Versailles ends season with district semifinal loss to Preble Shawnee


By Drew Terhall

CLAYTON — It was a physical game throughout, but the Versailles High School boys basketball team fell to Preble Shawnee, 50-42, at Northmont High School on Feb. 25 in the Southwest Division III District semifinal.

Head coach Travis Swank said foul trouble led to the team not being able to contain Preble Shawnee as the game went on. Junior AJ Griesdorn and freshman Drake Ahrens both fouled out in the fourth quarter.

“The first one we were able to weather. The second one with him (Ahrens) and then you compile AJ in there, we couldn’t weather the second wave. Not being able to make free throws at crucial times was the nail in the coffin for us,” Swank said.

Versailles had a 19-18 lead at halftime. Both teams were locked in with their half-court defense. The Arrows did bring the full-court press against the Tigers.

They did have trouble with the press at first, but started to get past it as the game went on. Swank said the team was able to beat the press and score off the pressure.

The extra possessions, the turnovers and transition offense helped both teams put up points on the board.

Preble Shawnee started to do more of the little things right in the second half. In the first half, only three players scored for the Arrows. Once they got more players involved, they started to take over the game.

Versailles couldn’t do enough of the little things in the second half to extend their lead.

“Those are the little things that we talk about, put on our board every single time. Little things, do the little things right. That’s all we are saying and we just didn’t do enough here to get the win,” Swank said.

The Tigers did get their chances going to the free throw line. They were in the bonus in the third quarter and stayed close by getting to the line. But as the game came closer to the end, the Tigers couldn’t make the crucial free throws.

The offense couldn’t get into a rhythm without their freshman point guard. Swank said they had bad stretches of offense when Ahrens was not in the lineup.

Even when things looked to be going off the rails, the Tigers still hung in there. The seniors on the team helped keep everyone engaged and playing hard.

Swank said the seniors have bought into their roles this season and did what they were supposed to do. Lucas Stammen, Ethan Dickey, Connor Stonebraker and Joe Ruhenkamp all did the best they could in their roles to help this team win games.

Stonebraker led the team with 19 points. Sophomore Jace Watren had seven points.

The Tigers end their 2022-23 season with a 13-10 record. Swank said Preble Shawnee deserves praise for how they played in the game. He also said his team doesn’t have anything to hang their head about after this one.

“They deserve a lot of the credit and we’re going home. But, we’re not necessarily disappointed in our-self and what we put out there. We just didn’t do enough here to win tonight,” Swank said.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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