Tuesday, February 11, 2014

South Steps on North




The two Route 503 foes met for the second time this season on Friday. Their first meeting was at the Preble Shawnee Holiday tournament and it ended up as a decisive win for South.  This time the game was at North’s senior night.  But South upended North’s hopes of climbing another rung in the league standings with another victory.
South started out dominating on both offense and defense.  Their first volley of shots was all treys and they were 4 of 5 to start the game.  At the other end of the court, they kept North bewildered with an array of defenses.  They played man to man, then switched to a trapping defense, and finally ended up in a zone.  A ruckus hometown was quieted by the end of the first quarter as South garnered a 23-5 lead. 

North has been notorious this season for slow starts this season.  But although they slowed the pace of South’s scoring, they could not make up much ground in the remaining 3 quarters. The final was 36-67 in favor of South.   Senior Austin Hutchins, who will be playing football for Ohio Northern University next year, had 17 points to lead North.  Interestingly, South was able to shut him out in the first half – so all his scoring was done in just 2 quarters.  Leading the way for South was Mike Green who had 20 points on the night.

North’s coach Scott King had this to say after the game, “We have a hard time handling the other team’s pressure.  We are struggling to do the little things it takes every possession to win these kinds of games.  We did not have one of our top scorers tonight, but I am not sure it would have been a difference in the end. But I have to give credit to South – they are playing well.  They have a good core of guys who can take care of the ball, rebound well, and score, they have a nice package.”

South’s Tony Augspurger commented, “I thought we played really well. We talked before the game.  North is having a pretty good season and even though we beat them in December we wanted to get on them early and set the tone.   Our defense got on them early, we mixed things up on them and the team executed well.  The longer you let them stay in the game, the more they believe that they can play with you.  And we were able to prevent that – we defended well, we passed it well, we shot it well.

On having senior Troy Innis back, “He has certainly been a hard luck kid. He played injured all of last year.  We had thought that he wouldn’t be able to play at  all, but now he has a chance to come back and help us.  He still needs to be in better shape and then he can give us more quality minutes and do good things for us.”

South capped off their weekend with narrow 67-65 win over Preble Shawnee. Since the winter break the team has left the win-lose, win-lose track that they were on in 2013 and have generated genuine momentum in 2014. With Innis back to add another senior to the roster the team looks primed to compete in the state tournament that lies just ahead.

Next week South faces Franklin Monroe a team that has beaten Tri-Village to lay claim for first in the conference.  Then on Friday they play National Trail.