Preble Shawnee played with the heart and passion it took to win.
But Brookville proved to be the better team.
The Blue Devils shot a blistering 65 percent from the field in the fist quarter, and kept the pressure on the remainder of the game as they bounced Shawnee from the Division III sectional at Tippecanoe High School, 81-67, on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
“The heart, the passion, I thought was there all four quarters. You got to hand it to them they came out and they shot lights out in the first half. We went on a run there in the fourth but by then it was too little, too late,” Shawnee coach Jason Crider said.
Although the Arrows made 7-of-15 shots int the opening quarter, Brookville knocked down 9-of-14 shots, including making 4-of-6 3-pointers, to take a 23-17 lead.
The Blue Devils’ Marcus Brisco did much of the damage as he scored 12 of his game-high 35 points in the quarter.
Shawnee closed to within 25-21 early in the second quarter, but Brookville responded to take a 43-30 halftime lead.
For the half, Shawnee made 13-of-28 shots, while Brookville was 17-0f-32. Both teams cooled off in the second half, but still shot over 40 percent for the game.
Shawnee saw their deficit grow to as many as 18 points in the third quarter on a couple of occasions.
But in typical fashion, the Arrows wouldn’t go quietly. After Brookville extended the lead to 23 early in the fourth, the Arrows rallied to get within 12, but just ran out of steam down the stretch.
Josh Willoughby closed out his career by scoring 20 points before fouling out late in the game. Senior Brian Ketring added 12 points, while sophomore Joby Williams chipped in 11 and sophomore Trey Smith added 10.
Shawnee was playing its 10th game in 15 days and it finally took its toll.
Crider, though, wouldn’t use that for an excuse.
“It was a night where you overcome one thing they start beating you in another area. They were just flat out the best team tonight. There’s no question about it,” he said.
The Arrows (10-13) made strides during the year and Crider saw that as a positive.
“I thought it was a step in the right direction. We accomplished a lot. We won the holiday tournament for the first time in four years. First team to beat Waynesville at Waynesville. Had five leagues win. First time getting that many in three or four years,” he said. “Am I disappointed overall in our 10-13 (record)? Yes, I thought we would win more games. If you would have told me all the strides we made and what would happen throughout the course of the year, I would have probably taken 10 wins.”
Crider thanked the seniors for their dedication and commitment and said they will be missed.
“The strides I wanted to make, there is no way would have done it without their leadership. At one point or another, they’ve all stepped up,” he said of Ketring, Willoughby, Mitch Monnin, Ben Amburgey, Eric Deaton, Tyler Shepherd and Tyler Roell.