DAYTON — Preble Shawnee’s season came to an end after a 58-43 loss to Bethel in the opening round of the Division III Sectional Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 13.
After cutting the deficit to just four points entering the fourth quarter down 36-32, the Arrows were outscored 22-11 the rest of the way as Bethel made seven trips to the free-throw line during the final eight minutes.
A wrinkle in this game for the Arrows (10-11, 8-4 SWBL) was the loss of sophomore Campbell Jewell, who was unavailable for Saturday’s game.
Jewell led Shawnee this season in points (14.6 ppg), assists (3.5), steals (5.9) and field goals made (94), and was second in field goal percentage (34.9).
With Jewell out, Preble Shawnee coach Kevin Schaeffer said the Arrows were looking for anybody to provide a scoring boost.
“There wasn’t any reason why we couldn’t score more than Bethel tonight,” he said.
While Shawnee stayed close with Bethel in the first half, never letting the deficit grow to greater than seven points, they were never able to get over the hump and maintain a lead.
After tying the game at 18 as the second quarter winded down, the Bees made three late trips to the free-throw line to make it 24-19 at the half.
The Arrows opened the third quarter on a 9-3 run to take a 28-27 lead, though it would be their last of the game as Bethel responded with a quick 6-0 run to make it 33-28.
Freshman Kahlen Kulms added six of Shawnee’s 13 points during the third quarter on three baskets.
“The whole third quarter I’m begging, ‘Get the ball to Kahlen. Throw the ball down to Kahlen. She’s a foot taller than the kid guarding her,’” Schaeffer said.
Preble Shawnee picked up 22 fouls compared to Bethel’s 17. The Bees were 13-of-25 (52 percent) at the free-throw line, outpacing Shawnee (6-of-14, 43 percent) in both made free throws and percentage.
In the fourth, Bethel took advantage of foul trouble for Shawnee and continued to drive the rim, increasing their lead to 53-37 as the Arrows had trouble getting stops without fouling.
Sophomore Liv Thompson and junior Gracie Lovely added some late free throws to make the final 58-43.
Thompson led the Arrows with 13 points as freshmen Kahlen Kulms and Korrie Woodard each scored 10 points. Sophomore Harlee Howard finished with six points while Johnson connected on a shot from beyond the arc. Lovely added one point.
Johnson, who pulls double-duty with basketball and soccer, was Preble Shawnee’s lone senior this season who played her final game.
“She’s a great kid. She’s a solid, really, really solid and smart soccer player. She’s one of those kids that when she’s out here, she tries to her best to do what I’m asking them to do,” Schaeffer said. “Testament to her. She’s a great kid. Love her to death. Known her for a long time.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles