Shadyside Defeats Bridgeport
BRIDGEPORT — Shadyside was red-hot to start Monday night’s girls basketball game with Bridgeport, but the Lady Tigers had to hold off a furious rally by the Bulldogs in posting a 50-38 decision on Frank Baxter Court inside John J. Havlicek Gymnasium.
The visitors led 21-7 after one quarter thanks to some deadly outside shooting. They sank their first four shots from the floor — all treys — and had five for the quarter.
“It (the start) felt good because we didn’t play well the other night (Saturday in a loss at Martins Ferry),” first-year Shadyside coach Serge Gentile said. “The girls wanted to come out and get going from the start. We did that. We came out and hit some open shots.”
However, as hot as they were to start, the Lady Tigers couldn’t keep it up as they hit only 2-of-9 three-point attempts in the second quarter, but still held a 29-11 advantage.
“We got cold a little bit and they extended the 1-2-2 zone,” he said. “That forced us to throw the ball inside and it got us out of our rhythm a little bit.”
Bridgeport, with a huge size advantage inside, finally started to click on offense as 6-1 junior Kamden Dulesky got hot. She scored eight of her game-high 21 points in the third period, while Kiki Harmon came off the bench to chip in four as the deficit was whittled from 16 to 10, 35-25, with eight minutes remaining.
An inside bucket by Dulesky to start the fourth stanza got the Bulldogs to within eight, 35-27, but one of the smallest players on the court for Shadyside came up huge the next two trips down the floor.
Sydnie Destifanes, who was scoreless to that point, drained a three from just to the right of the key for a 38-27 margin. After a Bridgeport turnover, the 5-footer tickled the twine again from behind the bonus arc in the left corner as the lead ballooned back to 14, 41-27. The closest the hosts would get again would be nine.
“Those were two really big shots,” Gentile said. “We were kind of struggling a little bit and they had the momentum, but she knocked down them both down. They were good passes from her teammates who found her open.”
Bridgeport coach Greg Harkness, also in his first season at the Bulldogs helm, thought that was a key moment, as well.
“They came out on fire but I like how my girls responded. We never quit,” he stressed. “We kept coming and cut it to single digits early in the fourth. Then we have the ball and a play doesn’t go our way.
“We knew we couldn’t lose Destifanes,” Harkness said. “We left her alone and she got her feet set. The first shot was good offense on their part because they moved the ball well, found her and she got a good shot. The second one was our fault. We didn’t find her in transition. We let her get behind us in the corner, and she hit it.”
Jonna Eneix and Layne Hendershot evenly divided two dozen points between them to pace Shadyside. Harmon had seven to back Dulesky’s game-best effort.
The taller Bulldogs did hold a 36-29 edge off the glass as Deja Massey led all players with 11, one more than Dulesky. Eneix had nine and Haley Gregan seven.
Bridgeport had 20 turnovers, with 14 coming in the first half. Shadyside committed 14.