a game.

Magnolia, meanwhile, is the complete opposite.

In the end Wednesday evening, Shadyside proved it can dance to more than one tune as it fought off a game Blue Eagle squad, 48-40, on senior night inside the toasty Tiger Den.

The Tigers (12-4) simply couldn’t make enough shots early in the game to force the issue on the Blue Eagles (5-9).

“(The ball) just wasn’t going in for us,” Shadyside head coach Serge Gentile said. “Whether it was 3s, layups, it didn’t matter. There was a lid on (the bucket) for whatever reason.”

With the game tied at 15 at halftime, Gentile and company didn’t push any panic buttons. He simply focused on effort.

“We knew we were going to make shots (eventually), but we had to keep playing hard,” Gentile said. “We had to be active on the glass, limit their second chances and good looks. In the end, we made enough plays and enough shots when we needed them.”

Indeed.

The Tigers started to break out of their offensive funk in the third when they outscored Magnolia, 19-13.

In that period, junior Baylee Wach, who led Shadyside with 14, got going in transition for three buckets. Seniors Brooke Selmon, Madisyn Stewart and sophomore Paige Gorby all connected from behind the arc as well.

Still, however, Magnolia stuck with its gameplan, which was to play the game entirely in the halfcourt.

“We know what our strengths are and we know we can’t get into a running game with anyone,” Magnolia head coach Meredith Pilant said.

“We had a couple of turnovers, which set us back. And then, in the fourth, we had sustained some injuries (earlier in the game) and we just seemed to wear down because we don’t have many subs.”

The Blue Eagles were able to stay close thanks to the impressive play from senior forward Kyndra Pilant.

She scored nine in both the second and third quarters and finished with a game-high 24. She was also impressive on the glass.

“(Pilant) is going to get her (points), but defensively, I thought we did a good job,” Gentile said. “We have to control what we can control and one of those is effort, which was there tonight. Whether you’re making shots or not, you have to guard.”

In the fourth, Shadyside stretched it out to an eight-point lead on a pair of Wach foul shots and Magnolia was only able to get as close as four the rest of the way.

Wach was joined in double figures by Gorby, who finished with 10, and talented junior Tory Hendershot, who scored 10 despite being under the weather.

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