All Shawnee had on the line was a conference championship, a sure No. 1 seed in the upcoming sectional tournament and senior night. The best visiting Tippecanoe can hope for is a do-over in the postseason.
“We knew Tipp was a good team and we had to handle our business,” said super Shawnee senior Jaelin Williams.
Did they ever. The Braves unloaded a lock-down defense, scored the first 11 points and finished with a thorough 66-47 knockout of the Red Devils in a Friday night boys high school basketball game.
Shawnee (18-1) won its 17th straight game and at 9-0 secured its second straight Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Division title. The Braves are two games up on second-place Tecumseh with only a Kenton game at Tecumseh remaining next Friday.
That’s almost as sure a thing Just as impressive, Shawnee probably secured a No. 1 seed in Sunday’s Division II sectional/district seed meeting at Fairmont High School.
Shawnee picked a fine time to crank up its play. Led by Williams’ all-around effectiveness once again, the Braves raced to a 15-2 lead and kept the advantage in the 16-20 point range throughout.
Williams hit a game-high 23 points, had six rebounds, two blocks and was unstoppable around the bucket. As good as he was, Shawnee will need more of the same once the regular season ends. Subs Andrew Tincher and Jalen Nelson added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“That was probably our best game that we played,” Williams said. “But if we want to get through the playoffs, we’re going to have to keep it up.”
Nothing went right for Tipp (15-5, 6-3) early, mostly due to Shawnee’s smothering defense. It didn’t help that point guard and floor leader Nick Fischer left just 1:16 into the game with half a front tooth missing. Cameron Johnson, Tipp’s other guard, also had to exit after accidentally elbowing Fischer in the mouth.
Both returned; Fischer scored 14 points and Johnson 10. It wouldn’t be near enough to challenge Shawnee.
“Our defensive end really set the tone,” said Shawnee coach Chris McGuire as the Braves cut down a championship net. “We feel like we’re playing as well as we’ve played all year right now.”