NEW PHILADELPHIA - Shadyside coach Tina Yates built her 2012-13 schedule with the district tournament in mind. The Tigers knew the likes of Hiland, Zanesville Rosecrans and Garaway lurked in Division IV and two of the three could stand in the way if they were going to make another run deep into March.
Shadyside battled its way through the rugged, regular-season schedule to a 15-7 record and cruised to the Division IV District Tournament inside the Quakers' Gymnasium. However, Yates, the Tigers and their droves of fans that made the trip, never expected the results they saw Thursday night.
''We've worked all summer and from Square 1 for the district,'' Yates said. ''We knew we had to be on top of our game and we just didn't have that.''
Shadyside dug itself a hole it was never able to climb out of as it watched Zanesville Rosecrans come out on fire en route to an 18-5 lead after one and basically, outside of a few mini runs during the course of the second half, never looked back before posting a 54-41 victory and earning a spot in the district final Saturday against Hiland, which dispatched River in the opener. ''From the get-go, we were never in sync, the five of them were never on the same page and the little things we'd worked on, we didn't do,'' Yates said. ''Rosecrans made us pay. We've spent a lot of time working for this game ... I don't know. We just never got into any kind of flow.''
Rosecrans (23-2) surged ahead on hot shooting, 8 of 15 in the opening quarter, including two bonus baskets by Alexis Kirkbride. All told, the Bishops had five players crack the scoring column, while only senior Hayley Holenka found the bottom of the net for Shadyside.
Rosecrans poured it on in the second quarter, taking a 30-14 lead at half. The lead swelled to as many as 17 early in the third quarter before Shadyside was able to get on a run of its own.
With the Bishops in charge, 33-16, the Tigers proceeded to score 13 of the game's next 15 to get within six. During the stretch, Karli Bonar cashed in her second and third 3-pointers of the game, which in the process gave her the OHSAA single-season record at 108. Holenka scored five of her 14 in the third.
Bonar led all scorers with 23 points. Holenka, who was limited to two field goals, was her top support. Rosecrans, meanwhile, was again balanced in the scoring column, paced by Kirkbride's 16. Nash turned in a solid double-double with 15 points and 11 boards.