CAMDEN — Preble Shawnee’s bid to move into a first-place tie in the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Buckeye Division came up short as No. 7 ranked Waynesville handed the host Arrows a 54-45 loss on Saturday, Jan. 20, in front of a nearly packed gymnasium.
In a battle of state-ranked teams, the Spartans made a few more plays than the No. 17 ranked Arrows.
With the loss, Shawnee falls to 12-3 overall and 7-2 in the league. Waynesville improved to 15-0 and 8-0 in the SWBL.
Both teams shot the ball evenly with Shawnee making 16-of-42 shots and Waynesville making good on 15-of-47 attempts.
But the Spartans held the edge from behind the 3-point line and at the foul line. Waynesville made 9 3-pointers and was 15-of-23 from the foul line. Shawnee was 5-for-10 from 3-point range was just 8-of-17 from the free throw line.
“They worked their rear-ends off against us and they had to,” Shawnee coach Kevin Schaeffer said of Waynesville. “All-in-all, second place to Waynesville, and I hate saying it, that’s not too bad because they are a heck of a basketball team. That’s two good basketball teams that went at it. They just made a few more shots than we did.”
Schaeffer said he told his players not be upset with themselves.
“My kids, they played their rear-ends off. I couldn’t be more proud of them,” he said.
Junior Nicole Sims, who scored nine points, got things started for the Arrows, scoring eight of her teams first 12 points, but Waynesville hit a 3-pointer late in the quarter to take a 13-12 lead. The Spartans never trailed again.
Waynesville extended its lead to 21-14 early in the second quarter, but Shawnee, behind the scoring of junior Kaylie Campbell kept the game close. Campbell scored six of her 10 points in the quarter as Shawnee trailed 29-25 at the half.
The Spartans opened the third quarter with an 11-4 run to take a 40-29 lead. Shawnee never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
Junior Brenna Woodard led the Arrows with 14 points, including seven in the final quarter.
“I hope that everybody in the gym that was a Shawnee supporter saw those girls just pour their heart out,” Schaeffer said. “I told them be upset with the loss, you don’t like losing for sure, but don’t be upset with yourselves because you guys are awesome. You made yoursevles proud and the school proud.”
Schaeffer said he believes his team will bounce back and could still finish the regular season on a high note and make a deep run in the postseason tournament.
“This group right here, they’re not going to take off a game,” he said. “One loss isn’t going to kill us. This team will come back. They’ll be fine, but it does suck losing to Waynesville. Nobody likes doing that.”
Shawnee was scheduled to play National Trail on Tuesday, Jan. 23. They will host Northridge on Thursday and will travel to Twin Valley South on Saturday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH