LEWISBURG — The Preble Shawnee Arrows saw nine players score as the team exploded for a season-high 77 points against Tri-County North on Saturday, Jan. 23, on the way to a 77-48 victory.
The Arrows bounced back for a non-conference road victory after allowing a fourth quarter lead slip away against Carlisle the night prior, while the Panthers suffered their 11th-straight defeat.
For Preble Shawnee head coach Jason Crider, the game displayed his offense at its peak. “That’s as good as we’ve run our read and react all year, it’s meant to take advantage of what the defense does. By habit if you play it enough, you get the shots you want and that’s what we did tonight.”
Leading the way was Thomas Buell, who led the Arrows with 15 points. He was one of seven Arrows to score seven or more points.
Panther coach Dale Spitler gave credit to his opposition after the game. “They were really balanced and it’s tough to defend just one of them when they are as balanced as they were. I thought they played really well tonight.”
Buell was joined by teammates Vince Bulach and Lane Conway in scoring double figures, as each scored 12 points in the contest.
Tri-County North was led by Zach Edgin’s 14 points. Kurt Gibson scored 12 and Garret Woodyard scored eight points in the contest.
“Hopefully we found our identity again — I told them last night I thought we kind of lost that but hopefully we found it tonight,” Crider said after the win.
Earlier in the week, Preble Shawnee split a pair of SWBL Buckeye League games, picking up a road victory over Milton Union on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 53-45.
Once again nine Arrows scored in the contest, as the visitors used a balanced scoring attack to earn the victory.
The Arrows caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 23 points to pull away from the Bulldogs.
Levi Lewis was the only Arrow to score in double figures as he led the way with 10 points. Buell scored eight and pulled down 10 rebounds. He also led the team with five assists.
On Friday, Jan. 22, Preble Shawnee fell to Carlisle 68-59 in an important match-up in the SWBL Buckeye League.
The game was a close contest throughout the night, but a 28-point fourth quarter propelled the hosts to a victory over the visiting Arrows.
“It was as simple as they made their shots and we missed ours in the last four minutes,” Crider said after the game. “They play hard and are a good team so give credit to them.”
Joey Bates and Lewis led the Arrows in scoring with 15 points apiece and Bulach added 11, but it was not enough as four Carlisle players scored in double figures.
Tri-County North fell to Newton earlier in the week in a Cross County Conference match-up despite 13 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds from Edgin.
Spitler said his team played one of its better offensive games on the night, but a cold shooting fourth quarter cost the Panthers a chance to earn a second victory on the season.
Woodyard led the way, scoring with 18 points and Damon Nelson scored 15 points.
The Panthers made 10 threes in the game, but only shot four free throws in the contest.
Tri-County North falls to 1-14 on the season as Preble Shawnee improves to 8-6 overall and 4-3 in the SWBL Buckeye.
The Arrows hit the road face league-leading and state-ranked Northridge on Monday, Jan. 25, as they prepare to play four games in six days. After Northridge, the Arrows host Dixie on Tuesday, Jan. 26, travel to Waynesville on Friday, Jan. 29, and host National Trail on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Tri-County North returns to Cross County Conference action with a home game against Mississinawa Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 26, and travels to Franklin Monroe on Friday, Jan. 29.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062
or on Twitter at aschmidt_RH