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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Young South Team 1-1 in First Weekend

With only 3 South players with varsity experience from last season, everyone had to be wondering how the young team would fare in their first weekend of action. South opened the season with a win on the road against Bethel, a quality opponent that has owned South the last few years. But turned around the next night and lost to Valley View. Interestingly the games were a contrast where the Bethel game was a defensive slugfest, while in the Valley View game was a high scoring affair.
The Bee’s were 2-0 coming into the game with wins over Arcanum and Indian Lake. After eking out a two point lead at half time, South shutdown the Bee’s in the third quarter and held off a fourth quarter surge to win this game 31-28. Johnny Meyers did the bulk of the scoring for the Panthers with 21 points.

Head coach Tony Augspurger was impressed with the win, “We have lost to Bethel the last three years, and they got back almost their whole team from last season. I thought we were very well prepared for them and we had a good understanding of what they were probably going to do. So we executed our game plan very well. It was low scoring because both teams have well schooled defenses. We were able to play 9 kids in that varsity game and for 6 of them it was their very first visit ever onto a varsity basketball court. We did not do that well offensively because I thought we were a little uptight on offense - it being our first night. They were quick and moved well, but we used our big guys and took advantage of our size. We rebounded really well and communicated on defense. It was a good emotional win for our kids.”

…on Johnny Meyers, “He has the ability to the best in our league and maybe in the area. And tonight he played like that. And we need him to perform, he is a two year starter and is a proven scorer – I thought he played like a senior. He made big plays for us, big shots for us all throughout the game. He also grabbed 11 rebounds. And Matt Green did well for us, he had 8 boards. If we are going to compete for a league championship, we had to win – in our league you need to win out or maybe have one loss to have a chance.”

On Saturday night, South would face the full court pressure of Valley View on defense and a talented Zack Denny on offense. This time the game was faster paced and the scoring was unchecked. At times the young South guards had problems against the pressure, causing South to fall behind early. But South mounted a second half comeback that excited the home town crowd as they tied the ball game at the end of the third quarter at 48 all.

And to start the fourth quarter South hit a three to go ahead. But just as it got interesting things became undone for South as Johnny Meyers got his 4th foul early in the quarter and had to watch from the bench as Valley View regained and then extended their lead. When he reentered the game around the 4 minute mark, he quickly got his fifth foul and was done for the night. Valley View went on to win 71-63.

Coach Augspurger on the loss, “The Valley View was frustrating in that we were prepared, but didn’t do what we needed to do defensively. The Bethel game we looked like we knew what we doing, we weren’t like that in the Valley View game. We didn’t do what we needed to do to slow down Denny. And we dug ourselves into a hole. Later in the game we put Anthony Augspurger and also Nick Guhering on Denny and they slowed him down in the second half. On offense, Valley View pressed us and we executed our press break OK at times but other times we gave the ball away.”

“When Johnny fouled out in the fourth quarter it kind of took our breath away. At this point in the season, we are not ready for that. But as the game went on we handled their pressure better and scored better. But I thought our new starting point guard Troy Innis did a great job with his first two starts. Ending this first week I am happy with my kids, in terms of individuals they did a lot of good things. We are going to have inexperience errors, but I thought we played hard both nights.”

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