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Shadyside One Win From State

Tigers will play McDonald next

Photo by Kristin Mazgaj Shadyside’s Tory Hendershot goes up for a rebound during Shadyside’s victory on Thursday.

MASSILLON — From sweet to elite!

Such is the case for the Shadyside Lady Tigers.

Coupling an impressive defensive effort with a balanced offensive showing, the Lady Tigers were simply too much for previously undefeated Loudonville in an impressive 70-57 victory Thursday evening in a Division IV regional semifinal at Perry High School.

“The girls are unbelievable. I mean unbelievable,” Shadyside head coach Serge Gentile said. “We get to play another one, and that’s the way we’ve been looking at it (during the tournament). Just win and you get to play one more.”

The victory earns Shadyside a return trip to Perry Saturday night with a trip to the University of Dayton and the Division IV State Tournament on the line. The Tigers will take on McDonald, which routed Berlin Center Western Reserve, 57-25, in Thursday’s nightcap.

“After coming up short (in the tournament) last year, we’re really excited to be in this position,” Shadyside senior guard Baylee Wach said. “Being one game away, we know we can make it back if we play like we did (Thursday). We just have to go out and do it. This was our best effort in terms of playing hard from beginning to end and it paid off for us.”

Shadyside, which did not substitute one time in the entire game, played maybe its best game of the season when considering all facets.

The pressure defense was intense, forcing 29 Redbird turnovers, many of which led to scoring chances.

“No coach is ever going to tell you his team played perfectly, but I think that was about as close as it’s going to get for us,” Gentile said.

The offense was efficient and balanced. Four of the five Tiger players cracked double figures and the fifth added nine.

Paige Gorby’s 20 was backed by Wach’s 16. Sophomore Gentry Brown, who had the hot hand early, scored 10 of her 13 in the first half. Tory Hendershot finished with 12 points, but her floor game included six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Senior Kamdyn Elerick finished with nine.

“Our message to the kids was ‘go have fun,” Gentile said. “Play together and play for each other.”

“And really that’s been the biggest thing (in our success) is these girls are playing for each other. We wanted them to cut it loose, play with confidence and be aggressive. Plus, we hit shots.”

Loudonville was led by Grace Vermilya’s 26 and Corri Vermilya finished with 18.

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