Sunday, January 15, 2012


Dixie wins battle of Rte 35

Coming into Saturday’s matchup both Dixie and South had very similar teams. Young guards, stingy defenses, and offensive threats in the post. Johnny Myers for South and John Isaacs for Dixie were the two big men that had been doing the scoring for their teams. Fans were not disappointed as the big men banged under the baskets. Also as factors in the game, Dixie was playing their 3rd game of week. They had two league wins under their belt, but would they have enough gas left in their tanks with their 3rd game in 5 days. It is mentally and physically challenging to maintain a high level of play with little rest. And South was facing two fierce opponents back to back. They dropped their Friday night game against Franklin Monroe and badly wanted a win to get their momentum back.

In the battle of the big men, TVS came out ahead as Johnny Myers would score 10 (one of his lowest scores of the season) points against John Isaacs who was held to just 2 points. But the war was won by the supporting cast of Dixie. With their leading scorer throttled, Dixie needed points from elsewhere.

The game was very physical and very intense. The house was packed and the crowd got into the ebb and flow of the game. South played their familiar zone while Dixie used their man to man defense. Dixie mixed in a little full court pressure but didn’t have much effect and settled back to the half court defense. South got an early lead but Dixie closed to within 3 thanks to an Andrew Barnett trey at the buzzer.

This momentum carried over to the second quarter. With the inside game buttoned up thanks to a vigorous South defense, Dixie went to work on their outside game and Luke Bowling was a factor here as he connected with his jump shot. Andrew Barnett would hit a couple more timely 3’s for the night. Also turnovers were a factor as Dixie was able to capitalize on turnovers and score some points in transition. So now Dixie had found out where they could get some points. This gave Dixie a slim 25-22 lead at the half.

Although the scoreboard did not reflect much change, there was plenty of action on the floor in the third quarter. Like two heavy weights going toe to toe the teams gave each other their best and their defenses were bent and flexed – but held very well. At one point in the action, the post play came close to actual blows but the teams settled back down. A defensive clash it was as Dixie scored just 6 and South 4 in the third quarter.

Dixie needed to break loose from South in the 4th quarter. Coming out of the gate, it was Barnett who threw down a three - so now Dixie could slow down and deliberately run their offense. South went into a man to man defense and would extend that to full court. But Dixie was able to handle the pressure. Ominously for South they had 7 fouls and now every foul was a trip to the line for Dixie. Dixie was able to thwart any attempt at a TVS comeback and ran out the clock to win a hard fought defensive game 42-31. Dixie had 7 players score in this game, while South only had 4 players score.

Coach Augspurger of TVS spoke after the game, “We had a tough weekend, Friday night we were out prepared, they were ready, and we weren’t. Tonight the referee’s did not call much and there was a lot of physical contact and we did not handle that. They won the physicality battle. Now our defense played OK – I was pleased with our defense. But on the boards we were not strong enough. In some respects, this is a young group and you have to wonder if we are making improvements fast enough. We played two tough teams this weekend; we knew back in September that we needed to circle this weekend. We were mediocre against Mississinnewa Valley, best performance of the year against Eaton, and this week I don’t feel our focus was where it needed to be in practice. We weren’t ready to play like we needed to play. If we are going to be successful in Southwest Ohio this year we have got to get better.”

Dixie’s Coach Creamer spoke after the game, “It’s been a brutal week, our kids know that, and we came out of it 3-0. We are tired, but we earned that fatigue – and we earned 3 wins. I love our character and I really, really love our toughness. We want to do the dirty work and we want to do the dirty work more than the team we are playing.”

On holding Johnny Myers to 10 points, “We are fortunate in that we have some length that is athletic enough to go out and guard him – not to let him operate in the open court like he wants to. He wants to face up and drive to the basket and we were able to defend that. Matt Isaacs, Mike Smiley, and Zach Grubb all took turns defending him.

On John Isaacs being held to 2 points, “Offensively and on the offensive and defensive glass, he has put us on his back the previous three games. It was someone else’s turn today. John was frustrated, but he realizes that every night can’t be his night – that’s why it is a team game. “
First win for Dixie Girls

The Dixie Greyhounds girls varsity basketball team got their first win of the season this past Saturday. It was part of an ‘All the basketball you can eat’ Saturday where South faced off against Dixie in an all day series of games. As it would turn out, the host teams would have the advantage all day long. Tip off was at 10am at TVS where the 7th grade TVS and Dixie girls squared off. This game was won by South, as was the 8th grade game – although the win did not come easily as the game was decided in overtime. Now the spotlight moved to New Lebanon where the boys and girls JV teams started play in the afternoon with Dixie winning both opening games and worked their way to an evening finale with both varsity teams.

Both girls varsity squads have been struggling this season, Twin Valley South only has 2 wins and Dixie had yet to win a game. But when evenly matched teams play, it can make for an exciting matchup. The TVS girls’ varsity started out strong and kept a lead throughout the first half. Both teams played zone defenses. Offensively, South was able to connect on their outside shots while Dixie got their points in the paint. Although South had the lead, they could not extend it more than 4-6 points as Dixie doggedly stayed on their heels. South went to the locker room with a 23-18 half time lead.

Dixie had made a change to man to man defense and when they came out in the second half they smothered the inside game of South and shutdown the outside shooting. Then they went on a furious scoring run – putting up 13 unanswered points. South took a time timeout when Dixie got their first lead of the night, but to no avail. Dixie Senior Ciera Bates owned the paint as she scored basket after basket in the red zone. South just could not stem the tide. Senior Katie Strazheim finally broke the scoring drought for South, but it was too little, too late as Dixie played like a team on a mission in the third quarter, scoring 22 points – but allowing only 6.

South went to a man to man defense in the last quarter and this slowed the pace of Dixie scoring. But South had 6 fouls already going into the final quarter and they quickly went gave Dixie double bonus. South closed to within 5 points as they made a late run with about a minute and a half left. But that was as close as they would get as Dixie would rally one last time and get their first victory of the season, 54-44.

Dixie head coach Jared Crowe was understandable ecstatic after the game, “Both teams played really hard today. They came out with more intensity than we did. But in the second half we came out like we really wanted it. It has been a tough year, but the girls really wanted the win and it showed tonight. We talked in the locker room at half time and I told the girls that we can win this game if we believe in ourselves. And we had the man to man defense really get out on their shooters – that and getting on it in transition really helped. “

On Ciera Bates, “She has been our goto player all year, she is a senior and is averaging 16 points and 14 rebounds a game. She does everything for us, I don’t know what the team would do without her. I am glad that she had a really great game tonight. Kate Leis had a good game too, she has been struggling with her shot all year and she started hitting shots tonight. Our sophomore point guard had been turning the ball over this year, but showed tonight that she is really maturing.”

Scoring for TVS: Clark 2, Gates 5, Mackie 10, Nushawg 21, Straszheim 4, White 2. Dixie Scoring: Bates 26, Evans 3, Hundley 5, Leis 11, Rader 3, Shope 4, Woodgeard 2.