CAMDEN — Strong performances by each of Preble Shawnee’s three sophomores – Harlee Howard, Campbell Jewell and Liv Thompson – helped lift the Arrows in a 46-34 upset over Waynesville on Thursday, Dec. 3.
Howard led the Arrows with 20 points and 8 rebounds, followed by Jewell with 14 points and Thompson with 10. Freshman Kahlen Kulms was Shawnee’s only other scorer, adding 2 points.
“I was at a loss for words, and I’m never at a loss for words,” Shawnee coach Kevin Schaeffer said after the win.
Expected to be a challenging game against the defending SWBL Buckeye League Championships, Preble Shawnee jumped out to an early 14-13 lead as the first quarter ended.
That lead grew as Jewell scored 9 points in the second quarter, eventually making it 29-19 going into the locker room.
Shawnee stayed ahead throughout the third quarter, but with just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Waynesville made it just a 6-point game at 34-28.
“I told [assistant coach Rob Turpin], ‘I didn’t think it would be possible to be more nervous at halftime than I was at the start game,’” Schaeffer said. “I’m hoping that effort with them is a confidence booster. They don’t have to force; they can just play good, solid, smart basketball.”
From there, Howard and Thompson each added a bucket to make it a 10-point game as Waynesville struggled to make its shots.
As time winded down, the Spartans were forced to foul, and the Arrows closed things out at the free-throw line, eventually making it 46-34 for the final.
“I’m super proud of them,” Schaeffer said. “They’ve grown a lot in the last year. They’re handling the moment better than they did [before].”
Waynesville senior Leah Butterbaugh, named First-Team All-League last season, was held to just 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting. As a team, the Spartans were just 11-of-55 on the night, struggling to find the basket despite 13 offensive rebounds.
“I’d like to think that our defense had a lot to do with that and we were really active,” Schaeffer said. “We worked really hard with Campbell and Liv and Harlie down there. Kahlen, some of the freshmen had some big stops. [Senior] Jacy [Johnson] was scrappy all game. It was impressive to see what they did.”
With an early-season win over one of the best teams in the SWBL, Schaeffer believes it will give the Arrows confidence moving further into the schedule.
“Playing against a tough team, there are some doubts there,” he said. “How are we going to play? Are we going to show up, are we gonna do the right thing? I think maybe that win right there, [now] they go, ‘We can beat anyone now.’
Schaeffer was proud of how his team played but specifically wanted to shout-out Howard for her performance.
“If she’s the best kid on the floor with [Isabella] Cassoni and Butterbaugh and Campbell and Liv…I mean, if she’s the best out of that group, she’s a good ballplayer,” he said.
Waynesville’s 34 points are its fewest in an SWBL Buckeye Division contest since a 33-32 loss to Madison on Dec. 20, 2014. These teams will face off again at Waynesville on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.
Preble Shawnee was scheduled to play at home against Arcanum on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and is scheduled to play at home against Carlisle on Saturday, Dec. 12. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles