Arrows dominate Milton-Union, 67-32; fall to Eaton

By Daniel Taylor - For The Register-Herald

Preble Shawnee’s Lane Conway drives to the basket during the Arrows contest with Eaton on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Shawnee suffered its first loss of the season, 68-61.

WEST MILTON — The Preble Shawnee boys’ basketball team made easy work of Milton-Union on Friday, Dec. 9, by dominating from start to finish.

The Arrows (2-1, 2-0 Southwestern Buckeye League) routed Milton-Union 67-32 and dominated in every category.

““We did a good job of bouncing back from that tough Eaton game a couple of days ago,” Spitler Jr. said. “We’re a work in progress.”

The team shot nearly 50 percent from the field and over 75 percent from the charity stripe in the blowout victory. Defensively they were able to force turnovers at an incredible rate. Eight steals throughout the game and a number of bad passes from the Bulldogs resulted in the Arrows earning a wealth of free trips down the court. The team also remained out of foul trouble and outrebounded the Bulldogs the entire game.

“Our defense was really good,” Spitler Jr. said. “We created a lot of turnovers and made them throw the ball around a lot.”

The team was able to move the starters to the bench early and get everyone involved.

“Had a team game, it was pretty balanced,” head coach Dale Spitler Jr. said. “We got everybody in, everybody playing time. And everybody contributed, which was nice.”

The contributions from the bench was something Spitler Jr. was happy to see.

The bench tallied 30 of the Arrows’ 68 points, including seven from junior forward, Andrew Monnin.

Junior forward, Chase Thompson, came into the game and led the Arrows in scoring and steals with 14 points and five steals. He added six rebounds to his box score to finish with his best game of the young season.

Also contributing for Shawnee, junior forward, Joey Bates. Bates finished with 10 points, three steals, and six rebounds- three coming on the offensive glass.

The game didn’t come without a scare for Spitler Jr. and the Shawnee staff.

Late in the first quarter senior guard Kevin Ketring went down hard on the floor after driving to the lane. He remained on the ground for a second before hobbling to the sideline.

However, he reentered the game and knocked down a three in the second quarter before being taken out to rest.

“It was a little bit of a scare there at first when he went down. I was happy to see him get back up and hit a couple shots,” Spitler Jr. said. “He’s a tough kid.”

It will be important to have the senior this week as a big one awaited the Arrows on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Carlisle.

The matchup was to pit the Arrows against one of the top teams in the SWBL. Carlisle finished last season with a 9-3-league record. And so far, the Indians are 3-0 after a 56-39 win over Northridge on Friday night.

The teams are pacing themselves at a nearly identical rate so far in 2016. The Arrows are averaging 62 points while only allowing 48. For the Indians, they’ve scored 62 per game as well. However, they’ve been just a touch better on defense, only allowing 46. Both teams come into this game looking for a big boost of momentum heading into the rest of the season.

“We’ll really see where we’re at after that one,” Spitler Jr. said. “Everyone has them as a favorite to win the league. It’s going to be a huge game at their place. I’m really looking forward to it, and I know our guys are looking forward to it too.”

A win would bump the Arrows to the top of the standings and give the first-year coaching staff a wave of momentum for the rest of the season.

Arrows fall at Eaton

The Preble Shawnee Arrows boy’s basketball team took to the road for the first time in the fledgling season on Tuesday, Dec. 6. The team returned home with a loss at the hands of the Eaton Eagles, 68-61.

The Arrows (1-1, 1-0 SWBL) never found solid footing against Eaton and trailed for the entire game. Every time the Arrows fought back and started to go on a run, Eaton cut it at the legs and killed all hope for a full comeback.

“Every time we’d make a run, we’d have a guy make a couple of nice shots and then they’d do something to stop the run,” head coach Dale Spitler Jr. said. “It’d be a three, or an and one, or a layup, something like that.”

Junior forward, Joey Bates, had a quick start in the first quarter. He knocked down two quick layups and added a free throw. Five of his nine points came in the first quarter.

The Eagles were lethal from beyond the arc in the first quarter, and for the entire game. The quick start, going 4-for-7 from three, put Eaton up 19-14.

Eaton used that formula in the second quarter to push the lead to 33-25 at half.

Shawnee just couldn’t find the rhythm from outside of the paint in the first. The team was 10-for-15 from inside but only managed 1-for-5 outside. Compare that to Eaton’s 6-for-10 and the story was already being written.

The second half slowed down a little bit. The Eagles maintained the lead by finishing inside the basket. A change in the locker room pushed the Eagles inside. The team only attempted four three’s the rest of the way.

However, foul trouble pushed the Eagles to the line 18 times in the second half. The team did what it had to do to nurse the lead, making 15. For the game, Eaton finished 18-for-21 from the charity stripe. The Arrows could only muster 6-for-11 for the game.

From three, Eaton was dominant. Shawnee hit on 50 (9-for-18) percent of its shots. Eaton converted on 57 (8-for-14) percent.

“You shoot like that and hit that many free throws, that’s the difference in the game,” Spitler Jr. said.

For Spitler Jr. it wasn’t anything his team did wrong, it was just solid execution on Eaton’s part.

“We tried throwing a bunch of stuff at them and they hit shots, they made the plays when they needed to,” Spitler Jr. said. “I’ve got to give them credit.”

Trying to spark his team, Spitler Jr. turned to freshman, Samuel Agee.

Agee responded by going 2-for-3 from three, he’s now shooting 75 percent on the year (3-for-4), to bring the Arrows within striking distance.

Spitler was ultimately really impressed with the team’s performance late. Agee’s big shots coupled with junior, Levi Lewis’, huge fourth quarter (4-for-4 from three) kept the team within striking distance into the final seconds.

“We never gave up,” Spitler Jr. Said. “We just couldn’t quite get over the hump. But, we never gave up, and I’m proud of our guys for that.”

Knowing they were going into a tough game, Spitler Jr. said he takes a lot away from the game. The biggest question now, how will they respond?

“They need to stick together, realize that there’s going to be some tough times,” Spitler Jr. said. “We’ll bounce back; we still have 20 games left. I’m looking forward to it! Hopefully, we can get some momentum going.”

Preble Shawnee’s Lane Conway drives to the basket during the Arrows contest with Eaton on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Shawnee suffered its first loss of the season, 68-61. Shawnee’s Lane Conway drives to the basket during the Arrows contest with Eaton on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Shawnee suffered its first loss of the season, 68-61.

By Daniel Taylor

For The Register-Herald