KETTERING – The Preble Shawnee Arrows used its height and length to confirm size can make a difference in the game of basketball by defeating the Miami East Vikings 50-40 in regional OHSAA DIII tournament action to advance to the Elite Eight.
“Having the size advantage was huge,” said Preble Shawnee coach Jake Turner. “Getting to the rim, go give it to our bigs and just try to get as many points as we can in the paint. We did a great job of getting it to the paint for the most part.”
A tightly called game had Preble Shawnee’s margin of victory coming at the free throw line with the Arrows knocking down 25 of 32 (78.1 percent) tosses from the charity stripe including 14 of 16 at the fourth quarter line while Miami East was 11 of 17 (64.7 percent), only 2 of 2 at the fourth quarter stripe.
Miami East took the court with a starting lineup of 6’2”, 6’1”, 6’1” 6’0” and 5’9” while the Arrows hit the court at 6’8”, 6’5”, 6’2”, 6’1” and 5’9” with a noticeable inside game advantage.
Miami East’s 6’2” Wes Enis buried a corner 3-pointer to give the Viking an early 3-0 lead before Preble Shawnee would take the opening quarter 13-10 with Mason Shrout, Logan Hawley each adding four points to the board, Brayden Robinette and Isaac Blankenship both with 2-points and Cooper Roell a point. Wes Enis poured in 8 Vikings points draining two 3-pointers and 2 free throws.
Period No. 2 went to the Arrows by an 11-5 score with 6’8” junior Logan Hawley scoring 6-points in the paint, Roell 4-points and Robinette a free throw sending the teams to the break with the Arrows leading 24-15. Enis logged 4-points for Miami East in the second.
“I thought we had the size advantage obviously, a big size advantage,” Turned noted. “Our game plan was to feed him (Hawley). We did a good job of getting him the ball when he was open. He probably altered 10-15 shots at the rim.”
“If he doesn’t do that we don’t win,” he added. “He changed the game on both ends of the court. He has the ability to do that – he works his tail off.”
Miami East battled back taking the third quarter 11-7 with Devon Abshire coming off the bench to pace the Vikings with 4-points. The Arrows took a 5-point 31-26 lead to the final period of play.
“We have to knock down some shots,” Coach Turner said of the team’s only downside of the night as the team would finish 1-7 from beyond the arc. “We can’t throw it in the ocean right now it feels like.”
The Vikings continued to chip away at the Arrow lead to trail by a single point, 31-30 at 5:39 to open fourth quarter play. Shawnee took advantage of the team’s lone triple of the night with Shrout draining a trey to give the Preble County school a little breathing room.
With Shrout drawing fouls cutting and driving to the basket, the 6’5” junior sealed the Arrows win canning 6 of 6 fourth quarter free throws to go along with his 3-pointer to pace Shawnee with 9 fourth quarter points. Hawley added 5-points, Blankenship was 4-4 at the line and Roell added a free throw to round out fourth quarter Shawnee scoring.
“Mason (Shrout) took over down the stretch,” said Turner. “He struggled a little bit early. He can’t play great for 32 minutes every night. He struggled a little bit on offense – he didn’t let it affect him on defense. He got some big plays down the stretch.”
Hawley led Preble Shawnee and all scorers with a game high 18-points and Shrout 15-points. Enis paced Miami East with 15-points, 13 coming in the first half.
“What a night, unbelievable, he dominated both ends of the court, offensively unbelievable around the rim, made his free throws, altered so many shots,” Coach Turner said of Hawley. “We were able to keep him at the rim and protect. He’s had some ups and downs this year – tonight was unbelievable.”
Coach Turner closed out the night complementing the Preble Shawnee community and appreciation for their league; the Western Ohio Athletic Conference (WOAC).
“What a great student section, what a great crowd,” Turner stated. “The whole community was here tonight it felt like. It’s for these guys but it’s also for this community. It’s just a special night for Preble Shawnee – for the community.”
“This is great for our league to have two teams (Tri-Village and Preble Shawnee) play tonight,” said Coach Turner. “It’s unbelievable and it shows how much our league is improving. I think we’re just going to continue to improve year after year. This is a great night for the WOAC and for everybody.”
The last time the Preble Shawnee boys basketball program made it to the regional finals was the 1973-74 season.
PREBLE SHAWNEE 50, MIAMI EAST 40
PREBLE SHAWNEE – L. Hawley 18, M. Shrout 15, I. Blankenship 6, Co. Roell 6, B. Robinette 3, J. Miller 2 11 25-32 1 50
MIAMI EAST – W. Enis 15, J. Roeth 8, C. Apple 6, B. Haught 5, D. Abshire 4, M. Kemp 2 – TOTALS 7 11-17 5 40
Preble Shawnee 1 (M. Shrout)
Miami East 5 (W. Enis 2, C. Apple 2, J. Roeth 1)
SCORE by QUARTERS
13-11-07-19 50 Preble Shawnee
10-05-11-14 40 Miami East