SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Shawnee had to change things on the fly.
And that was before the game started.
Shawnee had to switch its lineup at the last second because of a pre-game injury.
But George Mangas was still there to lead the way in a 58-49 victory over St. Marys Friday at Lappin Gymnasium.
Mangas ended up with 30 points and seven rebounds and one block. He scored 18 in the second half with his weaving, driving and power baskets.
Shawnee’s Tyson Elwer muscled his way for five points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
“Tyson was an animal on the defensive end of the court,” Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said.
John Barker had 12 points with two 3-pointers for the Indians.
Shawnee stands 13-0, 4-0 in the Western Buckeye League.
St. Marys is 9-3, 2-2 in the WBL.
“It was pretty physical,” Mangas said. “Both teams wanted to win as bad as they could to stay in contention for the WBL.’’
The Indians came in hoping to play plenty of man-to-man against a St. Marys lineup which included 6-foot-8 freshman Austin Parks and 6-6 Ethan Steger.
But minutes before the opening tip, Shawnee starter, 6-5 Caden Vermillion, went down with a sprained ankle in warmups.
That put pressure on Mangas, Elwer and Matthew Bean (four points, three rebounds) to pick up the inside game.
“I saw him (Vermillion) come back to the locker room before the game limping and saw that look on his face that didn’t look good,” Triplett said. “I was proud of the kids. They had to adjust on the fly. … We tell them you have to be ready and that was the definition of that. We had our lineup already in (and Vermillion hurt his ankle) and we had to switch that.’’
Shawnee scrapped its man defense and went to a 3-2, a box-and-one and a triangle-and-two to help guard St. Marys’ inside game.
“We were going to run a man (defense), but when Caden went down we went box-and-one,” Mangas said. “We basically sat in a zone the whole game and face-guarded one of their guards.’’
The problem was it would give up a few 3-pointers out of the corner.
St. Marys hit 9 of 35 on 3-pointers.
Jadin Davis paced St. Marys with 15 points and four 3-pointers.
Steger had 12 points and 10 boards. Parks had five points and six rebounds.
The game was tight the whole way with Shawnee clinging to a 43-38 lead after three.
After St. Marys’ LeTrey Williams canned a 3-pointer with 3:10 to go, the Roughriders got within 49-48.
Mangas then hit a driving layup and it was 51-48 with 2:55 to go.
Jarin Bertke swished a 3-pointer and the lead went to 54-48 with 2:12 to go.
“What sparked us was that one pass I had to Jarin in the corner,” Mangas said. “He hit that three in the corner and that made it six. They scored one point after that. That gave us some breathing room.’’
Mangas’ second breakaway slam of the game gave Shawnee a 58-48 lead with 15 seconds to go.
Both teams jostled for position and power early, as St. Marys led 12-8 after the first quarter.
Shawnee controlled the second quarter and took a 28-20 lead at halftime.
Barker canned a 3-pointer to pull Shawnee ahead 16-14 midway through the second.
“We played really, really hard,” Triplett said. “And you can sometimes mask your deficiencies if you’re playing with effort.’’
Overall, Shawnee outscored St. Marys 20-8 in the second quarter. Mangas led the way with eight second-quarter points.
Shawnee won the boards, 31-30.
Shawnee shot 54 percent from the field and was 4 of 15 on 3-pointers.
St. Marys hit 33 percent from the floor.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.