Monday, February 20, 2012

Miami East Escapes Upset in Overtime


Twin Valley South closed out the regular season with a fierce matchup against league leading Miami East. The Vikings entered the contest undefeated in the league.   South is currently tied for 3rd place in the CCC, and although a win would not propel them to the top – they could play spoilers by putting a blemish on East’s chance at a perfect season in the CCC.  Since last week, Johnny Myers prognosis has changed.  His leg injury was worse than first diagnosed and his season is done.  So South would have to face one of their most toughest opponents without their best player.

Miami East has not just been rolling through the Cross County  Conference, they have been crushing their foes.  For instance they recently beat Bradford and Newton by 30 and 40 point margins of victory. They do this with a mix of defenses – some half court zone sets that they trap out of and also some full court pressure.  South had their hands full against the defensive weapons of Miami East and young point guard Troy Innis had to work hard the entire game to keep the ball out of Viking hands.

South actually held a slim lead 2 point lead at halftime.   Miami East hit a 3 pointer just before the buzzer to go ahead at the end of the third quarter.  And extended that lead just a little with the first points of the last quarter.  But South made up the difference and it became a battle to the finish line for both squads.   Michael Boggs put some critical points on the board for South late in the quarter.  And with a minute left South had a 5 point lead. 

This set up a frantic last 60 seconds of regulation play. Gunner Shirk hit a 3 point shout for Miami East to cut the lead to 2 points.   Troy Innis was fouled and toed the line for 2 points to lengthen South’s lead.  But on their next trip down the court Shirk drained the net for another 3 to pull East within one.  Mike Green was fouled on South’s possession, but he hit just one of his tosses.  Brad Coomes put up an acrobatic shot in the closing seconds and tied the ball game.  South tried to get the ball downcourt for a last shot but couldn’t get a clean shot at the basket before time ran out.

Now the two stubborn teams played shutdown defense in the overtime.  Amazingly neither team  scored in the first minute, or the second minute of overtime,  finally Miami East took their last shot as overtime was clocking down.  Brad Coomes put up a shot – and missed.  But the rebound was tipped right back into his hands.  He took his second chance – and this time made it right before the buzzer ended the game.  It was a heart breaking loss for the Panthers. 

This is the second game in 10 days where the other team made miraculous shots down the stretch to beat us”, stated Coach Augspurger after the game, “There was a buzzer beater at Covington and this last second shot in overtime.  But the team did a lot of good things this game – we handled their pressure a lot better than other teams have.  Our players, lead by Troy Innis, did a good job against their defense by controlling our turnovers.  East has rolled over a lot of teams by their pressure defense.  “

On the team without Myers, “ Well we are a different team without Johnny Myers.  Our guys are working together well and are finding their roles as we adjust.  We are trying to pick up points where we can pick them up.  Mike Green had 15 points and 14 rebounds.  Cole Cottingim hit some big shots for us.  He is shooting in varsity games like he used to shoot in his JV games – playing with confidence.  But I look at this way, when we play in the tournament, it will be our 5th game without Johnny so the kids are stepping up and adjusting already.  So it isn’t anything new, our roles are evolving.  We are looking forward to the chance of making a good tournament run. We had the number 2 tournament seed battered and on the ropes, we just couldn’t overcome a really good last second effort by them.” 

Carlisle – South’s Tournament game at Tecumseh on Saturday night, “Their coach has used man to man and so we expect that to be their primary defense – they play it well.  They have three excellent outside players that are averaging about 14 points per game.  They can all shoot, they can all drive, they can all make free throws. “