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Sunday, February 21, 2016

South Comeback Falls Short

As they have so often this season, South started slow in the 1st quarter in their state tournament game. The Cedarville Indians took advantage and captured the early lead. So South had to dig themselves out of a hole. The scoring was slow in the 1st quarter as the two teams sized each other up. So it was 11-7 at the first break.

Coach Augspurger had taken a time out late in the 1st quarter and changed defenses from a man to man to a trapping zone in a bid to break up the lethargy. South got some turnovers, but didn't really get the momentum change they needed. Cedarville was rebounding well, which meant that South was not getting many 2nd chance shots. And at the other end of the court, the Indians were hitting their shots.

South made a little run to start the 2nd quarter. Mike Myers tied the game at 11-all and it looked like South was going to gain momentum. But Cedarville responded and that was the mode for the remainder of the quarter. South would make a small run and Cedarville would re-extend their lead. At halftime it was 26-18 in the favor of the Indians. The Indians Jacob Gannon had done the most damage scoring 15 points against the Panthers.

With the Indians holding Jacob Bassler in check, the Panther were needing someone to step up. Mike Meyers stepped up the challenge and had a monster second half. He lead South in scoring with 27 points – and lead the charge as the South tried to overcome the deficit.

The Panthers allowed the Indians to go on a run in the second half and then settled down and began to chip away at the lead. They made a few good runs at the Indians – closing to within 3 points, but the Indians did their job at the foul line and that was as close as they would get as the Indians staved off the Panthers for a 56-52 win.

After a huge late season win over Carlisle (2nd place team in SWBL), South seemed to fade as the season came to an end. After that win they dropped 2 games to teams with losing records – Arcanum and North and lost any momentum that they could have carried over from that game. Still the team ended the regular season with a 13-9 record and were in the top half of the CCC.

“Unfortunately we entered the tournament headed in the wrong direction,” Tony Augspurger stated, “It's too bad because our seniors did a good job of leading us this year. Coming off of the Carlisle win, we felt good and I think they did too. So it's too bad we couldn't have finished better for them.”

He speaking about the seniors, “JJ Utz and Jacob Bassler were 3 year starters and they both did good things for us. Jacob did a lot of good offensively and JJ was one of the better defensive players that I have coached, he was tenacious. Chad Ehler and Winston Crossier did a lot of positive things for us. Our 4 senior starters helped make our program strong.”

Scoring for South: Mike Myers 26, Jacob Bassler 8, JJ Utz 7, Travis Lovely 7, Chad Ehler 4,

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