Shawnee drops home opener

By Daniel Taylor - For The Register-Herald

CAMDEN — The 2016 Preble Shawnee women’s basketball season is under way after a 44-33 loss to Badin on Monday night.

The Arrows (0-1, 0-0 Southwestern Buckeye League) enter the season with a wealth of young talent. Seven of the 10 players on the roster enter 2016 as underclassmen.

With youthful exuberance comes youthful inexperience. That became apparent early on in the game as the team surrendered multiple turnovers and allowed 12 of 17 offensive rebounds to come in the first half. It resulted in a 25-18-halftime lead for the Rams (1-0).

“There’s some things we need to work on. A lot of those are experience things,” head coach Kevin Schaeffer said, alluding to the turnovers, free throws, and second chance points.

Despite the rough first half and the team’s first loss of the season, Schaeffer has confidence in his team. “We played well at times,” Schaeffer said. “I now know that we should be able to compete with anybody.”

Leading the way on Monday were a pair of young sophomores, guard Nicole Sims and forward Brenna Woodard.

Sims and Woodard led the team in scoring with nine and eight points, respectively. The third leading scorer was another sophomore, guard Jenna Lovely. Lovely added six points on the evening.

Another Achilles’ heel for Shawnee was free throws. The team converted on only five of 17 attempts from the charity stripe.

With the amount of mistakes made, some might think this was a building season. However, that’s not what’s on Schaeffer’s mind.

“I want to win on Thursday. I don’t want to build on Thursday; I want to win,” he said.

One of the biggest issues Schaeffer sees in his team is another common problem for young squads — confidence.

“They don’t have that confidence yet,” Schaeffer said. “By seeing them play today, I just got to keep assuring them, ‘There’s no reason you shouldn’t be confident.’”

Going forward, Schaeffer believes working on the mistakes and helping the young players grow mentally will be essential to the team’s growth.

“They just need to learn that they’re good,” Schaeffer said. “Once they learn that, they’ll start playing with confidence. That’s going to make a big difference.”

The team got a late start because of the success that the soccer team, on which many of the players also played, had in its season. That was worrisome for Schaeffer. But after seeing the team play well on Monday night, he’s ready to get the season in full swing.

“Now, I’m very excited,” Schaeffer said. “We’ve got some good ones on our team.”

The team will open SWBL league play against Milton Union on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Preble Shawnee.

By Daniel Taylor

For The Register-Herald