Shawnee went where no Western Buckeye League team had gone in four years and where no Shawnee team had gone since 2008 when it beat Ottawa-Glandorf 65-53 in boys basketball on Friday night.
George Mangas scored 37 points and John Barker had 10 points to lead the Indians (16-0, 6-0 Western Buckeye League) on their way to ending O-G’s 35-game winning streak in the WBL. It also ended an 11-game O-G winning streak over Shawnee.
The streaks, especially the WBL streak motivated Shawnee, ranked No. 5 in the state in Division II coming into the game against Ottawa-Glandorf (14-1, 4-1 WBL). The Titans were ranked No. 2 in the state in Division III.
“It mattered a lot. We wanted to beat them so bad. I kept telling my guys ‘Thirty-five and done, thirty-five and done. That’s what we did tonight,” Mangas said.
Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said, “We wanted to be the team that stopped that. O-G is a team that will not beat themselves. If you want to beat them you have to be pretty daggone good with your game plan and your execution of your game plan.”
Shawnee led 33-28 at halftime. Mangas had 19 of his points in the first half.
Neither team led by more than three points in the first half until Shawnee went on an 8-0 run in the final 2 ½ minutes of the second quarter to turn a 26-25 Ottawa-Glandorf lead into a 33-26 Shawnee lead before Ethan Alt’s 15-footer just before the buzzer cut the lead to five.
Shawnee shot 56 percent in the first half (14 of 25). O-G shot 43 percent (10 of 23).
Shawnee pushed its lead to 45-31 halfway through the third quarter and never let the Titans get closer than six points the rest of the game.
“I feel great that we got to be the ones to snap that streak,” Barker said. “We were kind of down in practice and didn’t have a great week of practice but we came in and got it done.”
Shawnee shot 55 percent on field goals (27 of 49) and Ottawa-Glandorf hit 44 percent of its attempts (18 of 43)
The Titans’ starting guards, Parker Schomaeker and Brennen Blevins both scored 12 points but its two 6-7 inside players, Owen Nichols and and Ben Westrick, were held to a combined four field goals and 15 points.
“We challenged our post players that we’ve heard a lot about how good their post players are. We think we have pretty good post players too,” Triplett said.
“We challenged those guys all week that we were going to have to be tougher on the interior, we were going to have to drive those guys out. I think they took that to heart. It was a collective effort by our guys.”
Shawnee’s coaches also challenged the players to do better than last year when O-G dominated them in a 64-51 win at a time when both teams were unbeaten in WBL play.
“That’s a game where we’ve felt pretty disappointed for 359 days about how we went over there and played last year. We knew we could be pretty good if we could find ways to get better every day. I think we still can get better. I still think our ceiling can get higher,” Triplett said.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.