EATON — It was another strong offensive performance for Preble Shawnee (18-3, 10-1 SWBL) led by senior Bryce Singleton and freshman Mason Shrout as the Arrows defeated the hosting Eaton Eagles (1-18, 0-11 SWBL) 65-51 on Saturday, Feb. 6.
The Eagles took an early 7-4 lead after baskets from seniors Cameron Lewis and Trevor Long, but the game quickly got out of hand as Shawnee embarked on a 16-1 run to close the quarter up 20-8.
Singleton paced the Arrows with 14 points during the first quarter, eventually finishing with a team-high 26 points and nine rebounds.
Shrout scored nine points in the second quarter as the Arrows extended their lead to 31-19, though two baskets by Long as the clock winded down made the deficit for Eaton 33-24 at the half.
With 11 made field goals against Eaton, Shrout became Preble Shawnee’s single-season leader for field goals in a season with 190, passing Ryan Hudson’s record of 187 set in the 1988-89 season.
“Up to this point, we’ve had two pretty consistent scorers, two proven scorers. If we’re able to get them shots, we’ll do that,” Shawnee coach Dale Spitler Jr. said. “It was one of those nights where Bryce got to going early, so we were able to keep feeding him a little bit. Mason’s had a really nice stretch lately. It’s tough to guard both of them.”
In the second half, Singleton and Shrout continued to pile on as Shawnee senior Jake Woodard added five quick points, making it a 17-point game with a 45-28 lead.
Undeterred by the deficit, the Eagles went on a 9-2 run to make it a 10-point game heading into the fourth quarter.
Whether diving for a loose ball or contesting a shot, players for both teams began to hit the floor as the game became physical.
“We knew Eaton was gonna play hard,” Spitler said. “You knew it was gonna be physical. Wasn’t gonna be easy.”
Despite the push, Eaton was never able to cut the deficit below 10 points, with Shawnee’s lead growing to as many as 15 during the fourth.
With time winding down, Shawnee closed things out at the free-throw line for the 65-51 win.
“I thought we did a good job of staying with it,” Spitler said. “Eaton hit some shots, give them credit. They hit some big shots and kind of kept it close but we were able to bounce back and get stops here and there when we needed it.”
Shrout finished with 25 points and five assists as junior Xavier Adams finished with seven points. Woodard finished with five points and sophomore Dylan Campbell added a bucket and five steals as well.
For the Eagles, junior Breyden Boston led with 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, followed by Long with 14 and junior Brady Davis with eight points. Lewis finished with seven points. Senior Beau Shepherd scored five points as junior Clayton Kiracofe added a free throw.
Preble Shawnee will have to wait until this Friday to take the court again as they prepare to play at Northridge with the SWBL Buckeye Division Championship on the line.
“The good thing is regardless what happens, we’ve already got at least a share of the league championship, which going into the season was one of our goals,” Spitler said. “We wanted to get that, we wanted to win the holiday tournament and we wanted to be everybody in the county. It’s gonna be a big week…If we beat Northridge, we’re champs. It’s that simple.”
With a win, the Arrows would be sole champions, while a loss and a win by Waynesville (11-9, 9-2 SWBL) over Middletown Madison on Friday would make them co-champions.
“We know it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be pretty tough and we’re just gonna turn it loose and whatever happens, happens, but we’re in a good place right now and we’re looking forward to it with a full week,” Spitler said. “I think our guys will be ready.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles