ELIDA — It took only a few seconds to see what Shawnee is capable of this year.
The Indians came out running and flattened Bath 88-38 in the opening game of the Elida Tip-Off Classic Friday at the Elida Fieldhouse.
The Shawnee rebounding and transition game were way too much for the Wildcats.
“As soon as we got the rebound, we wanted to get it out as fast as we can,” Shawnee’s Sheridan O’Neal said.
In the second game of the night, Elida won 47-44 on a 3-pointer by freshman Evan Unruh with 1.8 seconds to go.
Shawnee will meet Elida in the Tip-Off finals at 8 p.m. tonight at Elida.
It marks the 30th year for the Tip-Off Classic. Lima Central Catholic has won the most Tip-Offs with 11, while defending Tip-Off champion Elida has won 10.
It was a balanced offense for Shawnee, with many scoring and hitting the boards.
Shawnee went 18-8 last year and returned several key players from a year ago.
Shawnee sophomore George Mangas had 19 points and 12 rebounds.
John Barker came off the bench for Shawnee to score 17 with five 3-pointers.
Another Shawnee sophomore Tyson Elwer had 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
Johnny Caprella was steady with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
“All of us were sharing the ball and we were playing as a team,” O’Neal said. “We had the best assist-to-turnover ratio than we’ve had in years.’’
Derek Grigsby paced Bath with eight points.
Shawnee dominated the boards, 48-23, including 16-8 at the offensive end.
Besides owning the glass, the Indians forced 15 Bath turnovers which jump started the running game.
Shawnee ran out to an 11-1 lead over Bath and then hit the full jet stream.
The Indians led 20-9 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter Shawnee kicked in its rebound-and-run game.
Along with gobbling up 11 first-half Bath turnovers, the Indians were able to jump down on the accelerator and hit full transition speed.
Shawnee started the second quarter on a 15-2 run to pull out to a 35-11 lead.
By halftime, the Indians had expanded the margin to 46-13.
“I thought we played with great energy early on in the game and then we gave them one shot and we were able to get out in transition and go,” Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said. “That’s the key for us. If we can give teams one shot and play that transition game, I think we’ll be able to run the floor pretty well.
“I think we shared the ball well. We had 26 assists tonight. That’s going to win you some basketball games.’’
Shawnee made 12 field goals in the second quarter, 10 on layups, mostly off the break, and two 3-pointers.
Bath struggled from the field, hitting 4 of 22 from the field at the half.
Elida 47, LCC 44
Elida’s Evan Unruh swished a 3-pointer from 30-feet out with 1.8 seconds to play to lift Elida to a victory over Lima Central Catholic.
It was Unruh’s only points of the night.
“I got the ball and I looked at the clock and there was only five seconds left,” Unruh said. “And sometimes time goes slower, but it was speeding up for me. I just caught it, looked at the rim and let it fly.’’
The game was tied at 44 with 10 seconds left to play when Elida called timeout.
Elida’s Dante Wheeler threw the ball in under the LCC basket. Drew Brockert brought the ball past halfcourt and fed Unruh on the left wing.
Unruh never hesitated and let it fly for the game-winning shot.
“We needed to get the ball inbounds, then look for a shot,” Elida coach Denny Thompson said.
Wheeler led Elida with 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
Dylan Buetner had 10 points, while Matt Fish scored eight.
Biggz Johnson paced LCC with 10 points. Dominic Riepenhoff had nine points.
Rossy Moore battled inside for the T-Birds and had eight points and six rebounds.
Elida led 41-31 with 5:25 to go.
The T-Birds then turned up the pressure in their man press and Elida turned the ball over six times in the final six minutes.
“The bottom line is we got the win,” Thompson said. “I can think of better ways of taking care of the situation to get the win.’’
LCC went on an 8-1 run to get within 42-39 after Johnson canned a 3-pointer.
Johnson’s driving layup brought LCC within 44-3 with 42 seconds left.
Moore tied the game at 44 by hitting one of two at the line with 10 second to go.
That set up the game-winning shot.
“It’s a 32-minute game and you can’t expect not to show up the first 28 minutes and be in the game against a good Elida team,” LCC coach Frank Kill said. “I give our guys a lot of credit. The guys we had on the floor gave it their all the last four minutes.
“If everyone had the same energy as Rossy Moore, it would be a totally different game.
Elida won the boards, 38-27.
Both teams searched for early rhythm.
Elida went out to a 7-0 lead and led 11-8 after the first quarter.
The Bulldogs took a 24-16 lead into halftime.