JAN 29, 2020
DONNIE YEAGER JR.
For The Times Leader
BELLAIRE – The Bellaire Big Reds played Shadyside tight through the first half, taking a lead at the end of the first quarter on a David Zwack 3-pointer that they held through the halftime buzzer.
Unfortunately for the host Big Reds, Shadyside put on a third quarter clinic on defense and transition offense, turning a close game into a 65-43 victory.
“You come into Bellaire and you have the rivalry and you kind of expected them to play harder than us, and we didn’t want them to, but that’s what happened (in the first half),” observed long-time Shadyside coach Ed Andes.
At halftime, he said he told his team to “just play.”
“Just play our game, play hard and just go after it. Play like we are capable and it starts at the defensive end. Get after them at the defensive end and the offense is just going to come,” Andes said.
“I thought, in the first half we had (the tempo) to our liking, “ Bellaire coach J.R Battista said. “They (Shadyside) are a pretty good team. They have a lot of weapons on offense, a lot of guys who can pass, catch and shoot, and that’s a good combination. I thought we had it to our liking, and then we scored the first bucket to start the half, and I thought maybe we could spread it out on them a little bit, but then their pressure bothered us. We can’t give up layups to people. There is no defense to a steal, lay-up. It’s a problem, but we tried hard. They made more plays.”
Shadyside (12-5) opened the game winning the tip and putting forward a balanced offense behind Bryce Amos, Kelly Hendershot and Tyler Parr, while Bellaire (3-14) took a few trips down the floor to find its rhythm.
Still, Zwack, Owen Ward and Creed Rhodes found the basket after Trenton Wilson’s opening bucket for the Big Reds to put the hosts back into it. In the waning moments of the first, Bellaire worked its way down the floor and Wilson kicked the ball out to Zwack, who swished a 3 pointer just before the buzzer to put the hosts up 14-13 after one.
The second period saw both teams struggle from the floor as each team managed just three field goals apiece in the quarter, with Zwack hitting two for Bellaire and Jacob Visnic hitting a pair of buckets off the bench for the Tigers. The half ended with Bellaire leading, 21-19.
Ward hit the first shot of the second half for the Big Reds, putting the hosts up by a 23-19 count, but the Tigers utilized a calculated defenive attack, swarming the Reds and taking the lead back for good at the 6:39 mark of the second on a bucket from Amos. In addition to the Tigers’ defense waking up, Amos was a machine in the third, hitting six field goals and netting 15 of the Shadyside’s 23 third quarter points.
All told, the Tigers forced 10 Bellaire turnovers, nine of which came via steals, including four from Parr. The hosts were able to stay as close as five nearing the end of the period, however timely shots from Hendershot and Visnic pushed the Tigers lead back to seven after three, 42-35.
Shadyside’s offense ran through Hendershot and Amos in the fourth, as the pair combined for 16 points, while Shadyside held Bellaire to three field goals over the final eight minutes. Both teams emptied their benches over the course of the quarter, with Shadyside continuing to pressure Bellaire, sealing the 65-43 victory.
Amos finished with a double-double, scoring 33 points while dominating the inside with 14 rebounds and three blocks.
“This was great for him (Amos) because he finally got his confidence in the second half. He spun right and left and he just did a great job. He played very, very confidently, which was good to see,” Andes said when asked about Amos’ efforts on the evening.
Hendershot filled the stat-sheet with 15 points, five steals, three assists and a block for the Belmont County Bengals.
Zwack netted 17 including a pair of threes to lead Bellaire. Ward added 10.
Bellaire was guilty of 18 turnovers compared to eight by the Tigers, who held an edge on the glass 37-23.
Shadyside returns to action Friday in the Tigers’ Den as they welcome Frontier. Bellaire will play Indian Creek at Edison on Saturday.