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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Denny Dumps Dixie

Dixie entered Saturday night’s game with a two game losing skid after losing to Tri Village the previous week and dropping a game to league opponent Milton Union the night before. But it would be a tall order for Dixie to fulfill as Valley View came into the game with some height in the lineup and potent scoring weapon Zack Denny. And to make it even more of a challenge, Dixie would not have the services of senior guard Andrew Barnett who was unable to play in either weekend game.

Dixie employed their man to man defense, but also used a zone defense in the half court – occasionally trapping out of this set. Valley used a couple of different zone defenses and Dixie was able to get some points scoring from outside. But they had to play catch up all night. Valley View started with a 7-0 run before Dixie took a time out and got things figured out. Dixie tied the Spartans at one point in the first half, but the Spartans kept a 2 point lead going into the locker room at half time.

In the third quarter, the Greyhounds inexplicably were cold shooting from the floor. And since Valley View had decent height, there were not many second chance shots from rebounds. At the other end of the floor Valley View was steadily pulling away as they connected on shot after shot. Entering the 4th quarter, the Spartans lead had now grown to 12 points.

Dixie desperately went into a full court press to try and get some points from turnovers. Although they got some points from steals, they gave up some baskets in transition. And Zack Denny had a phenomenal game, when Dixie tried to make a surge, he was able to make some critical shots against a stalwart defense. For the game he had 31 points. Turnovers were also a problem for Dixie Saturday evening, time after time passes were picked off and converted into easy points.

Although Dixie had their best quarter of the game, scoring 17 points in the final stanza, Valley View bested them by scoring 18. Valley View would extend the Dixie losing streak to 3 as they would win 54-41. Next week the Greyhounds will play league foes Middletown Madison and Carlisle.

Coach Creamer commented after the game, “It’s been an extremely difficult week. It’s been harder for us in the locker room and in practicing than on the game floor. We’re dealing with some things and we just need to grow and mature as players and as a group. Of the three games that we have now lost, I thought that tonight was our best effort. I thought we played very hard tonight. But when you can’t put the ball in the hole, it makes the turnovers even that much more glaring. We are not where we want to be as a basketball team – but we not really that far away either. “

Scoring for Dixie: Luke Bowling 8, Zach Grubb 3, Landon Hicks 2, John Isaacs 14, Matt Isaacs 9, Jon Sauer 5. Scoring for Valley View: Patrick Boyle 4, Zack Denny 31, Josh Haeseker 5, Brad Miller 2, Cooper Nolte 2, Jeff Pierce 2, Andrew Zellner 8.

The Rivalry is Back

Rivals Twin Valley South and Tri-County North clashed on Friday night. Although South entered the game with the better record, North was able to give South all that they could handle. The last few years the series has been lopsided in the favor of South. But this game showed that the rivalry was back. It was a game with several lead changes and the end was in doubt up to the last minute.

Surprisingly, it was North who got an early lead. They were able to get their outside shooting game going and in the first half it was effective. South started in a man to man defense, but also used their zone – going back and forth the entire night. North utilized a zone defense for most of the game. At the end of the first quarter it was 13-10 in favor of North. Cole Cottingim gave South their first lead of the game with a three point shot. But North closed the gap and the game was tied at halftime 21-21. In the close confines of the North gym, it was a noisy first half as the crowd rooted for the hometown team.

A re-invigorated South defense manned the court in the second half. They played aggressive half court defense and stifled the North shooters. Then South began to put a little distance between themselves and their rivals. Cole Cottingim hit another trey to break the tie and Mike Green, who had been benched in the second quarter with 2 fouls, had a good second half. It was time for the South fans to make a little noise.

But North stuck around, they stayed within 7-8 points of South. They went to a full court man to man late in the 4th quarter and were able to get some turnovers. When they fouled, South was not hitting the front end of 1 and 1’s, but South was able to control the rebound. So despite their efforts, they couldn’t make up any ground. With a minute left, South still had a 8 point lead. They were able to control the game from there, winning 51-42. South got their victory, but they had to earn it.

Coach Jackson commented after the game, “It’s good to get the rivalry back, we preached this week that it has been awhile since the North South game has been competitive. I thought it was a great game, South played hard, it was physical, hats off to coach Augspurger and his team – they finished. But our guys we have turned a corner, we’ve seen this from early on – we have gotten better each week. We’ve competed and had our chances against a good team, and South is a good team. With a minute left we had an opportunity and had we gotten a couple of rebounds, we could have cut it down to a one possession game.”

On Austin Hutchins who lead all scorers, “His effort was incredible and he showed good leadership. He has an excellent attitude. And Josh Diehl had a good game, he didn’t score as much, but he did a lot of little things to help the team, he took a beating down low – he played sick and just played through it. Billy Derringer had a good game, Cole Williams, Tyler Reese, Matt Louthan all gave great effort.”

Coach Augsperger commented on the rivalry: “We know this that no matter what their record is that North is always going to give us their best shot. It’s a rivalry game that they will get fired up for – and I thought they gave us their best shot tonight. Now we did not play a good first quarter, and they played really well. They were hitting their shots early in the game. We played a good third quarter and had a good start to the fourth quarter. For the most part, we felt pretty good about ourselves… I feel a lot better about this game than I did about our last two. “