CAMDEN — Preble Shawnee’s winning streak hit six in row with a convincing 58-26 win over visiting Twin Valley South on Saturday, Jan. 8, in a varsity girls basketball game.
Behind the play of junior guards Liv Thompson (19 points, fours steals, four blocked shots, four rebounds and three assists) and Campbell Jewel (14 points, seven steals, five rebounds and four assists) and the inside play of junior Harlee Howard (14 points and 11 rebounds) the Arrows made quick work of the Lady Panthers.
Shawnee raced out to a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes and led 22-7 at the end of first quarter. The Arrows extened their lead to 47-16 at the half as Thompson scored 15 of her points in the first half. Jewel tallied 11 of her 14 in the first half as well.
Shawnee began the third quarter with a 7-2 run to take a 54-17 lead. The final 14 minutes of the game was played with a running clock. This season the OHSAA implemented the running clock when the lead reaches 35 points at anytime in the second half.
Shawnee also got nine points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds from senior guard Gracie Lovely.
“We knew going in that we were the better team. I respect coach Murphy a lot. So I knew if we just handled our business we’d be okay. I mean, we did. We came out pretty much on fire. It was a good start. Pretty happy,” Shawnee coach Maggie Neanen said. “I think we’re finally starting to figure it out, trust each other. I think our scorers know they don’t have to do it all themselves. We can share the ball and all get their points. And we still win. The selfishness (from the past) is finally going away.”
Neanen praised the play of Thompson, who has stepped into a leadership role for the team.
“The past couple of games Liv’s really stepped up for us,” Neanen said. “We had a good chat with her as coaches about, hey, we need you to become more of a scorer. I mean, she’s gotten her points in the past but we told her you have to lead this team, be one of the leaders and she’s really stepped up.”
Shawnee, now 9-5 overall and 5-2 in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference, has two games scheduled this week as they were scheduled to host Eaton on Monday, Jan. 10 and will entertain Ansonia on Thursday.
“I like the way we’re competing right now. We’re starting to click finally,” Neanen said.
During the win streak, Shawnee has defeated Tri-County North (65-50), Carlisle (46-39), Dixie (55-45), Franklin (71-44 and Bradford (56-54).
In the Bradford win, Thompson finished with 23 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Jewel added 20 points, six steals and five assists.
Jewel hit the game-winner as time expired.
For South, junior Ellie Webb led the way with nine points and four rebounds. Freshman Jordan Ritchie added six points. Senior Pearle Rollyson led the team with five rebounds.
First year coach Shawn Murphy realizes there’s room for improvement.”
“This was a great team to play against to help us grow as the talent level at Shawnee is elite,” Murphy said. “You can learn a lot by playing against players like Liv Thompson, Campbell Jewel and company. They’re a well coached team and the personnel they have all play with a lot of intensity and grit. We continue to ask our players to come to practice with the expectation to grow and get 1 percent better. And to stay positive and be coachable as the change we expect and want to see isn’t going to happen overnight. These group of girls work hard for us and seeing the individual improvements are considered small victories for us.”
South, now 3-10 overall and 0-7 in the WOAC, was scheduled to play Brookville on Monday and will host Arcanum, the No. 5 ranked team in the state in Division III, on Thursday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr