XENIA — While it may have been their first game of the 2019-‘20 girls high school basketball regular season, the Xenia Buccaneers showed plenty of promise, in Monday’s Dec. 2 53-51 home loss to Springfield Shawnee.
Xenia held a 50-43 lead with 3:31 left to play, but appeared unused to holding a lead at that stage in the game. Dating back to last season, the Bucs hadn’t won a contest since a 49-46 home win Jan. 5 over Sidney. As a result, Shawnee rallied with a 10-1 scoring run the rest of the way to claim the win.
Braves senior Andi Meeks scored 14 of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter — including the go-ahead basket with 15.9 seconds left to play — to lead the Shawnee rally. Junior Tori Malicki scored 13 points and Braves teammate Hannah Beers added a dozen.
Shawnee outscored Xenia, 19-6 in the final period of play.
“That was a tough turn of events,” Xenia coach Jessica Threats said. “But it’s almost as to be expected. This was our first game of the season; it was their fourth game. They’ve gotten some of their kinks worked out, and we kind of got exposed on a few things that we’ve still gotta work out.”
Xenia brings a lineup with seniors Alexis Claybaugh, Kelli Hatfield and Olivia Wakefield, and juniors Kamea Baker and Reaghan Wakefield. The other five are either freshmen (Kendall Sherman, Amarie Withers and Bri Randall) or sophomores (Haley McManus and Brynna Mardis).
In Monday’s opener, Sherman led the Buccaneers in scoring with 19 points, Hatfield was next with nine, and Reaghan Wakefield finished with seven points, while five other players combined for the team’s other 16 points.
“Overall, I think we’re multi-faceted. I think we have a lot of skilled girls. And we’ve definitely got some new energy behind the program this year,” Threats said. “We’re definitely looking to shock some people this year.”
Xenia (0-1) will play its first Miami Valley League contest of the young season at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 when they’ll host West Carrollton.
Shawnee opened up its season on Nov. 25 with a road loss at Troy. They played a pair of Ohio Heritage Conference schools (Mechanicsburg and Springfield Catholic Central), but their results were not posted on either the OHC website or the Central Buckeye Conference site. The Braves will begin CBC play Wednesday when they will host Indian Lake.