MIDDLETOWN, OH — Faced with one game left in the regular season against Middletown Madison, the stakes were simple for Preble Shawnee: win, and secure a co-share of the SWBL Buckeye Divison Championship.
The Arrows previously lost to Madison 47-44 on Jan. 23, so while the task was tall, it wasn’t impossible given that Shawnee forced 25 turnovers the last time around.
However, despite growing an 18-6 lead against the Mohawks in the second quarter on Saturday, Feb. 6, the Arrows would eventually fall short of the co-SWBL championship, dropping 51-39 to Madison.
Senior Jacy Johnson, sophomores Liv Thompson and Harlee Howard as well as freshman Korrie Woodard all got involved early to help build Shawnee’s lead. Defensively, the Arrows didn’t allow points from Madison until 4:26 in the first quarter and 4:05 in the second quarter.
Even as the lead grew, foul trouble began to rear its head as multiple Shawnee players visited the bench in the first half to avoid picking up more fouls.
After building the lead, the Arrows scored just one point in the final 4:05 of the second quarter as the Mohawks cut the deficit to four points, 19-15, going into the half.
The teams traded blows in the third quarter with three lead changes as they went to the free-throw line a combined 10 times.
After the Mohawks took a 28-27 lead, another foul by the Arrows put Madison into the bonus with 2:16 remaining in the third, but a later layup by Woodard as time expired made it a one-point game down 33-32 entering the fourth.
A pair of free throws by sophomore Campbell Jewell cut the deficit to 37-34, but the Mohawks then went on an 8-0 run, assisted by three trips to the foul line, to make it 45-34. During this run, both Howard and freshman Kahlen Kulms fouled out.
The Arrows were forced to foul but did not receive any assistance from the Mohawks who finished 23-of-30 from the charity stripe.
Woodard scored a basket as Jewell and Thompson added points at the free-throw line late to make the final 51-39. Jewell would eventually foul out with less than 30 seconds remaining.
In total, 41 fouls were called with 25 on the Arrows and 16 on the Mohawks.
Only five Arrows finished in the scoring column – Thompson, Jewell, Howard with nine points, Woodard with seven points and Johnson with five points – in Shawnee’s fourth-lowest scoring output of the season.
Shawnee finished the regular season with a 10-10 overall record and a 8-4 record in the Buckeye Division, good for a fourth place finish behind Carlisle (12-9, 8-4 SWBL), Waynesville (11-7, 8-3 SWBL) and Madison (12-8, 10-2 SWBL).
The No. 5 seeded Arrows begin sectional tournament play on Saturday, Feb. 13 against No. 7 Bethel at Northridge High School. Tip is set for 1:30 p.m.