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Arrows 'Rammed' in State Tournament
J. C. Tilton

There is a adage in basketball that the team that controls the paint, controls the game. That adage rang true at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday night. This past week the Preble Shawnee Arrows met the Greeneview Rams in the State Tournament. After the dust had settled one team had controlled the lane on both offense and defense. Forcing the other team's offense to take outside shots and never really being to stop penetration on defense at the other end of the court.

Shawnee's Bart Klapper tried to take charge in the first quarter. He started out hot scoring 8 of the Shawnees 12 points. Even though Shawnee was in a zone, Greeneview was able to penetrate and true to their moniker - ram the ball to the basket. The game was fairly even until about midway thru the 2nd quarter when Greeneview began to put a little distance between themselves and Shawnee. This was where the turnover bug began to bite the Arrows. The team had 2 turnovers in a row due to bad passes. Then after a few more possesions Shawnee had an illegal screen which gave the ball to the Rams, and the next possesion Shawnee turned over the ball again. The Arrows took a time out to try and get the offense back on track. But the Rams used the Arrow miscues to open up a 5 point lead in what had been a neck and neck game. The Rams also adjusted on offense, going to a more spread out set against a Shawnee 2-3 zone. As the quarter went on, you could see that the Ram defense was squeezing the Arrows out of the paint and allowing them mainly outside shots.

The third quarter was more of the same. The Arrows could not get inside the Ram defense and had a tough time stopping the penetration of the Rams at the other end of the court. Klapper and Moore scored in this quarter, but the Ram lead stretched to 10 points at one point. The Arrows took a time out with 1:38 in the quarter. This time out was effective. The Arrow defense resurrected itself and held the Rams at 37 while the offense went on a run that extended into the 5:30 mark of the 4th. It was a team effort - Klapper, Hughes, Via, and Bailey all had points during this stretch. The Arrows had closed to within 2 during this run. The score was 37-35 at the 5:30 mark. A defensive adjustment that the Arrows had made was to go to a trapping 1-3-1 zone, and on offense they seemed to be running the court more - not allowing the Ram defense to get set. The Rams big offensive tackle sized post man - Harper drew his 4th foul to give the Rams a total of 8 fouls at this point. The momentum had swung over to Shawnee, it was time for the Rams to take a full time out and get reorganized.

In workmanlike fashion the Ram offense began to methodically make their shots. They quickly extended their lead to 5 points. And as the clock wound down, the lead grew. Shawnee tried gamely to spark another rally, but the defense of the Rams smothered their attempts. The 4th quarter offense of Greeneview went into high gear, scoring 20 points. The Arrows would go down 57-47. Turnovers and the inside game were the big factors in the loss. The team had over 20 turnovers and post man Via was held to 2 points, which were free throws. On the bright side, Klapper gave a strong offensive showing. And the team did share in the SWBL Championship this season. So they can hold their heads up.

Coach Ellis was asked to comment on the game as a whole, "They beat us to a lot of balls on the floor. Maybe the layoff hurt us, we seemed to be a little flat. [We] Changed defense in 3rd quarter, but they adjusted". When asked about the inside game he responded, " Give Greeneview credit for doubling down on us. They took our post players out of the game. [On defense] Typically people don't get the ball inside like that against us, but they did. They shot point blank". Coach Ellis noted that offensive mistakes were a problem as well, "Their pressure caused a lot of turnovers. We had the fewest turnovers in the league, but here we turned it over 20 times." When asked about his seniors (Hughes, Klapper, and Via), he praised their contribution to the teams 12-9 record and was pleased that they stepped it up in Shawnee's two victories over Oakwood - big games that the team had to win to get a share of the SWBL Championship.


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