CAMDEN — Kevin Schaeffer was left asking a simple question after his Preble Shawnee girls’ basketball team suffered a 58-35 loss to visiting Valley View on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
“What do you do?,” he asked after the Spartans racked up 33 points in the first quarter on 12-of-16 shooting, which included the visitors making their last 11 shots of the quarter.
“You know, defensively, I don’t know that I really would have done anything different,” he said. “About half of those [shots] were contested and half of them we were slow getting in transition and then we had trouble closing out the three-point shooter.”
With the game tied at 3-all just two and a half minutes in, Valley View went on a 30-5 run to close out the quarter to take a 33-8 lead and forced the Arrows to play from behind for the remainder of the game.
The Spartans made 8-of-11 three-pointers in the opening quarter.
“It’s hard to win a ballgame when the team starts eight of nine in the first quarter. I hate losing, but the way [we] played and the stuff that we were looking to improve on, I did see improvements in those areas: getting post touches, guards staying under control a little bit more,” Schaeffer said.
Despite the loss, Schaeffer said he found some positives in the game.
“I’m disappointed in losing of course. But the thing that we’ve been really weak in, our struggle has been forcing some things, not getting our post any touches at all or not even looking in there,” he said. “After the game I said we got better in that area. Normally we would force, against a decent team like that, we would force 20 or 25 shots in a game.
“I probably can count them on one hand, four or five really poor shots [where] I kind of went, ‘I don’t like that one.’ But we were taking open shots, they weren’t falling. We missed a bunch of little bunnies underneath and had some open looks at threes that didn’t go down, so we got better decision making and that’s what I wanted.
“We actually had post players today that we’re trying to get the ball inside and our guards threw it in here occasionally. I think we’ve got to work on, once our post touches the ball, what do we do then? I think pretty much every shot that we took from inside when we tried to postpone was forced.
“And I try to tell them, you get into that post player you do not have to shoot the ball. If you feel like that defense is all over you, kick it back out because the guards are going to relocate and they’re probably going to get an open look there.”
The sophomore trio of Liv Thompson, Campbell Jewell and Harlee Howard paced the Arrows. Thompson finished with 12 points, Jewell added nine and Howard contributed seven.
The Arrows outscored the Valley View 19-12 in the second half.
“But like I said, I’m not disgustedly disappointed. I mean, in a game like that, I think a lot of times you walk out of the gym and go, ‘Well, that was awful.’ But really, for two and a half or three quarters, our decision making was good. Our guards were way more under control,” Schaeffer said. “[Valley View is] super good. I mean, they’re super good. I think it’s probably the best thing they’ve had in years. I mean, they’ve always been good but they’re really, really good.”
Shawnee (3-3) is scheduled to play at Bradford on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 and at Waynesville on Jan. 7, before hosting Dixie on Jan. 9.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr