CAMDEN —The Preble Shawnee boys basketball team continued a strong start to the season using a 22-4 second quarter to beat Milton-Union by a score of 69-45 on Friday, Dec. 11.
Four Arrows scored in double figures and the team used a variety of pressure defenses to force 28 Milton-Union turnovers in the game.
Preble Shawnee dominated the first half and the game was virtually decided by halftime when a 15-8 lead after the first quarter burst into a 37-12 halftime lead for the Arrows.
The Arrows attacked both offensively and defensively all night long, and shot 22 more free throws than their counterparts. Preble Shawnee finished the game going 20-27 from the charity stripe.
The result comes after head coach Jason Crider challenged his team’s effort in practice: “I was extremely proud of them — I got after them the practice before, we’ve not consistently brought that focus and energy to practice and I kind of called them out on it. I was curious to see how they would respond as a younger team.”
Crider said he reminded his team, despite being 2-0, they were an “eyelash” away from 0-2 and felt his players responded to the challenges he gave them in practice.
He was also happy with the results of his pressure defense, which saw significant game time for the first time this season. “I was really glad to see it for a full half for what it looked like,” he said. “We definitely have a few things to clean up but at least we know what we need to clean up from live game action now.”
Crider said he believes he has a team designed to play at a faster pace. “I think a lot of our players like that tempo, we have eight or nine players I feel comfortable playing at any time and we used that by rotating two or three guys at a time.”
Senior Dylan Weireter led the Arrows in scoring, despite coming off the bench, putting up 15 points in the game.
Thomas Buell was second in scoring despite battling an illness during the game, adding 12 points to the team’s effort.
Vince Bulach added 10, including two three pointers and Levi Lewis scored 11 for the game.
Sophomore Joey Bates led the Arrows in rebounding with 15 in the game and his efforts had his head coaching talking about him afterward.
“Joey does a great job effecting games with his energy,” Crider said of his starting sophomore power forward. “The energy you see in game is what you get with him all the time and I think that wears off on the other guys.”
“I love coaching this team,” Crider continued. “Right now we know our identity and I’m having a lot of fun coaching this group.”
Crider and the Arrows (3-0, 2-0) face their biggest challenge of the year according the coach, when they host Carlisle on Tuesday, Dec. 14. The Arrows then hit the road for a match-up with Dixie on Friday, Dec. 19, a team Crider believes has potential to shake up the SWBL standings, and Xenia Christian on Saturday, Dec. 20.