There is no doubt that senior Jaelin Williams is the go-to scorer for the Shawnee High School boys basketball team, but he’s been getting help lately. And there’s no doubt that’s a good thing as the Braves get ready for the tournament.
The Braves were balanced Saturday night in a 71-53 nonconference victory over Xenia, and they needed to be because Williams couldn’t stay out of foul trouble.
Williams played 18 minutes, but still scored 18 points. Jaden Greenwood, a sophomore guard, also scored 18 and made four 3-pointers. David Sawyer scored 15 in the lane and Andrew Young added 10. Only Williams at 21 ppg. averages double-figures, but lately his teammates have been getting over 10.
“We can be a dangerous team because teams can’t stop us all,” Greenwood said. “If one of us or two of us is able to come out and make shots it relieves pressure a little bit on the rest.”
Williams picked up three first-half fouls and was on the bench when Greenwood hit a 3-pointer and an 18-footer in the final minute to cap a 9-0 run to give Shawnee (14-1) a 28-21 lead.
“That was maybe the crucial part of the game when we were able to extend it there right before half when we had guys in foul trouble,” Shawnee coach Chris McGuire said.
Williams took over the game after halftime and scored 10 points in less than three minutes before going to the bench with his fourth foul. With a 40-25 lead, the Braves maintained control until Williams returned with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter and the lead at 56-46.
“We knew we had to have him attacking early on that second half to create a little distance and put them on their heels and make them take some tough shots or quick shots that we figured they’d do,” McGuire said.
Xenia (5-11) had its share of foul trouble, especially for 20-point-a-game scorer Cody Phillippi. His two 3-pointers late in the third kept Xenia within 10, but he was scoreless in the fourth quarter and finished with 13.
Shawnee is unbeaten in the Kenton Trail Division with a two-game lead on Tecumseh and Tippecanoe, two teams they still have to play.
“Come tournament time we’re going to be ready to play,” Greenwood said. “We’ve got a bunch more games on our schedule that are going to prepare us well.”