CAMDEN — Dale Spitler Jr. knew last weekend was going to a big one for his Preble Shawnee boys’ basketball team if the Arrows hoped to keep their league championship dreams alive.
Shawnee entered Friday’s (Feb. 2) game with Northridge tied for second place with the Polar Bears and just one game behind league-leader Middletown Madison.
The Arrows also had a key game against Waynesville — a team they lost to just a week ago — the next night.
Things couldn’t have worked out any better for the Arrows as they came away with a pair of wins to set up a showdown with Madison this coming Friday.
Shawnee raced out to a big lead over the visiting Polar Bears and never looked back. The Arrows scored the first nine points of the game and led 17-6 after the first quarter.
Shawnee extended its lead to 33-19 at halftime. The Arrows led by as many as 16 in the third quarter (38-22) before Nothridge rallied to within 38-30 by the four minute mark. Shawnee was able to push the lead back to double digits by the end of the, 47-36.
Northridge pulled to within 47-40 early in the fourth, before Shawnee went on a game-clinching 17-6 run over the next four minutes.
Four players scored in double figures for Shawnee. Austin Moore tallied 16 points, seven steals and five assists. Joey Bates added 12 points. Chase Thompson had 11 points, three steals and three assists and Andrew Monnin had 10 point and nine rebounds.
On Saturday, Bates dropped in a game-high 32 points as Shawnee pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 66-47 win over the Spartans. Bates also pulled down seven rebounds.
Moore scored 17 point and had six steals and five assists. Monnin chipped in eight points and 11 rebounds.
Waynesville got off to a 17-13 lead after the first quarter, but Shawnee rallied to force a 28-28 score by halftime. The Arrows led 44-41 after three then outscored the visitors 22-6 over the final eight minutes.
“We kind of control our own destiny here,” Spitler Jr. said.
In addition to hosting Madison with first place in the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division on the line, Shawnee (13-4, 8-2 SWBL) will also host Arcanum on Saturday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH