SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — In a season of close calls and frustrating endings, the regular season and Western Buckeye League finale might’ve delivered the most powerful punch to the St. Marys boys basketball team’s collective stomach yet.
Shawnee’s Thad Vernon hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Shawnee Indians to a 57-55 victory over St. Marys on Friday night.
Vernon buried the shot from the top of the key after freshman Elijah Pughsley passed the ball out a double team in the right corner. Vernon caught the ball with two seconds at the top of the key and splashed the shot as the buzzer sounded, sending the Shawnee bench and student section cascading onto the midcourt.
St. Marys head coach Dan Hegemier and his players bent over at the waist staring in disbelief after an eighth straight loss to end the regular season.
This one hurt the most.
“Very much so,” Hegemier said. “The kids played hard and — again — no rewards.”
“It wasn’t exactly what we drew up,” Shawnee second-year head coach Don Vogt said. “In the previous timeout I told the kids that when they were centering so much on Seth (Rosenbauer) we had to look opposite. Fortunately for us, Elijah had the wherewithal to locate Thad and fortunately for us that shot went in.”
Vernon and senior Seth Rosenbauer led the Indians with 15 points apiece. Rosenbauer added a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Indians snapped an eight-game losing streak and improved to 5-15.
St. Marys fell to 5-15 and 1-8 in the WBL.
Garet Fledderjohann scored 15 points, D.J. Manning added 14 and J.D. Meyer had 11 points. Austin James scored nine points on three 3-pointers.
St. Marys plays rival Wapakoneta in a sectional semifinal at Lima Senior on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at approximately 8 p.m.
The Indians face Elida in a sectional semifinal on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Lima Senior.
St. Marys-Shawnee slideshow: