TIPP CITY — The Preble Shawnee ladies’ season ended after a closely contested, hard-fought game against Miami East in the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Tippacanoe High School. The Arrows lost 56-48.
The game also closes out the career of Joe Webster, the long-time head coach of their program.
“What a battle. We couldn’t make baskets. That’s really all it amounted to. We couldn’t make baskets and had to foul. We couldn’t rebound at the end of the game,” said Webster. “It was a nice game though all the same. I couldn’t be more proud. The girls know I’m retired so it’s tough. It’s my last game. Their last game with me – they might be happy about that, I don’t know!”
Shawnee held a sliver of a lead for the majority of the game, starting out on a 17-10 run before Miami East scored the last four points of the first quarter, closing the gap to just a three-point lead for the Arrows.
They quickly gained back an eight point lead to open the second before East went on a 9-2 run midway through the period. The Arrows gained back some slight momentum though, and took a two-point lead into halftime.
Coming out of the break, both teams traded buckets for the duration of the third and took a 39-all game into the final frame.
That’s when the Arrows went cold, unable to hit key shots in several possessions down the stretch and allowing the Vikings to open up the fourth on an 11-4 run, pushing the score to 50-43.
Shawnee began to foul Miami East, who missed their next six free throws, but were unable to secure boards and allowed the Vikings into several second chance opportunities.
“We weren’t able to convert. We didn’t get rebounds that we needed to get. It’s just the way the ball bounces,” said Webster. “I thought we could play with them. I don’t know if the girls really knew if they could, but I thought we could. And we did.”
The Arrows were led by Chloe Smith, who posted 15 points while both Nicole Sims and Elise Walker added 10 points. Riane Woodard chipped in five points as well.
Webster leaves the program after nine years as the head coach and totaling 13 years with the Arrows. He walks away from a roster that is dominated by freshman and sophomores and has zero seniors.
“I’m proud of the program. I’m proud of where we took the program. We’ve done nothing but get better every year,” he said. “I got the program when it was empty. Someone is going to get it when it’s full. That’s a good time to go out. Someone is going to have a nice ball club to go into.”
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.