ADA — Shawnee’s George Mangas took the game over early and never let it go.
Mangas scored 40 points and left Defiance in his rear-view mirror.
Shawnee ran away from Defiance 71-51 to win the Division II boys basketball district championship Saturday night at Ohio Northern’s King Horn Center.
Mangas hit 17 of 21 from the field, including knocking down 6 of 10 on 3-pointers.
“That’s the most threes in a game for me,” Mangas said. “I kept shooting tonight and it kept going in. The basket felt like an ocean tonight so I kept letting it go.’’
For Mangas, it was one away from his career-high of 41 points against Spencerville this season.
Shawnee (25-0) advances to the regional semifinals against Upper Sandusky at 6:15 Thursday at Bowling Green State.
It marks Shawnee’s second straight trip to the regionals in boys basketball.
“We want to win it (the regional) and go to state,” Mangas said. “We were really upset last year (losing in the regional finals to Columbus South).’’
Added Shawnee’s Tyson Elwer, “This year we are a lot more experienced than last year.’’
Defiance finishes the year 17-8.
“That’s a pretty good basketball team and credit to Shawnee,” Defiance coach Kirk Lehman said. “They took away a lot of things that we like to do.’’
Tyson Elwer added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Shawnee.
John Barker had seven points with seven assists and four rebounds.
For Defiance, Will Lammers scored 16 points with three 3-pointers.C.J. Zachrich scored 11 with three 3-pointers.
Shawnee won the Western Buckeye League game between the two, 73-42, on Dec. 20.
This time around, Shawnee led 23-13 after the first quarter and 38-22 by halftime.
Mangas came out locked in his scoring groove.
He started the game with a 3-pointer.
Then Mangas canned another 3-pointer.
“Those threes made me comfortable and got me in a good place,” Mangas said. “My confidence just rose and I tried to get to the bucket after that.’’
Then, Mangas hit a follow shot and Elwer sank a three.
Mangas then gobbled up a steal and went end-to-end for a fast-break layup.
Elwer then knocked down a 3-pointer.
Just like that, the Indians led 16-2 against the Defiance 2-3 zone.
“Our thinking with the zone was we played it the majority of the year and that’s probably our best defense,” Lehman said. “I didn’t think, quickness-wise, we were a good matchup for them, man-to-man. We held him (Mangas) to 29 in December so we did a little bit better job in December.’’
Of the team’s first 16 points, Mangas had 10.
“I thought we did a good job of playing our style, early-on,” Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said. “We made them get up and down the floor and we didn’t let them get their defense set.’’
And when the Indians did play in the halfcourt, they made the extra pass for the open shot.
“I thought we did a good job of working the ball around the perimeter, getting into the high post area, then looking opposite,” Triplett said.
Shawnee led 23-13 after the first quarter and Mangas had 12.
By the half, the Indians led 38-22.
Mangas didn’t slow down in the second quarter, tossing in 13 points.
At halftime, Mangas had 25 points, on 11 of 14 shooting. He had three 3-pointers.
Defiance started the third in its pet 2-3 zone and Shawnee continued to pound it.
Mangas opened the third with two 3-pointers and Jarin Bertke knocked a three down.
When Mangas hit a fast-break layup, the Indians led 49-24 with 4:11 left in the third.
Defiance went to a man at that point.
“When to come out to our man-to-man was the toughest thing,” Lehman said. “But we’re just not a good matchup for Shawnee when it comes to our man-to-man defense. … I thought our kids fought to the end and that’s what we’re proud of.’’
Shawnee led 59-29 after three quarters and Defiance wouldn’t make a final run.
Shawnee shot 57 percent from the field and was 11 of 20 on 3-pointers.
Defiance shot 36 percent from the field and was 10 of 19 on 3-pointers.
Shawnee won the boards, 35-19.
“Last year we were happy to get to Bowling Green,” Triplett said. “This year the goal wasn’t just to get to Bowling Green. The goal was to get to Bowling Green and cut down nets.’’
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.