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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

TVS - Holiday Tournament Champs

South won the Holiday Tournament hosted by Preble Shawnee.  The team used a tenacious defense and an up-tempo offense to pave the way to success.  Although outsized, the team hustled to pull in long rebounds and get points off of turnovers as they fought their way to victory in both games. The team also placed several players on the All-Tournament team that was announced after the championship game.

First up for South was Talawanda.  They are a bigger school from the South West Ohio Conference and so they play a schedule against mainly Division 2 schools.  But South was aggressive from the get-go, using a variety of defenses to keep the Braves from settling into their offense.  They used a full court man to man for a time, then also used a half court trap.   Towards the end of the first quarter Talawanda tried to do some trapping of their own.  But South had already raced to a 21-10 lead.

South was unrelenting – leading 30 – 12 at one point as they continued to run the court in the second quarter.  The Braves could not keep pace with the Panthers and they finally fell 59-32.  South was unselfish in this game as the team combined for 17 assists on the night.  Wes Cole (17) and Anthony Augspurger (13) lead the team in scoring.  Augspurger and JJ Utz had 5 assists while Cole had 3.  Augspurger lead the teams in steals with 6.

This set up the championship game against Preble Shawnee, who had defeated North handily the night before.  The game would be the offensive firepower and physical size of Shawnee against the stalwart defense and up-tempo offense of South.  Both teams utilized a variety of defenses during the game.  Shawnee started the night in a zone, while South opened in their man to man defense.
South had a slim lead in the first quarter, but extended that lead in the second quarter as they hit their shots and were able to run the court on several possessions. Shawnee tried to half court trap to start the second quarter, but it had no effect on South. At the half, it was 25-16 in favor of South.

Shawnee stayed on the heels of South throughout the third quarter – gradually chipping away at the lead.  After a time out, South switched to a zone late in the quarter in an effort to stymie the Shawnee offense. But Shawnee hit a buzzer beater right at the end of the quarter from half court to make it a 4 point game, then Kevin Ketring hit another trey to start the 4th quarter and suddenly it was a one point game.  South’s offense had grown cold, they were struggling to score and the momentum seemed to have gone to the Arrows.

Shawnee switched to a man to man defense and also got the lead at the 6:36 mark.  Augspurger scored a basket and got the lead back for the Panthers.   Shawnee again made it a two point game and then went to full court pressure with a minute left.  But South handled the pressure well – and with Shawnee having to foul to get the ball back – South sank their foul shots when it counted.  Both Cole and Augspurger hit some clutch shots from the foul line to seal the 49-42 victory for South.

Wes Cole and JJ Utz made the all-tournament team, while Anthony Augspurger was named tournament MVP. Scoring: Winston Crosier 4, Cole 12, Augspurger 16, Osborn 6, JJ Utz 9, Jason Utz 3. Leading rebounders:  Jacob Bassler 5, Cole 6, Augspurger 4.  Leading assists Cole 4, JJ Utz 4. Leading steals: JJ Utz 4, Wes Cole 3.

“We know that our ticket to victory is our defense,” stated coach Augspurger afterwards, “we are not really big, we’re not skilled enough.  But we are hardnosed, we’re tough – they are 8 kids that bust their tails.  Against Talawanda last night we took them out of whatever offensive scheme they tried to do.  Tonight they showed a lot of grit. Shawnee made a good run.  They actually came back and took the lead.  And we could have cracked then, but we didn’t crack.  Our seniors stepped up big in the 4th quarter.  Anthony Augspurger and Wes Cole made some shots then for us and got us back in the lead. “

The improved offense, “We have been doing a lot of shooting. A lot of these guys are 3 sport athletes, they aren’t gym rats.  We are probably shooting more than almost any team around.  But I know that if our shooting comes around, we have the potential to be very good. We know the defense is there, we are going to guard you, we need the offense to get better.” 

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