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Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Rivalry is Back

Rivals Twin Valley South and Tri-County North clashed on Friday night. Although South entered the game with the better record, North was able to give South all that they could handle. The last few years the series has been lopsided in the favor of South. But this game showed that the rivalry was back. It was a game with several lead changes and the end was in doubt up to the last minute.

Surprisingly, it was North who got an early lead. They were able to get their outside shooting game going and in the first half it was effective. South started in a man to man defense, but also used their zone – going back and forth the entire night. North utilized a zone defense for most of the game. At the end of the first quarter it was 13-10 in favor of North. Cole Cottingim gave South their first lead of the game with a three point shot. But North closed the gap and the game was tied at halftime 21-21. In the close confines of the North gym, it was a noisy first half as the crowd rooted for the hometown team.

A re-invigorated South defense manned the court in the second half. They played aggressive half court defense and stifled the North shooters. Then South began to put a little distance between themselves and their rivals. Cole Cottingim hit another trey to break the tie and Mike Green, who had been benched in the second quarter with 2 fouls, had a good second half. It was time for the South fans to make a little noise.

But North stuck around, they stayed within 7-8 points of South. They went to a full court man to man late in the 4th quarter and were able to get some turnovers. When they fouled, South was not hitting the front end of 1 and 1’s, but South was able to control the rebound. So despite their efforts, they couldn’t make up any ground. With a minute left, South still had a 8 point lead. They were able to control the game from there, winning 51-42. South got their victory, but they had to earn it.

Coach Jackson commented after the game, “It’s good to get the rivalry back, we preached this week that it has been awhile since the North South game has been competitive. I thought it was a great game, South played hard, it was physical, hats off to coach Augspurger and his team – they finished. But our guys we have turned a corner, we’ve seen this from early on – we have gotten better each week. We’ve competed and had our chances against a good team, and South is a good team. With a minute left we had an opportunity and had we gotten a couple of rebounds, we could have cut it down to a one possession game.”

On Austin Hutchins who lead all scorers, “His effort was incredible and he showed good leadership. He has an excellent attitude. And Josh Diehl had a good game, he didn’t score as much, but he did a lot of little things to help the team, he took a beating down low – he played sick and just played through it. Billy Derringer had a good game, Cole Williams, Tyler Reese, Matt Louthan all gave great effort.”

Coach Augsperger commented on the rivalry: “We know this that no matter what their record is that North is always going to give us their best shot. It’s a rivalry game that they will get fired up for – and I thought they gave us their best shot tonight. Now we did not play a good first quarter, and they played really well. They were hitting their shots early in the game. We played a good third quarter and had a good start to the fourth quarter. For the most part, we felt pretty good about ourselves… I feel a lot better about this game than I did about our last two. “

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