CAMDEN — Preble Shawnee’s girls basketball team continues to rack up victories.
The Arrows went 3-1 last week and have now won nine of their last 10 games.
The only loss during that stretch was to league champion Waynesville.
Shawnee began the week with a 37-35 win over Fenwick on Monday, Feb. 4.
“We started off down 0-8, giving up eight points in the first ninety seconds, and true to Shawnee fashion, we dug ourselves out of the hole,” Shawnee coach Kevin Schaeffer said. “It seems like this team needs shot in the arm before we start playing the basketball we are capable of. The rest of the week was kind of the same story.”
Jenna Lovely led the way with 13 points and 4 steals and everyone else chipped in with 4 or 5 points, according to Schaeffer.
“Logan Hollon played really well gathering 12 rebounds and playing excellent defense. Brenna (Woodard) and Nicole (Sims) each dished out 4 assists. I was really pleased with this game in all because Fenwick’s style of play is typically the kind of team we struggle with,” Schaeffer said. “They are now 9-12, but they play in a very tough GCL. It was a good win for us.”
On Tuesday, Shawnee had a chance to more into a first place tie in the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Buckeye Division with a win over Waynesville.
But the Spartans proved to be too much and handed Shawnee a 49-32 setback.
“We were nervous shooters all night, which has been an issue as of late. As a coach, it’s difficult to coach good shooting. You can’t get mad at the girls or get on them – that just exacerbates the issue. I think we just need to play relaxed and loose,” Schaeffer said. “In the gym at practice, we are very good shooters. So, as a coach, I’m trying to keep all shooting drills light, yet serious. Against Waynesville, we were nervous shooters again. We got open looks, missed a lot of threes, and a lot of lay-ups. Part of our poor performance offensively can be partially attributed to the quality of Waynesville, but I am adamant in the belief that we can play with and beat Waynesville if we can figure out how to relax around the rim. Our amped attitude plays into our strength though. We are likely the best defensive team in the SWBL, holding many top scorers to a season low. Waynesville is good and I give them credit, but we are not too far off of that.”
This was kind of a “welcome to the show” game for Hollon, according to Schaeffer said.
“She went toe-to-toe with the best post player in the league and gave as good as she got. If we can get her playing as aggressively and intently as she did in the second half, we will be a tough out for anyone in the state,” he said.
On Thursday, the Arrows traveled to Eaton for a rivaly game.
The Arrows we on their heels much of the first half and trailed 27-8 at the half.
But a strong second half rally propelled Shawnee to a 50-45 overtime win.
“Oh my. This was a disaster from the get go. It was the worst half of basketball we have played in the three years of my tenure at Shawnee,” Schaeffer said. “We just weren’t there. Didn’t bother to show up. At half, we were down, and embarrassed, 8-27. After a spirited half time discussion in the locker room, I challenged the girls to show a little Shawnee pride. And that they did. We changed very little strategically. Ran the same defense and press as we showed in the first half. We rallied to win the second half by a total of 42-18 and escaped with a 50-45 overtime win.
Lovely led the way with 14 points, followed by 12 and 10 respectively for Hollon and Sims. Woodard chipped in with 8, which included banking in a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in regulation and force overtime.
“I am very proud of the way the girls responded after a well-played half by Eaton,” Schaeffer said. “We have adopted the motto ‘Respect the Grind’. Every game, regardless of who we play, it’s a total grind. This bodes very well for our tournament potential. Shawnee girls will not panic. They will never quit. We have proven that time and time again. Tonight was just another example.”
Shawnee wrapped up the week with a 48-32 win over National Trail on Saturday. The win gave the Arrows a 4-0 record against county teams.
“We did what we needed to do. We played well in spells and took time off in spells. I can empathize with that because it was our fifth game in eight days. That’s tough,” Schaeffer said. “More importantly than the win, however, was the chance we had to honor our seniors. Logan Hollon, Nicole Sims, Kaylie Campbell, Jenna Lovely, and Brenna Woodard are collectively the best group of student-athletes I’ve had the chance of being around. They are hard-workers, dedicated students and athletes, incredibly enjoyable to be around, and just all around great students, teammates, friends, and athletes, but all seniors contributed tonight on both sides of the court. When we needed to step up our play, we did. When we needed a singularly important performance, those kids stepped up. I am very proud to have been their coach and a greater group of kids I could never ask for or expect.”
Shawnee (15-6, 9-2 SWBL) was scheduled to close out the regular season with a trip to Milton-Union on Monday, Feb. 11.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH