SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Three times it looked like the momentum might be swinging against Shawnee and three times the Indians swung back.
On their way to a 53-50 win over Elida in girls basketball on Thursday night, the Indians came back from 12 points down in the first half, fought back from nine down halfway through the third quarter, then saved possibly the best for last.
With Elida leading 40-39 with 4:57 left in the game, Shawnee’s leading scorer, Alissa Stahler, went to the bench temporarily after picking up her fourth foul.
But over the next minute and a half, Shawnee went on a 7-1 run to take a lead it didn’t let get away.
“It was a tale of two halves,” Shawnee coach Jeff Heistan said. Shawnee hit 11 of 15 field goal attempts in the second half after making only 6 of 23 in the first two quarters.
Stahler led Shawnee (9-10, 3-5 Western Buckeye League) with 20 points. Eliyana Floyd scored 9 points and Samya Wright had 8 points. Shyah Wheeler led Elida (6-14, 2-6 WBL) with 25 points, including 12 in the first quarter. Amira Freeman scored 10 points.
Elida led 24-12 with just over two minutes left in the first half before Shawnee cut the lead to five points, 24-19, at halftime. Elida got the lead back to nine points, 33-24, with four minutes to go in the third quarter but two 3-pointers by Floyd helped reduce the lead to two points, 36-34, going into the final eight minutes.
“I thought our kids did a great job against their zone. We finally got the ball to the middle of the floor and when we got to the middle positive things really started happening. And then Eliyana hit a couple threes that really made a difference in the game,” Heistan said.
“I was very pleased with how the kids played within themselves in the second half. In the first half, we just could not get going. Offensively at times, even against there press, we looked like we didn’t know what we were doing. Then in the second half we calmed down and started getting the basketball where it needed to go and didn’t turn it over so much.”
“Kerri Roberson came in and just did a fabulous job,” Heistan said about the Indians taking the lead with Stahler on the bench in the fourth quarter.
Shawnee led by seven points, 49-42, with 1:57 to play, before Elida got the lead down to two points, 50-48, with 57 seconds to play. But that was as close as it got.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.