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Sunday, December 02, 2012

Twin Valley South’s first Tip Off Tournament was a resounding success – the games were exciting and fairly well attended.  What a way to start the season – with a tournament atmosphere and electricity in the stands.  I am sure it was intimidating for young players making their first varsity start.  The participating teams were TVS, Eaton, Dixie, and Stivers – all teams located along Route 35.  So it could also have been called the Route 35 tournament as all schools are located in close proximity to this roadway.
The first two teams to tee off Friday night were Dixie and Stivers.  Dixie has a new head coach this season, Mike Waggoner.  Coach Waggoner has been an assistant at Dixie for a while and area fans will remember him as being a former head coach at Tri-County North previous to this.  He decided to step back into the head coach role when the position opened up at Dixie.   And what a team to open against in Stivers – a big physical team, that is athletic, and can shoot the ball.  The Tigers also pressed the entire game, so Dixie had no moments to relax.

Both teams played aggressive man to man defense.  And in the second half when things got heated the officials called a double technical foul as players got a little too physical. In the first half, Dixie trailed Stivers and went to the locker room down 25 to 20.  Dixie chipped away at the Stivers lead and thanks to a Luke Bowling trey at the end of the third quarter, they were down by a point 38-37.  The 4th quarter was fairly even as the teams battled back and forth, but Stivers had the advantage at the buzzer 64-60.
In the consolation game, Dixie played against Eaton.  And the team never did seem to get on track.  They trailed the entire game and weren’t able to get a rally going.  Fouls were a problem for the Greyhounds as they accumulated 23 over the course of the game.   They would lose 61 – 44.

South played Eaton on the first night.  Both teams opened with zone defenses and it was quickly apparent that part of Eaton’s strategy was to smother South center Mike Green in the paint. He was closely guarded at all times and every time he touched the ball he was double teamed.  It was a defensive battle in the first half as both teams tested the others defenses.  At the half it was 24-22 in favor of South.

South finally was able to extend their lead in the third quarter thanks in part to a Wes Cole trey that put the team up 31-24.  This made Eaton go to man to man defense to put pressure on the perimeter.   And Eaton pressed to try and get South to cough up the ball.  But South was cool under pressure and this also showed at the foul line in the 4th quarter.  Where the team got 18 free throw chances and nailed 14 of them.  Eaton fought hard to the end but ended up losing to South 56-49. Wes Cole had 21 points, Mike Green 14, Anthony Augspurger 10.

Saturday night’s championship game was Stivers vs South.  It was a closely contested game until the final quarter when South hit the gas pedal and didn’t stop until they had the victory.  South was down at the end of the first quarter but had a slim 2 point margin at the half.  The third quarter was mostly even with Stivers having the advantage as the teams entered the final quarter.  But South broke the game open with a 15-0 run to finish out the game with a win 55-44 over Stivers. 

Stated coach Augspurger after the game, “I thought we played hard the whole game, I thought we competed very well, I thought we rebounded very well.  But we gave up 25 turnovers to their pressure - we handled like a team still early in the season.  But we were real gutty when it came time to take control of the game. 
He continued, “Wes Cole had a really good weekend, he played very well on Friday night and played even better on Saturday.  Twice Stivers ran their lead out to 4 in the 4th quarter and twice Wes shot a three to cut it to 1.”  On the first Tip Off Tournament, “We had OK attendance, but I felt we should have gotten more fans.  This was the first year and maybe next year the word will be around that this is the place to be on opening night. But the South student body did a great job – they were out in full force. “

Wes Cole ended the night with 21 points; Mike Green had 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots; Anthony Augsperger had 6 assists; Troy Innis had 5 assists.

Next week TVS will play Valley View which features Zach Denny who signed with Bowling Green.  Meanwhile Dixie will play Brookville on Saturday night.