COLLAPSING DEFENSE: Shawe’s Luke Higgins (with ball) drives to the basket against Scecina defenders Josh Rutland (1), Jake Okerson (21) and Zach Rutland. The Hilltoppers found the going tough against the speedy Crusaders in a 53-31 loss at Meny Gym in Madison. (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
COLLAPSING DEFENSE: Shawe’s Luke Higgins (with ball) drives to the basket against Scecina defenders Josh Rutland (1), Jake Okerson (21) and Zach Rutland. The Hilltoppers found the going tough against the speedy Crusaders in a 53-31 loss at Meny Gym in Madison. (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
A night after surrendering a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead in an overtime conference loss at Southwestern, Class A No. 15 Shawe Memorial was run out of its own gym by a lightning-fast Indianapolis Scecina squad.

And as lopsided as Saturday's 22-point setback to the unbeaten Crusaders was, the biggest sting Shawe head coach Matt Traylor felt was the lingering disappointment over Friday's 83-74 overtime letdown in Hanover.

"Last night was much more disappointing," Traylor said, knowing his team had just been beaten by a very good Scecina squad. "Last night we did not do anything to help ourselves. I thought tonight we played pretty good defense.

"I think tonight we were mentally and physically tired - especially mentally after last night," Traylor added. "I assure you we do not take losing lightly, but last night I felt like we just gave the game away. We didn't give anything away tonight. We did a lot of things really well on defense but that is a very good team."

Shawe, a team that prides itself on hustle and quickness simply met a team in Scecina that did the same things only far better on Saturday night.

The Crusaders and Hilltoppers blasted out of the gates playing a high-speed, high-energy brand of basketball with little offensive success to show for it in the early going.

About midway through the opening quarter Scecina started cashing in some of that effort to lead 9-4 after a quarter and carry that momentum into halftime for a 23-14 cushion. The Crusaders steadily pulled away from that point on due in large part to a game-high 22-point night by mercurial 5-foot-11 guard Josh Rutland.

Rutland was a vision of motion throughout, blitzing through Shawe pressure, driving to the basket and spotting up outside for a game-high five 3-pointers.

Although Rutland was the only Crusader in double figures, Scecina got a trio of eight-point games from 5-foot-9 sophomore guard Zach Rutland, 6-foot-3 senior forward Gary Gee and 5-foot-10 junior guard Jalen Kimbell.

Shawe's 6-foot-3 senior forward Taylor Rhoten battled his way to a team-high 11 points and senior guard Luke Higgins scrapped his way to nine but the rest of the Hilltopper scorers were AWOL while combining for just 11 more points and only six of that from starters.

"They, defensively, just took us out of everything we wanted to do," Traylor said of the Crusaders.

"We went to (Rhoten) a lot more, especially later in the game, and there were some times that he played pretty well, pretty strong, but they affected his shots," Traylor added. "Luke Higgins had a nice game for us offensively for the second night in a row, but we've just got to find a way to get more from our other guys.

"Defensively, I thought we played really well. I don't think defensively we could have done much different to be effective," Traylor said. "They had 23 at half and 53 in the game. We did a really good job of packing everything in and making them shoot from outside."

A lot of that "packing in" came in the early going when Scecina misfired time after time from outside. Normally, Shawe could have converted such misses into offense on the other end, but the Crusaders were the quicker team to the long rebounds and even when Shawe made defensive stops, the Hilltoppers could get little going on the other end.

"Obviously they settled some for jumpers but we didn't do a good job of going after the long rebounds," Traylor said. "But I thought defensively we protected the basket as well as we could."

In the end, the 53 points allowed on defense wouldn't have been an issue if Shawe had managed any offense of its own. But with quarter scores of four, 10, seven and 10 points, it didn't take Scecina long to pull away once the Crusaders started cashing in drives to the basket and the treys started falling.

The win improves Scecina to 3-0 and drops Shawe to 1-2 but the more important number to the Hilltoppers right now is Shawe's 0-1 start Friday in the Ohio River Valley Conference.

Shawe's next game will be a trip to ORVC rival South Ripley on Friday - a game that now weighs heavily on the Hilltoppers' ORVC title hopes.

Traylor thinks the ORVC is a league of parity in 2012-13 and he doesn't see any team running the tables to go undefeated. However, the thought of starting the seven-game conference schedule with back-to-back losses would be a serious blow for the Hilltoppers.

"We'll get back in the gym on Monday and start working on things to get better by Friday," Traylor said. "I think at the end of the day the message we have to get across is to have a consistency in our performance effort-wise. And I think when we do that we'll be OK.

"I think we'll come out Friday ready to play," Traylor added. "I think for the most part we're a pretty resilient group."



at Madison



SHAWE MEMORIAL 4 10 7 10 - 31

SCECINA (3-0) - (g)J. Rutland 22, (g)Z. Rutland 8, (f)Gee 8, (g)Kimbell 8, Ayres 3, (g)Johnson 2, Hadley 2, Okerson 0, Valant 0, Dipple 0.

SHAWE (1-2) - (f)Rhoten 11, (g)Higgins 9, (g)Mingione 4, Rios 3, (g)Grote 2, Reuss 2, (f)Ball 0, Daugherty 0, Fry 0.

3-Point Goals - Scecina 8 (J. Rutland 5, Kimble 2, Ayres 1), Shawe 1 (Rios 1). Free Throws - Scecina 5-8, Shawe 6-11. Total Fouls - Scecina 17, Shawe 9. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Scecina hosts Chatard Tuesday, Shawe visits South Ripley Friday.