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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

TVS Runners Up in Tip Off

Twin Valley South won their season opener against Dixie on Friday night 42-37.  South had two players score in double figures – Seth Baker with 17 and JJ Utz with 12.  For Dixie, Griffen Moore lead the way with 17.  Dixie stayed on the heels of TVS all night but just couldn’t muster a big enough run to surpass TVS.  Head coach Tony Augspurger of South would later remark that the team did a great job of executing their game plan as well as any other team that he had coached.  Dixie would win the consolation the next night against Eaton handily 64-48, a game where their up tempo game and pressing defense smothered the Eagles.

This set up the championship game between Stivers and South.  Stivers crushed Eaton the night before 80-33 using a full court press and fast paced offense.   South entered the game with a short bench – only 2 players.  While Stivers had 7 players that they could swap in and out of the game.  And in the opening moments it looked rough for the home town team.  Their first 4 possessions ended in turnovers, but fortunately for South, Stivers was bricking their shots.  Meanwhile South settled in and began to make a few shots.  And so ended up with the lead at the end of the first quarter 13-9.

Stivers threw a variety of defenses at South – they opened the second quarter with a 1-3-1 half court trap.  But South seemed to handle this fairly well.  But Stivers height began to take its toll as they began to hit the boards for second chance shots.  Meanwhile South’s hot shooting from the first quarter cooled off.   Stivers went on a 20-2 run to close out the half with a commanding 35-17 lead.

South played with Stivers in the  3rd quarter, but didn’t make up much ground.  In the last quarter the team just seemed to run to out of gas and Stivers pulled away for an easy victory 68-46. “I was very proud of the way our kids played with them,” remarked Coach Augspurger after the game. “We made our goal for the week which was to get at least one win with a short handed team.  Tonight we knew we were going to be overmatched.  Stivers is one of the highest rated D3 teams in Southwest Ohio. We wanted to try and win the first quarter and see what happens – and we did that.”

He continued, “We didn’t have enough gas and they jumped us in the second quarter.   And coming out of the locker room we wanted to win the third quarter – and we did by one point.  This is a modified lineup that is small and with very little varsity experience but the kids battled and scrapped.  I am very proud of the effort that they gave. “

“We had success this tournament with our 2-3 zone.  My Dad was eye-balling some college zone defenses last year and taped a lot of them.  We sat down in the off season and looked them over and took notes.  We saw some stuff that we liked, and worked on them with the team.  And the kids are starting to get it.  Every team that we have played they have not overly enjoyed it.  And even Stivers, they weren’t getting great looks in the zone either.  But we have to rebound better than we did tonight. Against Dixie we limited them to one shot, tonight we didn’t do that.”

On JJ Utz and Seth Baker making the all tournament team – “JJ Utz has a chance to be very special, he is learning on the job this year – he is quick, he is hardnosed.  He is an athlete that competes, he has a chance to be a very good high school point guard.  Seth might have pressured himself too much – he knows he has to score for us.  He didn’t shoot as well tonight as we know he can shoot.  But he played really, really well. “

Scoring: Burns 7, Bassler 7, McGuire 2, Osbourne 5, Utz 10, Baker 13.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Dixie 1-1 to Start Season

Dixie played in the TVS Tip Off Tournament this past weekend.  In the opening round they drew host Twin Valley South.  Although they stayed on the heels of South the entire night they were unable to make a strong run to surpass the hosts and lost a close game 42-37.  South rebounded well and their stingy half court defense did not give up many uncontested shots.  Griffin Moore was high points for Dixie with 17.

This set up the consolation game the next night against Eaton, who lost to eventual tournament champs - Stivers.  Dixie plays this season under Isiah Williams, a very vocal, demanding coach who has the team playing at an uptempo pace on offense and a smothering pressing defense.  Eaton definitely could not handle the pressure as they coughed up the ball repeatedly and Dixie converted those turnovers into points.  

Eaton opened with a zone defense, but Dixie was not phased as they connected from the outside.  When Eaton countered with a man to man defense, Dixie was able to cut thru the defense and get shots close to the basket.  And Dixie rebounded well, limiting Eaton to one shot per possession. Dixie ended the first quarter with a 14-4 run.  Eaton got some traction just before halftime with their half court game, but still were down 40-19 at the midpoint of the contest.

In the second half Eaton tried to use the press to catch Dixie off balance.  But the team handled the pressure fairly well.  They gave up some early turnovers, but settled down and went to work.  The team eventually coasted to a 64-48 win.  Dixie distributed their scoring and had 4 double digit scorers - Fisher, Moore, Miller, and Watts.   Senior Griffin Moore was named to the All-Tournament team.  

Coach Williams was asked for comment after the game, "We played a whole lot better today than we did yesterday. We pressured the ball really well. We took them out of the game really early - and that is what we told them to do. The guys ran the floor really well, that is the brand of basketball we want to play.  In the end it got a little chippy, but overall we did a good job.   Our seniors did well tonight - we are going to be a senior lead team. They have to lead on the court, as well as off the court.  We share the ball to a fault sometimes and today we we finished around the rim very well.  We rebounded better tonight and once our injured sophomore, Cody Grubb, gets back we should do even better."

Against South, "We didn't execute well the whole game. They handled our pressure - hats off to Twin Valley South, they did exactly what they needed to do. They kept good pressure on us, and we never came out and attacked them. We were less of an aggressor that game."

Scoring: Fisher 13, Moore 18, Benner 6, Miller 12, Watts 12, Mintz 1, Leonard 1
Rebounding: Benner 7, Watts 5; Steals: Benner 3; Assists: Fisher 5, Moore 5

Stivers won the TVS Tip Off Tournament 68-46 against host Twin Valley South.  Stivers Robert Caldwell was tournament MVP.