CAMDEN — Preble Shawnee (7-2, 3-1 SWBL) capped off 2020 with a pair of wins over Tri-County North and Union County to claim victory in the Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30.
On Tuesday, Dec. 29, Shawnee defeated Tri-County North 79-64 to move on to the finals while Union County won over Twin Valley South 52-42.
“They came out pretty hot, I think they jumped on us 20-13 after the first quarter,” Shawnee coach Dale Spitler Jr. said. “We kind of regrouped a little bit in the second quarter. I think we had a four-point lead at the half. We came out with strong in the third quarter, built [the lead] to 13, 14, points. We built a decent lead there, and we were able to hold on.”
In the finals on Wednesday, Dec. 30, Shawnee took the reins early against Union County for a 65-60 win.
The Arrows got off to a 17-5 lead during the first quarter against the Patriots, later increasing it to a 34-19 halftime lead as senior Bryce Singleton, freshman Mason Shrout and junior Xavier Adams scored 28 of Shawnee’s 34 points.
While Shawnee was ahead by double digits for most of the contest, the Patriots made things interesting in the second half by hitting nine 3-pointers, cutting the deficit to just two points, 57-55, with fewer than three minutes left in the game.
At one point, Union County was 9-of-10 on 3-pointers to help spur their comeback.
“We made enough plays to get it done, but they shoot it like that, I’ve got to give them credit,” Spitler said. “We tried to change up our stuff and put pressure on them and they shot the ball extremely well and they rebound pretty well.”
From there, Shrout scored a basket and was fouled, making one of his attempts, giving the Arrows a 60-55 lead. Singleton and Adams added baskets to make it 64-58, and the Arrows then closed things out at the free-throw line.
“Proud of our guys, Bryce and Mason. Bryce, especially, a senior. He’s been in a lot of tight games before,” Spitler said. “If you can get the ball to him, everybody kind of relaxes a little bit. Mason, of course, he’s continuing his start to his freshman year. Xavier, in the last few games, he’s been a difference for our team. We’ve been looking for that third scorer. He’s been really playing well for us.
Shrout led the Arrows with 24 points, adding eight rebounds and five assists. Singleton scored 20 points and collected nine rebounds, while Adams finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Dylan Hatmaker added five points and Jake Woodard added three, with Dylan Campbell scoring two points.
“We’ve just got to control what we can control,” Spitler said. “We tried to pressure the shooters. We work on situational stuff at the end of the game. It’s not always easy. Out of a 22, 23 games season, you’re gonna have some craziness. Give them credit. Fortunately, we were able to pull it out.”
Singleton was named MVP for the tournament with 41 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists on 14-of-24 shooting over two games. Adams and Shrout were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Arrows followed up the win with another victory just three days later, a 60-58 win over National Trail. Shawnee was scheduled to play at Milton Union on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and will play at home against Madison on Friday, Jan. 8, and at Arcanum on Saturday, Jan. 9.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles