CAMDEN — The Preble Shawnee Arrows girls basketball team spoiled a first half lead against Southwestern Buckeye League rival, Madison, on Tuesday evening. The team led 21-16 at the half, but ultimately lost, 38-33.
“It’s another one of those where things go well in the first half, and all it takes is four minutes of basketball,” head coach Kevin Schaeffer said. “For whatever reason, things shut down.”
The Arrows (1-3, 1-2 SWBL) opened the game up looking for what head coach Schaeffer has called a “statement” win. The team looked poised to do so early on. After a back and forth first quarter, junior forward, Malorie Plaugher, buried a buzzer beater to knot things up at 12 apiece.
The game took a turn to aggressiveness and toughness in the second quarter. It was the sophomore guard, Brenna Woodard, who stepped up. Five first-half steals led to eight Shawnee points, keeping them right in the game long enough to take the first big punch.
Sophomore leader, Nicole Sims, stepped to the three-point line and nailed an open shot to put the Arrows up for the first time, 15-14 with 5:07 remaining.
Later in the half, it was Sims again to nail a big three. From the top of the arc, she drained her second of the half and put Shawnee up 21-16 going into the locker room.
The third quarter is where the wheels fell off for Preble Shawnee.
It was a quick 7-2 run from Madison which tied things up for the first time in the second half. From there, the problems for Shawnee only compounded.
Four more quick points inside led to Shawnee’s first second-half timeout with 3:04 remaining. It was an 11-2 run and Madison was now up, 27-23.
The Mohawks closed out the third quarter with a 32-23 lead after shooting 6-for-6 in the paint.
“They would cut and drive to the basket. Nothing fancy,” Schaeffer said. “Over and over again.”
Before Shawnee could shut the run down it was 35-24 with 3:42 remaining in the fourth. A 19-3 run in total for Madison was all it took to put the Arrows to sleep.
Shawnee finished on a 9-3 run. However, it wasn’t nearly enough, as Madison closed the game out with a 38-33 run.
Sims led the Arrows with 11 points and added three steals. Woodard finished with six points, seven rebounds, and seven steals. Sophomore Abby Bulach, finished the game with two fourth quarter three’s to finish with eight points and three offensive boards.
“We’re trying to convince them that they’re good enough to win against anybody,” Schaeffer said. “They’re (Madison) probably one of the top two or three teams on our schedule, and we should’ve won.”
Schaeffer pointed to the same mistakes the team has had to this stage in the season: missed shots, missed free throws, and one really bad stretch which allows the opposing team to close the gap and take a commanding lead.
“Despite giving up eight points on bad defense, we held a pretty good offensive team to 38,” Schaeffer said. “It’s just frustrating. There’s spells in every game where, all of a sudden, inexperience pops it’s ugly head up, and we stop playing defense, we turn the ball over three or four times in a row.”
Schaeffer’s frustrations came from what he thought could’ve happened.
“We should’ve beat a team that’s really considered to be a favorite in the league,” Schaeffer said.
The Arrows have a break between the next two games. Shawnee was scheduled to host Miami Valley on Monday, Dec. 12, and Waynesville on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 7:15 p.m. before hitting the road for the first time this season.