All of Shadyside's opponents know they must stop, or at least slow down, seniors Karli Bonar and Hayley Holenka if they're to have a chance at victory.
Knowing and doing, however, are two vastly different things.
River learned that the hard way Thursday evening before a large crowd inside the Tiger Den. The Lady Tigers' dynamic duo combined for 50 points and Shadyside went on to post a 61-49 victory.
SHADYSIDE’S Kenzie Fielding (11) shoots over River’s Jensen Caretti during the first quarter of Thursday’s game in Shadyside. The Tigers won, 61-49.
"We knew exactly what we had to do, we practiced and prepared for it," lamented River head coach Rick Isaly. "We focused too much on the ball instead of knowing where Bonar and Holenka were. We don't have the kids to simulate a varsity Shadyside team, but we knew what they were going to do."
Shadyside is now 7-5 and has won three straight. The Lady Tigers' grueling slate gets no easier when Parkersburg South comes to visit for a Saturday afternoon encounter.
"I think we're finally starting to get into a groove," said Shadyside head coach Tina Yates. "It took a while, but we're starting to come together."
The Lady Tigers did what they always do. They set a lot of screens and hit a lot of treys, many of which were clean looks.
"Both Karli and Hayley are reading the screens very well and know how to come off of them," said Yates. "They're recognizing well whether or not they should curl, flare or fade. Plus, we've got the other girls really looking to set screens."
The Lady Tigers' 1,000-point scoring duo had a stretch where it scored 44 consecutive points for its team.
"Having two players like Hayley and Karli is very spoiling for a coach," Yates said. "They're hard-nosed, play on both ends and they'll both be the first to talk about how well their teammates are able to get them the ball."
During that stretch, Shadyside led 10-9 after one, but upped the margin to 25-14 at the half and 43-28 after three panels.
"We weren't focused for this game," Isaly said. "We were flat and looked tired. I don't know if it was a carry over from Monday (win against Fort Frye) or just something mental about playing Shadyside."
Bonar, who is one of the state's most prolific 3-point shooters, dialed long distance seven times en route to 29 points. Holenka, meanwhile, buried three triples and had 21 points.
"Our goal was to hold them to five (treys) as a team," Isaly said. "They had five in the first half. I am not disappointed we lost, but I am disappointed with how we played. We just didn't bring the same intensity that we did Monday."
River battled throughout, but was never able to get any closer than 11. Shadyside was a sharp 11-of-12 from the line in the fourth period.
The Lady Pilots received another impressive showing from freshman ace Jensen Caretti. She had a double-double with 20 points and 10 boards. Caretti also rejected three shots. Senior dandy Cassidy McCullough finished with 13 points and sophomore Hayley Bowers added 12 before fouling out.
The Lady Tigers received strong defense and rebounding from senior Kristen Fijalkowski. She and Holenka both had seven boards.
Bonar had eight steals and Holenka was charted for five assists.
Sophomore Kenzie Fielding had six points for the Lady Tigers.
River is now 11-3 and will visit St. Clairsville Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Pilots managed a split by capturing the reserve game.
RIVER (49) - Lak. Ramsay 2, 0-0 4; Bowers 2, 8-13 12 Weaver 0, 0-0 0; McCullough 6, 1-3 13; Caretti 8, 4-7 20; Lan. Ramsay 0, 0-0 0; Young 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 18, 12-23 49. SHADYSIDE (61) - Holenka 6, 6-7 21; Bonar 9, 4-4 29; Fijalkowski 0, 2-2 2; Andes 0, 3-4 3; Fielding 3, 0-0 6; Jackson 0, 0-0 0; Benedetta 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 18, 15-17 61.
Three-Point Goals: R - None. S - Bonar (7), Holenka (3).