Jaelin Williams dominates with 25 points and 13 boards to lead Braves.
SPRINGFIELD — The Shawnee Braves were left for dead near the end of the third quarter on Saturday night on their home floor in their showdown with the Springfield Wildcats. The Braves were down as many as 14 points, experiencing foul trouble, and had suffered through some first-half shooting woes.
However, Shawnee outscored Springfield 25-14 in the fourth period and in the end pulled out an improbable 58-56 victory, in what could be considered a mild upset against the Wildcats of the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
The Braves, who were behind 31-23 at the half, spent most of the third period clawing back to a two-point deficit. By the end of the third, the run had ended and the Wildcats built back up to a nine-point cushion at 42-33. That was when the Braves’ 6-5 senior guard Jaelin Williams took over.
Williams poured in 12 of his game-high 25 points in that pivotal final-period. He was not alone in the comeback effort with help from sophomore guard Jaden Greenwood, who contributed all 11 of his points in the second half, including two crucial three-point shots, and forward Jalen Nelson, undersized in height, but oversized in effort, who gave coach Chris McGuire solid minutes contributing ten points and nine rebounds.
You can hear the entire interview with Shawnee head coach Chris McGuire from Top Billing Sports’ Catanzaro’s Postgame Show, and a TBSN Audio Extra with Shawnee senior Jaelin Williams, here in this special podcast.
Springfield head coach Isiah Carson was not available for comment.
Springfield (6-4), reeling with four losses in their last five contests after beginning the season 5-0, has now dropped consecutive games to Central Buckeye Conference teams, following their loss to Urbana on Tuesday.
Things favored the visiting Wildcats in the first half as Springfield took advantage of their superior quickness by driving to the basket, drawing fouls, and getting to the charity stripe. In the first half, the Wildcats made 13 foul shots. However, in the second half, with the help of changes in the Braves’ defensive strategy and Springfield’s inability to run any semblance of an offense, the Wildcats only made two free throws.
But, after Shawnee appeared to have sealed the deal late in the fourth period, Henry Alexander launched two consecutive long-range bombs to keep the ‘Cats in business. Alexander scored 12 of his team-high 15 points in the second half, including three treys. DaeShawn Jackson finished with 13 points. Ryan Minney pitched in nine points and the big guys inside, Sean Burroughs and freshman Darius Harper, each notched eight.
Springfield gets back to action on Friday, January 4, when they travel to GWOC Central foe Beavercreek. The 8-2 Beavers have won four straight contests. The game will be broadcast on the Top Billing Sports Network.
Shawnee (6-1), also returns to action on January 4 when they go to Tippecanoe for a pivotal CBC Kenton Trail Division match-up.
View stats from the game on the Central Buckeye Conference website.