CAMDEN — Preble Shawnee’s boys’ basketball team picked the right time to play one of its most complete games of the season when it hosted unbeaten Franklin on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
Behind one of the top-scoring games in school history, from senior Joey Bates (35 points), the Arrows remained undefeated with a thrilling 75-72 win over the Division I Wildcats.
“We’d seen their stats and seen some film, so we knew they were good. But without seeing them in person we didn’t know exactly how we would be able to match up and being a Division I school, we thought we might have some issues there. But we knew we’d play hard,” Shawnee Coach Dale Spitler Jr. said.
With the win, Shawnee improves to 6-0, while Franklin fell to 6-1.
Despite being in early foul trouble, Bates was able to shine. He made 14-of-18 shots on the night and pulled down six rebounds. He netted 24 of his points in the second half as the Arrows withstood a Franklin rally, which ended with a missed three-point attempt at the buzzer.
“He really came to life tonight. Maybe one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of for coaching,” Spitler Jr. said of Bates.
Spitler Jr. said he was confident his team could compete against the Wildcats.
“Up until this point we’ve had some nice games and nice wins so we’re pretty confident in our guys. We came out ready to go and kept the same plan that we’ve had in our other games and didn’t really change anything,” Spitler Jr. said.
Spitler Jr. said containing the Wildcats three-point shooters was a key to the win.
“They have some good three-point shooters so we tried our best to limit their three-point shots,” he said. Franklin made just six three’s on the night.
Spitler Jr. credited senior Austin Moore with getting everyone involved. He scored 14 point and dished out 11 assists while under constant pressure from Franklin’s guards.
“Austin Moore did a great job of handling the pressure out there. Franklin’s got some really good, solid guards. He did great job of managing the game and getting everybody involved,” Spitler Jr. said.
Senior Chase Thompson had nine points, nine rebounds and six steals and senior Levi Lewis had seven point and three rebounds.
“It was a total team effort,” Spitler Jr. said.
For the game, Shawnee made 29-of-52 shots, while Franklin was 23-of-53 overall and 6-for-20 from 3-point range.
The Arrows will return to action on Friday, Dec. 29, when they host their own holiday tournament.
Shawnee will play Twin Valley South (4-3) at 6 p.m. The second game features Tri-County North and Springfield Northwestern.
The consolation game is set for Saturday at 6 p.m., with the championship game to be played at 7:30 p.m.
The junior varsity team will play at 11 a.m. Friday, also against Twin Valley South.