Tuesday, December 09, 2014

South Trounces Eagles; Short Against Stivers


South hosted a tip off tournament to open the first weekend of the boys basketball season.  Friday night South played against the Eaton Eagles and the team methodically took apart the Eagles. South had a 27-14 halftime lead.  Eaton rallied in the third quarter, but South ran away with the game in the final quarter with a 23 point burst to defeat Eaton 60-40.

This set up the championship game against Stivers who had won the previous night against Dixie.  The Tigers are tall and athletic while South’s tallest player was only 6’2”.  For a long while South has had the advantage of tall post players.  So this year’s team has to be scrappy and opportunistic on defense to be competitive. That was the way the team played against Eaton and Stivers.

Both teams pressed a little in the early going, but gradually settled into half court defenses with South in a zone and Stivers playing man to man. South started cold with some sloppy play that let Stivers get an early 8-2 advantage.  Coach Augspurger took a time out after about 4-5 turnovers and got the team sailing straight.  South was down 14-20 at the first break and that seemed to set the tone for night where Stivers would lead most of the way and South would stay on their heels.

Stivers has decent depth this season and so they could go with a short, quick lineup – then with a line change go to a taller, more physical line up.  That made it tough defensively for South to have to adjust back and forth. Still after trailing the entire game, South tied up the game at 40 all when Winston Crozier hit a shot late in the 3rd quarter.  Stivers could feel the pressure as South doggedly stayed on their heels – tying the game several times in the late 3rd and 4th quarters.  But South never could get that push to go ahead.

South rested their starters going into the last quarter and when they re-entered the court Wes Cole picked up his 3rd, then 4th foul and had to go back to the bench.  He did re-enter the game with about 2 and half minutes left.  And with South fouling to get possession of the ball, he delivered a 3 point shot to put South back within 1 with 23 seconds left.  South got the ball back again after a foul and set up a play with 15 seconds left.  They got the shot they wanted – but it wouldn’t drop and South fell in a heated game 55-53.

 “We just didn’t make enough shots,” said Coach Augspurger after the game. “but we did everything else.  I thought we battled well, we had some problems with their pressure – but we adjusted. We didn’t back down at all.  I don’t know what our shooting percentage was, but it couldn’t have been very good.”

He continued, “We had some opportunities in the 4th quarter to score and we just didn’t score.  We tied it up, but we just couldn’t get the lead.  Sometimes getting the lead changes the mentality of the game.  And we just never got there – we were always playing from behind.  We shoot free throws a little better, or we make a layup and it changes the game.”

Jacob Bassler and Wes Cole were high points for South, “Jacob Bassler had a good tournament.  He had a great second quarter against Eaton.  And he played well today, he attacked the basket.  And we need him to continue to get better.  Wes struggled shooting the ball at times.  He did not have his best weekend shooting, but we know what he can do – he can make things happen.”

Wes Cole and Anthony Augspurger made the All-Tournament team for South.  Scoring against Stivers: Wes Cole 14, Jacob Bassler 15, Winston Crozier 4, Anthony Augspurger 8, Jake Osborn 5, JJ Utz 4.


This coming Friday South plays at Trail, a team that is hoping to bounce back from last years disappointing record.

Dixie Splits Games Opening Weekend


This weekend opens the Boys Varsity Basketball season and Dixie played in the Tip Off Tournament hosted by TVS.  Their first round game was against the eventual winner of the tournament – Stivers. Dixie got off to a slow start against the Tigers – only scoring 11 points in the first half.  But thanks to a late rally in the 4th quarter they came back, but ran out of time as they fell 55-48.

So Saturday night the Greyhounds faced off against the Eaton Eagles – part of the big school division of the SWBL.  Eaton had fallen the previous night to South.  It quickly became evident that Dixie wanted to redeem themselves for their loss.  One had the sense that it would be a long night for Eaton when their point guard double dribbled the ball 5 seconds into the game. Although Eaton had an overall team height advantage, Dixie was able to counter that with an aggressive defense and spot on outside shooting.

In the first half Dixie connected on 8 treys to get the lead.  Eaton tried both man to man and 1-2-2 zone to get pressure on the wings.  But Dixie was too quick to keep covered for long. Dixie played a zone, but would mix in some trapping to keep Eaton off balance.  And Dixie was able to get turnovers from their defensive pressure.  They doubled up Eaton by halftime 33-16, shrugged off an attempt by Eaton to press coming out in the 3rd quarter and cruised to an easy 60-35 win.
Blake Miller made the all-tournament team with his performance – leading his team in scoring with 21 points Friday and 26 points Saturday. Scoring against Eaton: Rutledge 4, Grubb 7, Leonard 9, Simpson 4, Hale 3, Gengler 3, Arnett 4.

“Overall I thought we shot the ball pretty well,” stated Coach Williams after the game, “We don’t have a lot of guys big inside, so we are going to have to take a lot of outside shots. I thought defensively we did pretty well.  Now I thought we had too many turnovers as a team.  We’re going to be better, but it’s going to be a process to get where we need to be.  But defensively we were able to steal the ball and get the job done.”

Defensive Rebounding: “Our goal is to try and limit any team to just one shot. And everyone has to box out and go get a rebound.  Even against Stivers with their big size, I thought that we did a good job of limiting them to one shot most times.  We already understand that if we give them second and third shots that it is going to be a long night for us."

Stivers, “They got up on us early, but we did not quit. We got the game back to a manageable situation. But we lost some opportunities to get even closer - we missed some key shots.  Blake Miller played well for us and Justin Leonard played unbelievably well – he gave us a double – double. We were able to make it a game and challenge them.”


Next week Dixie has two big games on their schedule as they host Waynesville on Friday and then rival Brookville on Saturday.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Panthers Dominate Bronco's


South has gotten off to a slow start this season, but they hit their stride for at least one game against the Jefferson Bronco’s.  The girls dominated from the opening tip to the end of the game.  They used an aggressive defense to befuddle the Bronco’s and keep them from generating any offense on the night.  With an expanded line up this year, South was able to able to do hockey like line changes and move 5 in and 5 out to keep their pressure fresh and intense the entire game. 

South had a 10 point lead at the end of the first quarter. But they adjusted to the court in the second quarter and the shots began to drop – the Panthers stretched out their lead  and were up 36-7 at the half.  And the pressure did not relent the entire game.  South held Jefferson to a single point in the last quarter to put an exclamation point on their 64-19 win.

And scoring was distributed. High points for South  was senior Abby Horton and sophomore Emily Hutchison who both scored 10 points.  9 out of 10 players scored, also scoring were – Jaycie Fisher 6, Mylan Crews 9, Madison Wright 4, Sydney Vorhis 8, Abbey Creech 8, Hailey Keener 4, Morgan Newhart 5.

“Sometimes a game like this gets a little ugly.” Remarked coach Mabry after the game. “I will take the win – but am I totally pleased with the way we played - No.  Now the effort was there – it doesn’t matter who we are playing or what the score is, this team plays hard.  We were playing quick and up-tempo, sometimes we need to just relax a little bit.  It was good to see 9 out of the 10 players get in the score book.  We aren’t going to be able to do that every game, but it was nice to get everyone in there.”


National Trail, “Trail is a good solid team. It’s the first time in years we haven’t had to worry about a 6 footer in the post.  We are going to go out and compete and see how we do.” 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Random Thoughts - December 7th

Well it's a testimony to the strength of the MAC- 3 state champions from that conference this season.  And hardly a season goes by where one or more MAC doesn't make it to the state title game. They have to be the top small school conference in the country.  Those schools must have entire wings devoted to Championship hardware.

And speaking about strength - what about the Buckeyes last night!!! Saw a lot of comments online - did Wisconsin even get off the bus? Did someone spike the Ohio State Gatorade?? Anyway they simply dominated all facets of the game. If you are the Wisconsin coach what do you tell your players at halftime when you are already down 38-0!!

And you are being pummeled by a team starting their 3rd string quarterback. Imagine - your first start as a Buckeye and you are starting in a championship game.  And Cardale Jones came out like a gunslinger and took care of business.  He does not run as well as Miller or Barrett.  But he has that quick release and rifle arm that NFL teams like.

So regardless of what happens in the last game, who starts for the Buckeyes next fall?  Urban Myers has a wealth of talent at quarterback. Declare one of them the QB in the offseason?  Have a run off in the spring or during conditioning in August?  It's going to be hard to make a decision and keep everyone happy.