CAMDEN — After losing to Waynesville in blowout fashion, the Preble Shawnee Arrows girls’ basketball team was able to rebound with a blowout at Northridge’s expense.
Head coach Kevin Schaeffer’s team needed to find a way to salvage a tough week. It was a 19-point, 46-27, blowout against Waynesville on Thursday evening from which the Arrows needed a big rebound. They did just that with a 61-24 victory over Northridge on Saturday.
On Thursday night, the Arrows (2-5, 2-3 Southwestern Buckeye League) never actually found the successful runs which had kept them in every other game. Waynesville was able to dominate for the majority of the game. A 10-point, first quarter lead only grew for the remainder of the game.
“Bottom line is, we did not have a single guard play well,” Schaeffer said. “For some reason, the only good ball we played was the first three minutes.”
Eighteen turnovers gave Waynesville easy baskets routinely. Those turnovers were a major concern for Schaeffer.
“Today, we’d make a bad turnover; it would turn into four or five bad turnovers. One bad shot turned into four or five bad shots,” Schaeffer said. “My biggest plea with them, ‘This better not turn into a microcosm of our season.’ I don’t want one bad loss to turn into four or five bad losses.”
Trying to cut the emotions of a tough loss was the mission for Schaeffer in the locker room.
“I told them, ‘The good news is, we know we’re a lot better than what we played,’” Schaeffer said. “The bad news is, we didn’t get a good game from anybody.”
The similarities ran deep between the two. Both teams were filled with youth. That’s a point Schaeffer made clear.
“They’re young. But Waynesville’s young too,” Schaeffer said. “But you didn’t see Waynesville girls’ let one or two things get compounded. They dealt with a couple turnovers, or bad passes or missed layups, a lot better than we did. We let something like that affect us for the next three or four minutes. You can’t win a ballgame like that against a good team if you’re stuck in your own head.”
Sophomore guard Nicole Sims led the team in scoring with nine points. Brenna Woodard added six points of her own.
The Arrows salvaged an otherwise downer of a week by gaining a blowout victory to close the week.
Northridge never had a chance in the game. The Arrows seized a 60-point effort for the first time this season.
“It’s nice that we were finally on the winning end of one,” Schaeffer said. “A team like we are, we’re young, one of the biggest weaknesses we have is player confidence. And hopefully, that will help.”
The Arrows were able to force a litany of turnovers and ran well in transition, much to the pleasure of Schaeffer.
“We actually did some of the things that I’ve been asking them to do all year. We didn’t just steal the ball, run down the court, and get a layup,” Schaeffer said. “We’d get a turnover, and we’d run through a couple options on our secondary break. It was nice to see.”
The Arrows were led in scoring by sophomores Abby Bulach, Woodard, and Sims. Bulach finished with 13; Woodard tallied 11, and Sims finished with 13 and was given a nice fourth quarter break thanks to the inflated lead.
Sitting back and looking at the start of this season, Schaeffer saw a lot of things that have him optimistic. Speaking to the schedule, the start of the season was a gauntlet. There weren’t many days between games, playing seven in 19 days. The teams were also some of the toughest Shawnee will face all season: Badin, Miami Valley, Waynesville, and Milton Union. Madison and Carlisle are also off to quick starts.
Salvaging a 2-5 record to start doesn’t seem ideal, but the way they played in all but one of those losses gives the Arrows’ coaching staff some hope for the future.
“The fear I have is that I don’t want them to have the impression that it’s going to be a cakewalk,” Schaeffer said. “You go in and play a team like Dixie, or South or North, if you go in with the wrong state of mind, that’s a game we could lose.”
Schaeffer’s reenergized squad will look to win back-to-back games for the first time of the season against Dunbar.
“It seems to be a team that we match up pretty well with,” Schaeffer said. “Defensively we’re going to be quick enough, put enough pressure on them, that they’re going to have trouble scoring.”
The Arrows were scheduled to travel to Dunbar on Monday, Dec. 19, for the last game for the Arrows in 2016. The team will then enter an extended break until Jan. 5, against Cincinnati Christian.