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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament - All Tournament Team

2014 Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament
All Tournament Team

Anthony Augspurger, Wes Cole, JJ Utz, Trey Smith, Thomas Buell

North Falls Short Against Talawanda

It was a tough two days for North in the Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament. They struggled against the host team Preble Shawnee, but had a shot at a win against Talawanda. After leading a good bit of the way, North would slip at the end and lose to the Braves 44-37.  Still there were some bright spots – one in Ryan McAdams who would lead the team in scoring both nights.

North played Shawnee first and the host team got out to an early lead and didn’t look back. The Arrows converted North turnovers into points and other wise seemed to score at will.  Rebounding wise, an outsized North seemed to hold their own on the defensive boards, but couldn’t pull down many offensive boards – limiting themselves to one shot most possessions.  

Shawnee lead 39-15 at the half.  Coming out of the break McAdams hit two treys on back to back to possessions, prompting Shawnee to take a time out and get more pressure on the perimeter.  That dampened any thoughts of a comeback and North would later fall 68-42.  McAdams accounted for half of North’s points with 21 – including 4-3 pointers.

This set up the consolation game as Talawanda and North squared off the next night.  Both teams began the game in man to man defenses.  The Braves peeled off two quick baskets, and North took a quick time out to adjust their defense.  A hustling North ran the court thereafter.  Generating turnovers and gaining the lead.  At the end of one quarter, North was up 15-12.

North missed some shots down the stretch at the close of the second quarter, but still held a narrow lead 21-20.  Talawanda’s strategy coming back onto the court was to feed the ball to the post.  This gave the Braves the lead again at the 5 minute mark of the 3rd quarter. North adjusted and then started to hit their shots.  McAdams hit a trey to give North the lead again and the team finished the quarter strong with a 36-30 lead.

North became more deliberate with the offense late in the last quarter.  Not a slow down, but the team was working the ball around more than they had earlier in the game in an attempt to milk time off of the clock.  But when they did get a shot, they couldn’t finish.  Meanwhile Talawanda was hitting their shots as the teams battled to the finish line.  At the 2:33 mark it was now a one point game.  Then a minute later, Talawanda had the lead.  North missed a lot of shots during this critical juncture. And this time the Braves would not let North back in the game as they completed the evening with a 44-37 win.

Scoring for North: McAdams 11, Louthen 10, Edgin 9, Cordes 4, Woodyard 3.

It comes down to a problem that we have with a lot of our games.  We just can’t rebound the basketball,” stated coach King after the game. “The kids played hard, as hard as they have played all year. Defensively we could not finish possessions out on the boards.”

Ryan McAdams: “He’s starting to settle down and buy into what we are preaching to him.  That is let the game come into him instead of trying to force everything.  But he stepped up really good for us.”

Next he was asked about Jacob Louthan playing well off the bench, “He hustles, he can still be a little timid at times – but that goes back to a lack of varsity experience.  He can shoot the ball pretty good.  Once he gets rolling, he can he can fill it up.  He did a good job of coming off the bench and giving us an extra scorer.”

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.” 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

South over Bucc's

Twin Valley South had one last game before Christmas.  They hosted the Covington Buccaneers in a CCC matchup.  Although Covington played tough against TVS, South gradually grew a lead.  The Bucc’s made a 4th quarter run, but South held them off, then made a run of their own to seal a 64-47 victory.

Covington started in a man to man defense, but switched to a zone and remained in that through much of the game.  South did press some in the early going, but called it off and settled into a half court defense.  In the first quarter, Covington was right there with the Panthers – knotting the game at 13-all.

South’s offense got into gear in the second quarter and they were able close out the half with a 7 point lead.   In the third quarter, South actually had a  lead in double figures, but Covington woke up and closed the gap.   Covington started to make a 7-0 run in the 4th quarter and it was enough to where South could feel the heat, but coach Augspurger called a time out, and South returned to the court to make a run of their own and again extend their lead and cruise down the stretch to victory. 

The win puts South at 3-2 on the season, with the Holiday tournament at Shawnee their next test.
“I thought our defense was outstanding, commented Coach Augspurger afterwards, “We played good defense for several stretches.  We had a few 3-4 minute periods where we did not allow any points.  Now we weren’t quite as good as what I would have liked for the whole game, but overall we did really well.”

He continued, “Offensively, Anthony Augspurger had a really good game for us, he was 8 of 9 shooting, including 2 3 point shots. He scored 20 points and that is a career high for him.  JJ Utz, our point guard had only 1 turnover and 7 assists.  That was a big key for us – running the offense and not turning the ball over.  We have struggled shooting at times this season, but this game I thought we shot well.  Now we didn’t shoot great, but I thought we did a good job of attacking the basket. Wes Cole still struggled with his three, but finished strong around the basket.  And he played a good floor game with 7 boards and 4 assists. Jake Osborn did a great job on the offensive boards.  He had two big put backs that we needed.

Talawanda: “I have their tape, but have not watched it.  I do know that they have struggled this season, but they play a really good schedule.  And I know Shawnee got off to a slow start – but they have a good shooter back now and have won some games.  We will have to keep playing better to have a chance in this one.”

South scoring: Jacob Bassler 6, Winston Crosier 5, Wes Cole 18, Anthony Augspurger 20, Jake Osborn 7, JJ Utz 3, Josh Cottingim 5. Leading Rebounders: Jacob Bassler 7, Wes Cole 7, Anthony Augspurger 7, Jake Osborn 5. Steals: Jacob Bassler 2.