Teams talk about weathering the storm against Lima Senior but it was Shawnee that brought the thunder and lightning to its 70-55 boys basketball win over the Spartans on Saturday night at Shawnee.
The Indians got the lead right away and never were behind in a match-up of state ranked teams.
George Mangas scored 27 points, John Barker had 17 points and Brady Wheeler scored 11 points for the 15-0 Indians, ranked No. 5 in the state in Division II. Jamir Simpson scored 16 points for Lima Senior (13-3), ranked No. 12 in the state in Division I.
Going into the game, Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said his team would have to keep Lima Senior from getting offensive rebounds and second-chance points. And the Indians were absolutely dominant in that area, grabbing 41 rebounds to only 21 for Lima Senior.
“I think they average about 40 rebounds a game. If you give them more than one chance they’re going to score,” Triplett said.
“We’ve struggled with our wings rebounding at time and then we get our big boy (Tyson Elwer) in foul trouble and another big, Caden Vermillion, isn’t playing. We just had to go compete and battle. We were able to control the glass and that was a huge factor for us.”
One of those wings, Jarin Bertke, had a game-high 12 rebounds.
“This week we challenged our wings and said, ‘If you guys are getting your butts kicked on the offensive glass, we’re in trouble.’ Jarin took it to heart. He played every minute of the game. I’m incredibly proud of that kid.”
Shawnee led 42-31 at halftime and was ahead by as many as 16 points, 35-19, with 3:48 left in the first half.
The Indians built that lead despite Elwer, their leading rebounder, leading shot blocker and No. 3 scorer, playing only three minutes, 45 seconds in the first half because of picking up three quick fouls.
Shawnee led the entire first half after jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the game’s first two minutes.
Lima Senior tied the game twice early in the second quarter but after Elwer was called for his third foul with 6:03 left in the first half with Shawnee up 21-19, the Indians went on a 14-0 run, including four 3-pointers.
Bertke hit two of those threes and Mangas and Wheeler had one each. Shawnee made seven 3-pointers in the first half.
Barker had 14 points in the first half, Mangas scored 12 and Wheeler had 10.
“It was just a pure effort by everybody who went on the floor,” Triplett said.
“You can’t simulate Lima Senior’s pressure. You just have to talk about maintaining composure and understanding they’re going to go on some runs. We knew we were going to make some mistakes but it’s just about continuing to play on. I thought we did a nice job of weathering the storm they threw at us. We went on a big run in the first half, got the lead and kind of kept them at bay the rest of the game,” he said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.