CAMDEN — Led by sophomore Campbell Jewell’s 21 points and freshman Kahlen Kulms’ career-high 18 points and 18 rebounds, Preble Shawnee defeated Twin Valley South 63-40 on Saturday, Jan. 30.
The teams traded blows in the first quarter with Kulms scoring six points as the Panthers connected on two 3-pointers to trail 17-12.
Though the Arrows sent a full-court press at South, Panthers coach Lindsey Cole said her team was prepared and handled it well.
“Our guards made good decisions and I was happy with how well we handled the press,” she said. “There were some spurts in the game where we played a really even game and then there were some spurts where they really went on a run.”
In the second quarter, Shawnee sophomore Liv Thompson made her presence known with seven points as the Arrows extended their lead to 30-16 at the half.
Shawnee looked poised to break the game open as the third quarter began, but South fought back with a 13-9 run to begin the second half, boosted by sophomore Ellie Webb’s seven points.
At this point, Shawnee’s struggles from beyond the arc and at the free-throw line came to a head as the Panthers got back into the game down 39-29.
The Arrows finished 0-of-17 from three-point range, compared to their regular 25.8 three-point percentage, and were 11-of-24 (45.8 percent) from the key, below their season average of 54.9 percent.
“We left a ton of points on the floor, honestly,” Shawnee coach Kevin Schaeffer said. “We weren’t really knocking down anything beyond layups, and that’s not like us.”
Despite these issues, the Arrows would finish the third quarter with a 49-32 lead, eventually winning 63-40 as they allowed just eight points by South in the fourth quarter.
“It was a good all-around performance,” Schaeffer said. “I think Liv played well; she struggled a little bit as late, and she played really well today. Decision making was good. Campbell’s decision making was good.”
Kulms’ second career double-double gave her career highs in points and rebounds.
“She came out big,” Schaeffer said. “To her credit, she was working, but I also think that the guards did a lot better job of finding her open. That’s huge for her.”
Cole said Kulms hindered South’s scoring inside.
“We took advantage when Kulms was out of the game and tried to work the ball inside during those times,” she said. “Luckily, we shot the ball fairly well from outside and had five different girls hit a three.”
Schaeffer said he hopes this is a spark for Kulms.
“I hope this is a shot of confidence for her going, ‘Hey, you can do the same thing against Waynesville on Tuesday. You can do the same thing against Madison on [Feb. 9],’” he said. “She should have big games.”
With four games remaining, three of which are against conference opponents, the Arrows have firmly entrenched themselves in the SWBL Buckeye Division race, trailing only Madison (10-7, 8-1 SWBL) in the standings.
“Overall pleased [with the game], some stuff we’ve got to work on for Tuesday, but I think it’s all stuff hopefully that – we had a bad shooting night but that doesn’t worry me too much,” Schaeffer said. “We’ll be fine.”
Beyond Jewell’s 21 points, as well as nine steals, and Kulms’ 18 points, Thompson finished with 16 for the Arrows. Junior Gracie Lovely added four points while freshmen Isabella Agee and Korrie Woodard each scored a bucket.
For the Panthers, junior Abby McGuire led with nine points followed by senior Taylor Clark with eight points and Webb with seven points.
Shawnee will play three games this week, first heading on the road to face Waynesville on Tuesday, Feb. 2, before returning home to play Northridge on Thursday, Feb. 4, and finishing at Mississinawa Valley on Saturday, Feb. 6.
“As we look forward to the rest of our season, we have Tri-Village who is the league powerhouse [on Feb. 4] and then Dayton Christian [on Feb. 6] and Ansonia before we open tournament play with Arcanum [on Feb. 11],” Cole said. “We have had several close games that we’ve dropped in the last few weeks and we’re really itching for another win. We match up well with Dayton Christian and Ansonia and we are looking to get a few more wins before the end of the season.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles