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Boys Basketball: Shawnee follows comeback script to beat Elida again

Feb. 24—ELIDA — Shawnee came back from 17 points down to beat Elida the first time they met this season in the Tip-Off Classic and the sequel was similar when the Indians rallied from seven points behind in the fourth quarter for a 54-51 boys basketball win at the Elida Fieldhouse on Friday night.

Seven points might not seem nearly as daunting as 17 points but the degree of difficulty might not have been as large as that double-figure difference made it seem.

Shawnee (16-6, 8-1 Western Buckeye League) played without its leading scorer, Beckett Bertke, for all but 5 1/2 minutes of the first half when he got two quick fouls. He eventually picked up two more fouls and played the last five minutes of the game with four.

Shawnee also played without starting center Alex Goldsberry, who was ill and informed coach Mark Triplett he was too lightheaded to play with six minutes left in pre-game warm-ups. And for the first three quarters, Elida seemed to be able to slip through Shawnee's defense for a lay-up almost every time it drove to the basket.

A'mari Wash scored 19 points to lead Elida (15-7, 6-3 Western Buckeye League). Jackson Covault and Zori Island had 10 points. Beckett Bertke led Shawnee (16-6, 8-1 WBL) with 16 points and Trevick Bertke scored 13 points.

Elida hit 10 of 12 shots in the third quarter and scored on its first two possessions of the fourth quarter on back-to-back buckets by Covault to take a 47-40 lead with 6:53 to play.

At that point, Shawnee knew something had to change. And it did. "We got (defensive) stops," Triplett said.

"We called timeout with 6:53 to go and we were down seven and it was kind of do-or-die time. If you don't compete, that team is going to put it on you in a hurry. They're relentless in getting to the hoop.

"I think, in basically the last seven minutes of the game, we gave up four points. We made enough plays, we did enough on the offensive end, and hit a giant shot," he said.

That giant shot belonged to Trevick Bertke. With the score tied at 51-51 and 49 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the 6-5 freshman point guard hit a 3-pointer which eventually was the margin of victory.

Bertke said, "My teammates trusted me, my coach trusted me and I shot it. That was probably my biggest shot that I've ever hit."

Shawnee got eight points from sophomore guard Tate Bender and seven each from Dominic Lynch and Nick Pasion.

Goldsberry's illness made Bender a starter for the second time in his career. "He was absolutely tremendous and didn't bat an eye when we told him Alex is out and you've got to go in there," Triplett said.

The drama was far from over, though after the ball fell through the net on Bertke's 3-pointer.

After Shawnee rebounded a missed shot by Elida with 21 seconds to play, it called timeout. On the in-bounds pass after the timeout, an offensive foul was called on Shawnee, which gave the ball to Elida.

The Bulldogs were able to get off only one shot in the final seconds, which missed, and Shawnee held on for the win.

Elida coach Matt Tabler said, "This bunch has been unbelievable. I told them that the crowd that was there tonight was because of the work they put in the last three years. I told them their effort was unbelievable. We just came up short but they should hold their head high.

"We had a two-point lead with 2 1/2 minutes to go and were trying to work some offense and probably took some shots quicker than we wanted to. We felt like they couldn't guard us getting to the basket. We tried to get a couple of reversals and we just went on the first pass and attacked the rim.

"I'm not sure I would change anything at the end. You continue to attack and that's what we did. Our shots fell early in the third quarter but we kind of got a lid on the basket at the end of the game," he said.

Shawnee 54, Elida 51

Score by quarters:

Shawnee 17 5 18 14 — 54

Elida 13 10 20 8 — 51

SHAWNEE

Beckett Bertke 16, Dominic Lynch 7, Nick Pasion 7, Tate Bender 8, Max Goldsberry 3, Trevick Bertke 13. Totals: 19-11-54.

ELIDA

Zori Island 10, A'mari Wash 19, Jackson Covault 10, David Etzkorn 8, Parker Crim 4. Totals: 23-4-51.

Three-point goals: S — Bender 2, Goldsberry 1, T. Bertke 1, Pasion 1; E — Wash 1.

Records: Shawnee (16-6, 8-1 WBL); Elida (15-7, 6-3 WBL).