MORRISTOWN - It was once one of the area's top girls' basketball rivalries.
Though, for whatever reason, Shadyside and Barnesville opted to cease their girls' basketball series.
The rivalry will be re-kindled, however, next Wednesday night at Union Local High School with a berth in the Division IV Eastern District Tournament at Indian Valley High School on the line.
Both the Tigers and Shamrocks took care of business in the opening round of the tournament in convincing fashion.
Barnesville got the evening started with a 39-27 victory against Caldwell, while the Tigers - the top seed in the sectional - rolled to a 67-46 victory against Frontier.
"We had two good practices (since last Saturday), and I think everyone is on the same page that we've got some bigger goals still out there," Tigers coach Tina Yates said. "We're not overlooking anyone, and we're taking these games one at a time."
The Tigers (18-3) got early scoring punch from their dynamic junior duo of Karli Bonar and Hayley Holenka, which was a welcome sight.
"We came out focused and ready to go and whenever you start fast, it makes it really nice," Yates said. "They're really unselfish, they work hard and they realize the other day is over and this is like a new life."
Bonar scored 20 of her game-high 24 in the first half. Included was a quartet of 3-pointers in the second quarter, which sparked Shadyside to a 41-13 cushion at halftime.
The lead swelled to as many as 32 during the second half and was at 31, - 61-30 - when Yates emptied her bench.
Holenka complemented Bonar's scoring with 14 points. Toni Andes and Jillian Laslo each had seven. Senior Brooke Meintel scored only three points, but she had 10 rebounds.
Frontier (8-13) was led by junior Heather Ogaz, who scored 11. Kelsey Rinard and Christen Douglas each added 10 points.
On top of preparing for the Redskins, Shamrocks' coach Jamie Carpenter was battling distractions away from the court.
"I'd like to dedicate this game to a good friend of mine, who's going through a tough time right now," Carpenter said. "He helped me with everything to get to this point so far. I don't want to mention his name, but this goes out to him."
The Shamrocks appeared focused solely on basketball in the game's early going as they jumped out to a 21-10 lead thanks to the hot shooting of senior Kayla Stewart, who connected for 10 points in the first quarter and buried another 3-pointer in the second quarter en route to finishing with a game-high 14.
"The first quarter was great," Carpenter said "We came out, played hard and I don't think we missed too many shots. We shot well and Kayla really stepped up."
Jessica Hunkler, the Shamrocks' go-to-player, was limited to seven points as Caldwell employed a junk defense against her, but Carpenter expected such a tactic.
"We talked all week that we'd need someone to step up," Carpenter said.
After the first quarter, the Shamrocks scored just 18 points. However, they limited Caldwell (4-17) to 17.
"We played good, sound defense," Carpenter said. "Our goal was to stop (Maggie) Tilton and (Hannah) Jones, and I thought we did a good job of that."
Tilton, who didn't start the game as she was battling an illness, finished with six and only one field goal, while Jones was held scoreless.
The Shamrocks were charted for 24 turnovers, while Caldwell was guilty of 20 miscues.