SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — There were moments during Friday’s Western Buckeye League boys basketball game against Celina, when Shawnee had to be wondering what else could it possibly do.
It seemed like every time Shawnee had Celina standout Ryan Hoyng right where they wanted him, it happened.
Hoyng would either drive right past the Shawnee defender, or make a pin-point pass to one of his teammates for an easy bucket.
It happened often in Celina’s 72-54 drubbing of Shawnee at Lappin Gymnasium.
Ryan Hoyng led Celina (16-2, 7-0 WBL) with 21 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
And Hoyng had plenty of company.
Logan DeLong scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Grant Laffin had 18 points and six boards. Caleb Hoyng added 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for Celina.
“Ryan is one of those guys who understands that in order to get to the next level, you have to bring a team with you,” Celina coach Chris Bihn said. “He’ll go out and find who’s hot and who’s not. He spends as much time finding other guys (open) instead of worrying about his own shot. He can create his own shot about anytime he wants to.
“But, once again, he understands winning. Winning is his goal, not scoring points. He’s playing the game about as well as anybody right now.”
Celina opened the game on a 6-0 run.
However, Shawnee (6-13, 3-4) battled back and closed it to 20-18 by the end of the first quarter.
By the halftime break, Celina’s lead was 33-28.
Then, Celina came out blazing after the break, extending its lead to 56-38 with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Indians closed the gap to 56-41 by the third stop, on a 3-pointer by Jaden O’Neal at the buzzer.
O’Neal led Shawnee, and all scorers, with 26 points, including four 3-pointers. JaQuan Tucker added 10 points for the Indians. Tucker hit two shots behind the arc in the first quarter to keep Shawnee close.
“Defensively, we did some good things,” Bihn said. “They came down and hit some deep threes, but that was about as much as they were getting. I think our length bothered them. We did a nice job of taking away penetration. We gave them some (penetration), but I think we limited them pretty well. I thought we did a nice job of forcing them to take that outside shot, and not letting them get that inside/outside look. I thought our defense did a really nice job.
“I think down the stretch we extended it a little bit. We made them shoot a little deeper than they wanted. But, he (O’Neal) is a nice player. …He can shoot it from deep. So, give credit to him.”
For the game, Celina shot 49 percent from the field. Shawnee shot 39 percent.
The big difference in the game was the inside play of Celina. The taller Celina squad dominated the boards, 43-16.
“Celina is obviously a great team,” Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said. “You don’t get to 16-2 and undefeated in one of the best leagues in the state, and not be a great team. They were tenacious on the boards. They were time and time again getting second opportunities.”
Triplett pointed to the third quarter as one of the keys to the game. The Indians were outscored 23-13 in the third stanza.
“The third quarter has been a problem with us all year,” Triplett said. “I have to get my guys ready when they come out of the locker room. (It was) a 5-point ball game at halftime and it balloons to 13, 14 there in just three minutes or so. I have to figure out how to get my guys in a better position to win games.”