CAMDEN — The Preble Shawnee boys’ basketball team played four games in six days and went 2-2 on the week, earning victories over Dixie on Tuesday, Jan. 26 and National Trail on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Despite missing both starting post players in Thomas Buell and Joey Bates, the Arrows earned a home victory over Dixie, 77-71, behind 25 points from Levi Lewis.
In the absence of Buell and Bates, Lane Conway scored a season-high 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Arrows also dished out 19 assists on 28 made baskets on the game, with Joby Williams and Kevin Ketring each recording six assists.
The Arrows used a small ball lineup around Conway in the post to help spread the floor and turned up the defensive pressure in the game, forcing 13 Dixie turnovers.
The Arrows jumped out to a 24-17 lead after the first quarter as the two teams raced up and down the court most of the night in the fast-paced game. At halftime the Arrows led, 35-30.
Each team scored 21 points in the third quarter and the Arrows outscored the Greyhounds 21-20 in the final frame. The Arrows went on to win 77-71 to improve to 5-4 in the SWBL Buckeye Division.
The Arrows survived a career night from Dixie’s Blake Miller, who scored 35 points on 14-18 shooting from the floor.
Ethan Arnette shot 9-12 for Dixie, scoring 24 points on the night.
On Friday, Jan. 29, the Arrows fell to Waynesville for the second time on the season, 72-59.
The Spartans have just four wins on the season with two coming against Preble Shawnee.
“They run a zone that we get looks against — we run our zone offense, both times I thought our game plan was effective,” head coach Jason Crider said after the loss. “We got the looks we wanted, we attacked the zone a lot better this time, we just didn’t make open shots.”
Crider also noted Waynesville has suffered five losses by four points or less on the season, and called the Spartans, “a much better team than their record shows.”
Once again the Arrows were at the mercy of a career night, as Griffin Cook scored 27 points against Shawnee, including five three-pointers. He was averaging just over five points per game entering the contest.
On Saturday, Jan. 30, the Arrows picked up a 64-43 victory at home over National Trail. The Arrows jumped out to an early lead and the led the entire game en route to the non-conference victory.
On Monday, Jan. 25, the Arrows traveled to league-leading and state-ranked Northridge for a make-up game.
The Polar Bears showed their strength, as they defeated the Arrows, 77-50. Northridge jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, leading 24-7 after the first quarter. By halftime the Arrows trailed 45-16.
Entering the final frame, Northridge led 67-25.
As his team enters the final weeks of the season, continuing to search for an identity, Crider challenged his players with a question: “What are we hanging our hats on going into the tournament?”
The Arrows host Bellbrook on Tuesday, Feb. 2, before hosting Northridge for a rematch on Friday, Feb 5. They are now 10-8 on the season and 5-5 in the SWBL Buckeye Division.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062, or on Twitter at aschmidt_RH.