By RYAN HINES
Two years ago when Lima Shawnee visited the Fieldhouse, it took
two overtime periods to decide the outcome.
Another classic matchup is expected on Friday night when Shawnee
and star Jamar Butler invade the Fieldhouse to take on Celina
in a Western Buckeye League contest.
Shawnee and Celina were two of the four teams that tied for
the WBL title last season and both schools are expected to contend
again this year.
Neither team has disappointed fans with high expectations for
this season as Shawnee enters the contest 4-2 overall (1-0 WBL)
while Celina comes in at 6-1 overall (1-0 WBL).
After two straight seasons of averaging 30 points per game,
Butler is enjoying another strong season as the senior appears
to be a contender for the annual Ohio Mr. Basketball award given
to the top player in the state and Butler is obviously one of
the top players in Ohio.
The statistics don’t lie as the Shawnee point guard is
averaging 30.5 ppg. (high of 45 points against Troy) this season
while causing constant conflict for opposing defenses. Butler,
who’s headed to Ohio State on a basketball scholarship,
can beat a team from beyond the three-point arc, slashing to
the basket or dishing off assists (17 assists against Sylvania
“Jamar is the premier player in the league and he’s
the real deal,” said Celina head coach Mike Kanney. “He
sees the floor so well and when the ball is in his hands, good
things normally happen. He can score from anywhere on the floor,
he’s just a special kid.”
Kanney added that his Bulldogs will try several things on defending
Butler, but in a man-to-man situation, Scott Boley draws the
Anyone that thinks that Shawnee is a one-man show, need look
no further than Jermaine Bratton who gives the Indians a consistent
second scoring option. Bratton is a dangerous three-point threat
while teammates John Kopilchack (6-5) and Brady Seddelmeyer
(6-4) give Shawnee strength on the inside.
One thing is for certain, Shawnee isn’t hurting to find
offense as the Indians are averaging 82.5 ppg., including three
games of over 90 points scored.
“Shawnee likes the fullcourt pressure on defense and they
like to get out in transition,” stated Kanney. “We
need to limit their easy transition baskets to win this game.
We’ve played against some athletic teams this year like
Springfield North and South and we’ve seen fullcourt pressure
from them, so it’s nothing that we haven’t seen.”
One thing that’s a negative for Celina heading into Friday’s
showdown is that the Bulldogs haven’t played a game in
10 days after winning the HALLiday tournament title.
“It’s been a long layoff, but our guys know how
important that this game is and they’ve been working hard
in practice in preparation,” said Kanney.
Butler won’t be the only star player on the floor on Friday
night as Homan is playing as well as anyone in the WBL at this
point in the season.
Homan is averaging 24.4 ppg. and is doing it by shooting a high
percentage from everywhere on the floor. The Celina senior,
who is headed to Division II Hillsdale on a basketball scholarship,
is shooting 67.4 percent from the floor, including 62.5 percent
from three-point range (20-of-32) and 88.6 from the charity
It may end up being a battle of role players, and Celina is
capable of getting strong offensive showings from players like
Joe Kanney, Scott Boley, Brian Gagle, Brian Geise and Adam Tindall.
Gagle is second for the Bulldogs averaging 7.4 ppg. while Kanney
checks in at 6.9 ppg. and Boley at 5.9 ppg.
“We know that the Fieldhouse will be packed and we want
to give everyone a good game to watch so the crowd is rocking
like usual,” concluded Kanney.