“It was a must-win game for us,” Shade head coach Wade Fyock said. “Had we split with them, Berlin would have been in control of the South. By coming over here and taking care of business we give ourselves the best opportunity to make the WestPAC championships, which is your team’s first goal.”
Shade (16-2) scored the first six points of the game before Berlin (12-5) battled back to tie it at eight on a Dakota Glessner bucket with 3:41 left in the first quarter.
The Panthers went on to score the next 14 points to lead 22-8 early in the second quarter. The Mountaineers, led by seven straight points from Alex Will, started to mount a comeback. Will scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the quarter.
Berlin got Shade’s Brett Hart, Kenny Gibbons and M. J. Knapp all in foul trouble (three each) with 2:57 left in the first half and was able to pull within 34-26 at the break.
“When you dig yourself a hole against a team like that it’s really hard to come back from,” Berlin head coach Tanner Prosser said. “We came out in the second half and had some opportunities to push into the lead but we didn’t take advantage. We didn’t box out on two free throws and gave them five points. It went from eight points to 13 and we were in trouble.”
Fyock said, “I was concerned about that early foul trouble. Our bench guys — Brock Medva, Taylor Foltz and Brett Edwards just came in and did a heck of job defensively. They made just enough plays offensively to keep the momentum going. That was the difference in the game. Without their effort, we’re probably at a different outcome.”
The third quarter was slower than the previous two and had less scoring as the scoreboard showed 44-35 with a quarter remaining.
Shade outscored Berlin 18-10 in the final quarter as both Knapp and Will fouled out within a minute of each other.
Ryan Fyock led the Panthers with 19 points. Gibbons was held to 11 points. Knapp, Brett Hart and Ryan Medva all had eight points.
“I didn’t think we played well,” Prosser said. “We had some poor turnovers and we did some things defensively that I have no clue why we did them.
“Right now they are the better team and deserve to win. They played better, harder and more consistent than we did.”
Shade won the junior varsity game 25-21.
The Panthers play at Meyersdale on Tuesday while the Mountaineers go to Turkeyfoot today for a 2 p.m. varsity only game.
Shade: Gibbons 4 2 11, Knapp 4 0 8, Kephart 4 0 8, Hart 1 3 5, Medva 3 1 8, Fyock 6 6 19, Edwards 1 0 3. Totals: 23 12-16 62.
Three-pointers: Gibbons 1, Medva 1, Fyock 1, Edwards 1
Berlin: Lynch 1 0 3, Will 8 8 24, Glessner 1 2 4, Cooney 4 0 8, Thomas 1 0 2, Watkins 2 0 4, Bonus 1 0 2. Totals: 18 10-16 47
Three-pointers: Lynch 1
Shade 17 17 10 18 — 62
Berlin 8 18 9 12 — 47