Shadyside treated itself to an early Christmas present Friday night, pocketing a 60-57 overtime triumph against invading Martins Ferry.
The win was the fourth in sixth starts for the Tigers, and undoubtedly their most impressive. The Purple Riders, coming off a tough road loss to Harrison Central, evened at 2-2.
"We were very fortunate to win. Ferry is an outstanding team," said veteran Orange boss Ed Andes. "It was a nice matchup between two teams playing very hard.
SHADYSIDE’S Ryan Richardson goes up for a shot as Martins Ferry’s Robert Vargo defends during Friday’s game in Shadyside. The Tigers prevailed in overtime, 60-57.
"We got production from a lot of different players. We made some clutch plays when we need them," he added. "Ferry is a team that presents some problems with their height in (Robert) Vargo and (Emilio) Appolloni then you have to also defend a super scorer in (Cody) Schau. I feel good about getting this win."
It didn't come easy.
Shadyside played in front during the first half, leading 8-6 after one quarter and 25-21 at intermission. Senior Jared Brooks led the way with seven first-half points.
Ferry stepped its game up in the third quarter. The Purple Riders, using 11 points from Schau, moved to a 39-35 lead in the waning seconds of the third period.
But the Orange regained the momentum courtesy of a three-point bomb at the buzzer by Adam Stupak, just inside halfcourt. It cut the deficit to one, but more importantly, it triggered a 10-point Tiger run for a 45-39 advantage.
The scoring paced slowed in the fourth. Shadyside possessed a 47-42 lead before Vargo goaled and seconds later dropped two free throws to give the Purple a 48-47 advantage with 1:47 to play.
The lead was short-lived as Brooks deuced at the 1:30 lighting followed by a Ryan Richardson hoop inside a minute, giving the Tigers a 51-48 upperhand.
Schau answered the call for the Riders, getting the hoop and harm. The three-point play knotted the affair at 51-all with 22.2 ticks left.
Shadyside wanted to hold for one shot, only to be called for a walking violation. However, Ferry only had time to throw up a halfcourt prayer which went unanswered, necessitating overtime.
Shadyside nearly shot itself out of the game in overtime, missing five free throws. Despite the charity stripe inadequacies, the hosts found themselves holding a 56-53 edge before Ferry sophomore Jake Barritt recorded a steal and bucket to bring Ferry to within 56-55 with 31.1 ticks left.
Sophomore ace Austin Dorris provided some breathing room for Shadyside, meshing two free throws with 22.9 showing. Vargo countered with a quick layup for a 58-57 Orange lighting.
Stupak drained two free throws with six seconds remaining, while Ferry's last-ditch halfcourt toss went awry, sealing its fate.
"Shadyside had a great game plan and utilized it from start to finish. They made the critical plays when they needed them," said Martins Ferry head coach Jeff Sabatino. "We couldn't get the ball and lead in the fourth quarter.
"We didn't play as hard as we usually do in the first half. We are a tired team. Our bench is thin due to a couple of injuries," he added. "But give Shadyside credit, they played very well."
Stupak led a trio of double-digit scorer for the Tigers, tallying 19. Dorris and Brooks delivered 12 and 10 markers, respectively. Richardson was solid support with nine tallies while sophomore sparkplug Luke Nardo came off the bench to produce energy and tenacity as well as five points for the winners.
Schau led all scorers with 25 points. The Tigers' defensive strategy made the 6 ft. 3 leaper work extremely hard all night. Vargo was a man inside with 13 points while sophomore Isaiah Sears drained a trio of treys for nine tallies.
Martins Ferry committed 11 turnovers, compared to seven for the Tigers.
Both teams have tough assignments next week. Ferry hosts Steubenville Thursday while Shadyside travels to Harrison Central Friday.
Martins Ferry won the reserve contest.
MARTINS FERRY (57) - C. Schau 11, 3-4 25; Vargo 5, 3-4 13; Barritt 2, 2-4 6; Appolloni 1, 0-0 2; Sears 3, 0-0 9; A. Burress 1, 0-0 2; D. Schau 0, 0-0 0. Totals 23, 8-12. SHADYSIDE (60) - Stupak 6, 6-12 19; Brooks 3, 4-4 10; Richardson 4, 0-0 9; Dorris 4, 4-4 12; Gibson 1, 1-1 3; Nardo 2, 1-3 5; Frizzi 0, 2-2 2. Totals 20, 18-26
Three-point goals: Martins Ferry (3) - Sears (3); Shadyside (2) - Stupak (1), Richardson (1).