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Sunday, January 25, 2015

South Wins at Last Second

South finally found themselves on the right side of a one basket game.  South has had tough luck when it comes to 1 and 2 point games – losing to two quality teams Stivers and Tri-Village by slim margins. But thanks to a put back at the buzzer, South survived against Valley View for a 50-48 victory. South also had a conference victory over Newton, and so were able to capture two wins on the road after losing at the last second to Tri-Village at home the week before.  So it was good to see that team did not deflate after that loss.

South was able to handle the quick guard play of the Indians and generated plenty of offense in a 68-53 victory over the Indians. The referee’s almost wore out their whistles though as Newton shot 27 free throws for the night. The Panthers scored 3 players in double figures – Jacob Bassler  and Anthony Augspurger with 13, and Wes Cole 17.  Also scoring were: Winston Crosier 6, Jake Osborn 9, JJ Utz 6, Jason Utz 2, Josh Cottingim 2.

“Newton does not have a great record, but in some respects they were the worst matchup for us,” stated coach Augspurger afterwards.  “They are short but quick, with good ball handlers. And the guards shoot well from the perimeter.  We just didn’t match up with them as well when they spread the ball out like that.  It was a win, and we controlled it pretty much all the way, but it was frustrating that we didn’t play as well.  And you have to give credit to Newton, they played to their strengths.”
Next up for the Panthers was a furious game with several lead changes at Valley View.  The Spartans have size in the post and decent shooting from outside and despite their record Valley View battled South all night. South lead early, but the Spartans had a decent second quarter and got the lead by halftime.  South lead in the third quarter as their defense stepped up a notch and got some stops.

But the Spartans closed and tied in the decisive last minutes of the game. Anthony Augspurger hit a trey to put South up, but the Spartans responded from behind the arc on their next possession to tie the game right back up.  As the clock wound down, South set up a play for Wes Cole, who shot but missed.  The Panthers went savagely to the boards for the rebound and it was point guard JJ Utz who tapped the ball in just before the buzzer to cement the Panther victory.

“I don’t think we played with as much of a defensive edge as what we’ve done,” commented coach Augspurger, “and that happens sometimes in the middle of the season.  We had a big emotional game last week against Tri-Village.  And there might be a bit of a let down from that, I don’t think we were as steadfast as what we have been.  Valley View has been a Jekyll and Hyde team this year.  They have size and decent shooters – but they are streaky.”

He continued, “I thought the team did a good job on weathering the storm.  We just couldn’t score, shots wouldn’t go down.  But we got some good stops in the last quarter.  As a team we just have to remember that defense is our strength and to always play with that intensity.  Jacob Bassler and Wes Cole did a good job offensively for us.  And JJ Utz did a good job of recognizing the time left in the game, and pretty much batting the ball back to the hoop.”

Jacob Bassler’s weekend: “He is logically our third scorer. He takes more shots and just sometimes needs to be more aggressive. But I thought that he did that this weekend.  He was able to take the ball to the basket at times.  He hit the offensive boards to get rebounds and score.  If he continues to play this way it will be a great benefit to the team.”

Mississinewa Valley (10-3): “They have a 7 game winning streak. They have done a really job overall. They struggled against 3 really good state ranked teams.  They got beat soundly in those games, but they have beat everyone else.  So they are coming in here with some confidence.  They play different zone defenses and we will have to be ready to go after them.”

Scoring for TVS: Cole 20, Jason Utz 2, Jacob Bassler 10, Anthony Augspurger 10, Jake Osborn 6, JJ Utz 4.

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