Monroe Central overcame a personnel shortage with three starters sitting the bench, holding off Shadyside to win Tuesday night's four-quarter battle in the closing seconds at Woodsfield, 64-60.
"Obviously, we were a little apprehensive about this game with 35 points sitting on the bench," said Seminoles' head coach Scooter Tolzda. "We knew we would be facing adversity the next four games. It is a crisis situation for us.
"I was very proud of the way our players responded," Tolzda said of his bench. "They just kept hustling. They did not want to be denied."
MONROE CENTRAL head coach Scooter Tolzda watches the action as Shadyside’s Zach Frizzi (0) drives into the lane against the Seminoles’ Chandler Kuhn. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
The two teams battled throughout the entire contest, trading leads in a tight tug of war on the scoreboard. The first two periods finished dead even at 18 and 37 apiece.
Shadyside would enter the final frame with a narrow 50-48 advantage. However, the miscues that had troubled the Tiger offense continued through the final frame.
"Turnovers were huge. We had 24, and a lot of those were unforced," said Tiger head coach Ed Andes. "They out- hustled us and beat us down the floor."
The 'Noles would get a bucket and take a 60-58 lead with just under a minute left in the fourth stanza.
The Tigers' Skyler Gibson drew a foul at the other end and went to the line, netting both ends of the one-and-one to close the gap to 62-60.
Monroe's Bryan Duffy took a long pass off a turnover to give the hosts a 62-58 advantage with 46.4 ticks left. Duffy again would be called on in the clutch and put in the back side of a double-bonus to make it 63-60 with 25.3 left in regulation.
Levi Brown pulled off his seventh steal on the inbound and hit Duffy under the hoop for a bunny jumper that would have sealed the win but the shot missed the mark.
Ryan Richardson pulled down the carom and Adam Stupak sent a trey flying from the left side of the key but the shot rattled the rim.
Kordell Antill then hit the back end of his double bonus to secure the win for the Seminoles.
"We discussed fouling them early rather than letting them take the three," Tolzda explained,
"It is a 50/50 proposition and this time it worked out."
Duffy finished with a game high 22 points to lead the now 8-1 Seminoles. Zach Jorris provided 17-point support while Brown added seven points and five assists.
Chandler Kuhn pulled down eight of Monroe Central's 30 rebounds.
Austin Dorris paced the Tigers with a double-double with 15 points and 10 of the team total 33 rebounds. Stupak added 14 points while Zach Frizzi rounded out double figures posting a 10-spot.
The Tigers (5-5) return home for a Friday night tipoff against River.
The Seminoles have three more games under the player suspension infraction, the next at Buckeye Trail on Friday night.
Shadyside won the jayvee contest 56-45 in overtime.
SHADYSIDE (60) - Nardo 1, 0-0 2; Gibson 1, 2-2 4; Richardson 3, 0-4 6; Brooks 4, 1-4 9; Frizzi 3, 2-4 10; Stupak 6, 2-2 14; Dorris 7, 1-2 15. Totals - 25, 8-18. MONROE CENTRAL (64) - Alleman 1, 0-1 2; Hill 1, 0-0 2; Kuhn 3, 0-0 6; Brown 3, 0-2 7; Antill 3, 2-4 8; Jorris, Z. 5, 3-4 17; Duffy 9, 3-6 22. Totals - 25, 8-17.
Three-point goals. Shadyside - Frizzi (2). Monroe Central - Z. Jorris (4), Brown, Duffy.
Palmer can be reached at email@example.com