SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Twenty-two games, 22 wins.
That’s what Shawnee did this regular season.
And with a perfect regular season, Shawnee won the outright Western Buckeye League championship with a 79-43 boys basketball victory Friday night against Bath at Lappin Gymnasium.
George Mangas led the Indians with 34 points and seven rebounds.
It marks Shawnee’s first WBL boys basketball title since 2008.
“It’s awesome,” Shawnee guard John Barker said. “It’s been a long time. We’ve been looking up at those banners in the gym every day.’’
Added Shawnee’s Tyson Elwer, “We definitely didn’t want have a tie (for the WBL) with anyone. From the beginning of the season we wanted to come out and win it outright for the first time in 12 years.’’
Last week the Indians clinched at least a share of the title, but this victory gave them the outright championship.
“We clinched at least a share last week and we didn’t want to share this thing,” Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said. “We wanted to be selfish with it. I think that’s one time when it’s OK to be selfish when you’re talking about winning a title outright.’’
It’s also marks the team’s first undefeated boys basketball regular season since Shawnee went unbeaten during both the 1965 and 1966 seasons.
The 1965 team lost in the state semifinals, while the ’66 team lost in the regionals.
Shawnee ends the regular season 22-0, 9-0 in the WBL.
“It’s pretty special,” Barker said of going undefeated. “We didn’t (set a goal to go undefeated), but we knew we could do it.’’
Besides Mangas’ usual 30-point outing, Barker scored 15 points with two 3-pointers for Shawnee.
Elwer had six points and eight rebounds. Caden Vermillion had five points and seven rebounds.
Derek Grigsby had 12 points with two 3-pointers for Bath (2-20, 0-9 WBL).
Shawnee forced Bath into 21 turnovers for the game.
Shawnee won the boards, 32-26.
Shawnee shot 54 percent from the field and was 6 of 18 on 3-pointers.
Bath shot 33 percent from the field and was 7 of 18 on threes.
Shawnee cranked up its running game early and blitzed out to a quick 11-0 lead.
Helping the bustout was Shawnee forced Bath into five turnovers in the first two minutes.
Shawnee quickly expanded its lead to 20-2. At that point Mangas had 12 points.
The Indians continued to gobble up turnovers, run the floor and score at the other end.
Shawnee led 26-4 after the first quarter and 43-18 at the half.
The Indians also shared the ball and continually looked inside with their strong passing game.
“We just want to win,” Barker said. “We don’t care who scores. Getting a good assist is just like hitting a good shot.’’
By halftime, Mangas had racked up 22 points and five rebounds.
Triplett said he’s been most impressed by the Indians’ “Unselfishness. They hang out with each other all the time. … We have guys who sometimes don’t score, and don’t hardly shoot, and they are factors in the game because of what they do defensively and how they share the basketball. We always pass up good shots for great shots. They just don’t care about the individual accolades.’’
The Indians now take a quick breath and head to the sectional tournament next week.
“We have to play our game,” Elwer said. “We have rebound from the wings and play good defense.’’
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.