SHADYSIDE - Too strong, too physical, too athletic.
All three Barnesville attributes were just too much for Shadyside on Friday evening.
The Shamrocks exerted their will on the young and short-handed Tigers as they pulled away for a 62-44 victory.
"We're pretty happy to get win No. 9, and hopefully we can win No. 10 (tonight) and get some momentum going toward the OVAC Tournament," Barnesville coach Chris Pack said.
While the Shamrocks are now 9-7, the slumping Tigers fell to 4-12, but are still in prime position to qualify for the OVAC Tournament in 2A because of the number of teams ineligible for the conference dance.
It took the first four possessions of the game before the Shamrocks found the right gear and from there, they took off.
Shadyside, which led early, cooled and Barnesville seized control, posting a 19-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
"We came out in our version of a man (defense), and they got a lot better shots against that than they did our zone," Pack said. "Shadyside is very good at screening and getting themselves shots against the man, so I guess I over-coached by coming out in the man."
Zach Dornon and Brandon Burkhart sparked the Shamrocks with a trio of buckets in the first quarter.
The lead swelled to 10 at 31-21 at halftime as six different players recorded a single bucket for Barnesville.
"We knew Shadyside was going to knock down shots," Pack said. "The zone allowed us to go get passes and not get shots.
"When the pressure was up, I thought we did a good job of playing good defense, but we did get into a little bit too high of a gear at times and didn't finish in the second quarter. I felt like we were going to take off, but we couldn't find the right gear even though the engine was cranking."
The Shamrocks led 46-32 after three quarters and appeared to have begun to salt the game away.
Shadyside, meanwhile, never quit. It scored the first five points of the fourth quarter thanks to a bucket by Skyler Gibson and a 3-pointer from Ryan Richardson, making it a 9-point game with just under 7 minutes to play.
"We're not the type of team that can come back from a big deficit," Shadyside coach Ed Andes said. "We've had trouble scoring most of the season. Offense is by far our weakness and we needed a bunch of guys to score, but we struggle to knock down shots."
The Shamrocks shifted down and proceeded to score 12 of the game's next 14 to all but close the deal.
"We can't dig a hole," Andes continued. "Once we got down by 14 or 15, we just don't have the offensive firepower to come back, but by the same token, we can't continually give up layups."
Burkhart and senior pivot Tyler Fitzpatrick each had six points in the fourth and led the Rocks for the game. Burkhart finished with 18 points and Fitzpatrick added 14. Both Shamrocks got baskets after shots went astray during the course of the game.
"Playing without D.J. (Shoemaker) makes it tougher on us on the boards, but just because you're small, it doesn't mean you can't box out," Andes said. "You've got to want to rebound."
Dylan MacMillan complemented Burkhart and Fitzpatrick's production with 10 points.
Shadyside was paced by junior Adam Stupak, who pumped in four 3-pointers and finished with 16. Gibson closed with 11.