Shenandoah vr. Fishers 1-2-2021
Once again, I learned in the nick of time there was a game to replace the game which was cancelled with a team which was cancelled earlier in the year. Is everyone of my readers following? Upon my entrance to the hallowed halls of Shenandoah it was nice to meet Janet Mitchell, the ticket lady, who was sitting at a table on the east side. My goodness this year’s scheduling is crazy and unorthodox. Shenandoah coming off a tough overtime loss against #1 2A Blackhawk Christian jumped from the heat into the fire. The 4A Fisher Tigers, 3-2, came to town while our 2A Raiders are 8-2. I figured it would be close but what do I know, apparently not too much. Right before game time I learned Jakeb Kinsey was out due to an injury he sustained in practice…oh boy! All season Coach McCollough has had to adjust starting lineups due to a plethora of issues. No surprise! As the show goes, so does the game…tip off time.
Shenandoah started quickly; Andrew Bennett found Kaden McCollough open beyond the three-point area to put the Raiders up 3-0 which was their largest of two leads of the game. Well friends that is the good news. Shenandoah would follow with three turn overs in a row which led to Fishers taking a 3-4 lead. Fishers press and traps wreaked havoc for the home team. The Raiders committed six turn overs in the first quarter alone and seventeen for the night! Bennett working one on one missed a turn around jumper but was fouled and sank two freebies. Following a Fishers bucket Bennett #12, drove down the lane and threw a beautiful behind the ear pass to Kameron Graddy for a layup to make the score 7-8, as Bennett continued out of bounds. With 1:57 left in the first quarter #12, who led all Raider scorers with fourteen points, followed with a nice fall away jumper. With the Tigers still in front, Bennett on a fly route, took a nice football length pass down court from Jasper Campbell and raced in for an unmolested layup giving the Raiders their final lead for the night 11-10. On defense Graddy came up with a nice block but another turnover led to Fishers taking the lead for good 11-12. I thought to myself to only be down one with six turnovers the Raiders were fortunate.
Maybe since I was sitting close to the floor it appeared Fishers passes were sharp and spot on as Shenandoah’s defense looked to be a half step behind. Anyway after being outscored zero to five, two and a half minutes to start the second period, Michael Howard gave Campbell a nice assist for a bucket underneath. One of my favorite plays in basketball is the ole give and go. This picture-perfect execution was performed by McCollough to Bennett to cut the lead to 15-20. According to my notes, Bennett was the common denominator (my math teachers would be proud), for the next four offensive sets which produced points. He hit two free-throws and then gave back-to-back assists to Campbell for a couple of layups. Then he stole the ball and made a nice pass to Tanner Goff who was fouled on a layup attempt who dropped in one free-throw for his only point for the game. Shenandoah was down 22-29 at halftime.
During the lull of the action I took time to count approximately how may souls were attending the game. I knew I could not get an exact amount, but my rough estimation was around eighty. This did not include the cheerleaders, trainers, or teams from either side or possibly people in the restrooms. This Covid19 stuff has temporarily altered life but these things too shall pass. Be encouraged, now on to the third quarter.
From the start Shenandoah went deep inside for consecutive layups to open the third stanza. Graddy and McCollough each registered an assist to Campbell to score four of his bakers dozen. Shenandoah had cut the lead to three 26-29 with two possessions. Unfortunately, Fishers scored five straight, however; Bennett stopped their run when he hit a jumper from seven feet to make it 28-34. This lead was achieved with more turnovers from the home team. Howard hit a trey, his only bucket tonight, from the left of the key after he took a pass from McCollough to narrow the gap 31-39. Shenandoah looked at times to be tired and somewhat befuddled from the mounting pressure by Fishers…hard to believe these Tigers are 3-2. At the 2:33 mark Campbell gave a nice shovel pass to Graddy who laid it in for two of his four points. Even with a nice clean block from Howard in the final minute Shenandoah could muster no points and remained scoreless for the rest of the quarter and went into the fourth down 33-42.
Yogi Berra coined the phrase, “It ain’t over until it’s over.” Fishers was held scoreless for three minutes and still Shenandoah could not make much of a dent. The Raiders first bucket, a trey, from Campbell at the 3:30 mark made the score 36-42. Though Shenandoah was still within striking distance Fishers kept the Raiders at bay with clock killing offensive possessions and Shenandoah themselves was not scoring quickly. McCollough, just had his sneaker on the line, to register two of his five points with three minutes remaining to keep Shenandoah in a two-possession game. The nail was driven in the coffin for the Raiders when Shenandoah missed two free-throws, got the rebound and still came up empty handed with the score 38-44. Bennett rounded out the scoring for Shenandoah at the 1:39 mark with a layup from the left side to conclude the team’s anemic offensive night 40-46. Shenandoah was forced to foul in hopes Fishers would miss, they did not, it’s over, as the Raiders lost for the second game in a row 40-50. The Raiders fell to 8-3. Two of those loses came from 4A schools, remember I enjoy playing against bigger schools and the other loss was to #1 Blackhawk Christian. There is always a silver lining and lessons to be learned from defeats. So, the question remains what lessons have been gleaned?
Ed Breeden, Shenandoah Class of 1973