Schuetz Pours in 40

BELLAIRE – Ed Andes couldn’t remember the last time Shadyside had a player score 40 points.

It won’t take him quite as long to come up with one the next time he’s asked.

Talented sophomore John Michael Schuetz caught fire early and didn’t look back en route to 40 points, which led the Tigers to a 80-71 victory against Bellaire on Friday night in Ojio Valley Athletic Conference Tournament consolation play.

“Our goal is to get five guys 15 points a game, but (Friday) was John Michael’s night,” Andes said. “That was a great performance by him.”

The victory caps a perfect 3-0 week for the Tigers and completes their regular season with an 11-11 record. They’ll play next a week from today in the Division IV sectional tournament against Bridgeport at New Philadelphia High School.

“It was a good week,” Andes said. “We were able to finish, which was good to see because we’d had some problems finishing games. This was a good week for the kids to go into the tournament on.”

As pleased as Andes was to get the victory, he was far from satisfied. He had no issues with his team’s offense, but he knows plenty of work needs to be done on the opposite end of the floor.

The Tigers appeared in the first half – with Schuetz scoring 27 of his points – that they were going to cruise to victory. They led, 22-9, after one and the lead grew to as many as 22 in the second quarter was at 17 at the intermission.

“We scored the ball well, but we have to get some stops,” Andes said. “We knew Bellaire would play much better in the second half and they did. They didn’t play well at all in the first half, but they did in the second half.”

The Big Reds – similar to what they did a week ago against Bridgeport – fell behind only to make a furious rally to climb back into the game.

However, they couldn’t get enough stops and score the ball enough to fully get over the hump.

“We can’t make enough buckets,” Bellaire coach J.R. Battista said. “Give credit to Shadyside, they made shots. That’s why they won. It’s called basketball for a reason because you have to put the ball in the basket.”

The Big Reds got within six in the fourth quarter twice and had the ball each time. However, they came up empty and Shadyside made them pay.

After Bellaire senior Kenny Hess scored to make it a 67-61 Shadyside lead, Travis Fulton responded for the Tigers with a bucket. That ignited an 8-0 run by the Tigers, which all but sealed the outcome.

Junior Luke Nardo turned in a solid game with 12 points. Shane Johnson finished with 11 before fouling out. Zach Frizzi had nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Bellaire was paced by junior post Tyler Ramsay’s 16 points. Hess closed with 15 points and six rebounds. Senior Sterling Wright came off the bench to tally 12 points and collar 11 boards. Sophomore Michael Neil had 14 points.

The Big Reds finish the regular season at 8-14. They’ll open Division III tournament play on Feb. 26 against Sandy Valley.