CAMDEN — Preble Shawnee’s boys’ basketball team picked the wrong time to have one of its worst shooting nights of the season from the free throw line.
The Arrows made just 5-of-17 attempts from the charity stripe in the championship game of the 33rd Annual Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament Friday, Dec. 30, which played a key role in a 55-44 loss to first-time participant Edgewood.
Missed free throws were a bad sign right from the start.
Shawnee missed its first two free throw attempts just four seconds into the game and three of four just a minute into the contest.
“It was pretty much a sign of how things were all night,” Shawnee coach Dale Spitler Jr. said. “There are going to be nights like that, though. We’re not going to get down too much.”
The Arrows, who were seeking their first title since 2013, also struggled behind the 3-point line, making just 3-of-15 shots.
“I thought our guys played hard,” Spitler Jr. said. “Obviously, we had a cold shooting night and when you look at those numbers you are not going to win when you shoot like that. With those numbers, no matter how hard you play you just can’t overcome that. It was probably our coldest shooting night of the year.”
Despite the low shooting percentage, the Arrows were within two at 40-38 with just over five minutes remaining in the game.
But Edgewood (7-1) went on an 11-0 run over a two-minute stretch to put the game out of reach.
“They are a pretty good team and you have to play well to beat them,” Spitler Jr. said.
The Arrows trailed just 11-8 after the first quarter despite shooting 3-of-14 from the field. The Cougars extended their lead to 25-19 at halftime. Edgewood led by as many as nine points during the second quarter on three occasions.
Shawnee, behind Joey Bates (19 points, 8 rebounds), opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 27-25. It was the Arrows only lead of the game as Edgewood went on a 7-0 run to regain the lead at 32-27, which it held for the remainder of the game.
After the Cougars extended its lead to 40-32 to start the fourth quarter, Shawnee scored the first six points to close the gap to 40-38, before seeing Edgewood take control over the next two minutes.
The 33rd Annual Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament All-Tournament team included MVP Dew Reckart (Edgewood), Eddie Driskell (Edgewood), Ethan McCarty (Edgewood), Mike Meyers (Twin Valley South), Levi Lewis (Preble Shawnee) and Joey Bates (Preble Shawnee).
Spitler Jr. said his team will be ready when league play starts back up this week.
“We’re still doing well in the league. Obviously, we wanted to win the holiday tournament but there is a lot of basketball left,” he said.
Shawnee (5-2, 4-0 SWBL) is scheduled to play at Waynesville on Friday, Jan. 6.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH