CAMDEN — The Preble Shawnee boys kept their grip on the top spot of the SWBL Buckeye Division with a hard-fought 59-50 win over visiting Carlisle on Friday, Jan. 22.
“We knew playing Carlisle that it’s a big league rivalry game that we have. And they always play us tough,” Shawnee coach Dale Spitler Jr. said. “It’s always really physical. It’s always very competitive. It’s always a little bit chippy. We knew after the first time we played them down there that when a rematch came that it was gonna be the same way.”
The Arrows withstood an early Carlisle run, falling behind 11-6 after the first quarter.
Shawnee went on a 10-0 run over the first five minutes of the second quarter to take an 16-11 behind the play of freshman Mason Shrout, who scored a career-high 34 points with 11 rebounds to lead the Arrows.
Both crowds felt the tension of the game with at least one fan from both sides being ejected.
“[We knew] it was going to be real physical, and that we were going to have to rebound very well if we were going to have chance to stay in it, because they’ve got a lot of size,” Spitler said. “They’ve got a lot of athleticism. They pound inside so we knew that we were going to have to rebound and play with a lot of intensity for 32 minutes, and fortunately we did.”
Shrout scored 22 of his points in the second half.
“He’s had a heck of a run, and it really is incredible,” Spitler said. “I don’t know what more to say. He’s had a lot of big games. We’re getting a lot of articles and he’s getting a lot of publicity now so people come into games kind of key in on him. And we’re talking people are going to be physical. They’re going to be bringing their best shot at him every night and that he’s going to have to keep his composure and keep his cool because there’s going to be a lot of people, a lot of physicality with him. Everybody is going to bring their best shot. And I thought he did a great job tonight of staying the course and not getting too high, not getting too low.”
The Arrows held an 18-14 lead at the break and were up 37-29 after three.
Shawnee extended its lead to 43-32 with just under six minutes to play, but the Indians rallied to get with three at 49-46 with 1:17 to play.
But Shawnee sealed the game making 14-of-18 free throws in the quarter to hang on for the win.
Senior Bryce Singleton had 10 points and nine rebounds. Cooper Roell came off the bench to score seven points, including going 5-of-7 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
Shawnee began the week with a 54-48 win at Dixie on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Four players scored in double figures for the Arrows, who have now won 13 straight games.
Shrout had 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. Singleton scored 11 with 18 rebounds and six assists. Dylan Hatmaker scored 12 and had six rebounds, three steals and two assists and freshman Logan Hawley contributed 11 points, four blocked shots and three rebounds.
“We’ve got to take it one game at a time. Obviously there’s a lot to play [for],” Spitler Jr. said. “There’s a lot of big games coming up. There’s a lot that’s going to happen in January and first part of February, but it’s nice to be playing in important games and big games and I think the crowd kind of feels that too and creates a lot of excitement, but we’re just looking one game at a time.”
The Arrows, now 14-2 overall and 8-1 in the SWBL, were scheduled to play Valley Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 26 and will host Milton-Union in a key divisional game on Friday. Shawnee will close out the week hosting Twin Valley South on Saturday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr