Indians battle, fall just short in playoff contest
At halftime of their WPIAL Class AA playoff game, things looked rosy for coach David Vadnais and the Shady Side Academy boys basketball team.
The second half brought a sobering end to the Indians' season.
SSA jumped out to a 16-9 lead after one quarter and increased it to 33-22 at the half. That's when Neshannock (18-5) came to life and scored a basket on its last possession for a 64-63 win.
Kyle Olander led SSA (14-9) with 19 points and Mike Ware scored 18 points.
“It was a difficult loss to say the least,” Vadnais said. “We had the lead for almost the entire game. They played better in the second half but we still gave ourselves a chance to win. Every time we got a little bit of a lead, they would hit a big shot to cut the lead down.”
Even though the Indians lost, Vadnais said he couldn't be prouder of the Shady Side players.
“They played well throughout the game,” he said. “We took the ball out of their best player's hands on the last possession and they had another player step up and hit the shot.
“I feel terrible for our seniors because they deserved a chance to play deep into the playoffs.
“For our returning players, I hope we take all the positives we had this year, and the loss, as motivation to get better for a deep run next year.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.