BATH TOWNSHIP — When crosstown rivals meet in league action, you know you are going to get both teams best effort despite less than stellar records.
That is exactly what the fans got Friday night at Bath as visiting Shawnee came in and broke a four game losing streak with a nail-biting 62-61 victory in Western Buckeye League action.
The frustrations for the Wildcats (3-13, 0-6 WBL) continue as they got two close-in shots in the final seconds but couldn’t get either to fall.
“The kids played hard and I’m proud to be their coach,” a disappointed Bath coach Shawn Allen. “There are no magic words to make the ball go in.”
The Indians (6-12, 3-3 WBL) trailed 13-11 after one period of play but used a 10-0 burst early in the second period to grab a 21-16 lead and went to the half with a 32-26 advantage.
Andrew Renner had 14 points to pace the Wildcats in the first half while Shawnee got 15 first half from Jaden O’Neal.
The two teams went back and forth in the third period before the Indians went to the final stanza with a 47-42 advantage.
Renner continued his hot night with nine third quarter points but O’Neal suddenly found the proverbial lid on the basket and tallied only two free throws in the period but got lots of help from team-mate JaQuan Tucker who tallied seven points in the quarter.
The Wildcats fought and fought and finally grabbed the lead at 60-58 with 1:45 left to play on a driving layup by Renner that gave him 34 points in the game.
But Shawnee wasn’t done and Angelo Fox hit two baskets to put the Indians back up 62-61 with only 9.9 seconds left to play.
Bath got the ball in-bounds and Chase Clark got a shot in the paint that rolled off the rim and Renner tipped up a follow that wouldn’t fall and Shawnee grabbed the win.
“Sean McDonald hit a big three-pointer and then JaQuan and Angelo stepped up and we needed that tonight.” Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said. “The shots just wouldn’t go down for Jaden in the second half. They (Bath) just hung around and both teams needed a win but we got that bounce and they didn’t.”
Renner’s 34 point total was a game-high and Clark added 15 for the Wildcats.
Tucker finished with a team-high 21 point (15 in the second half) game while O’Neal ended the contest with 18 and Fox chipped in with nine points for the Indians.
Both teams struggled at the free throw line as Shawnee finished on 11-of-22 in the game while Bath ended at 17-of-28 that included 3-of-4 misses in the frantic final minute of play.