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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

South Drops Two

The Trojans came into their game against South with only 5 wins.  But for 4 quarters they gave 14 win Twin Valley South all that they could handle and more.  Although South made a couple of good runs, Arcanum was able to come back and gain the lead in the 4th quarter.  With seconds left in the game, South’s Wes Cole hit a shot from the field and tied the ball game.  Arcanum set up a play and shot and missed – but Colin Habel, who only had 2 points coming into the 4th quarter, would score on a put back with .4 seconds left on the clock for a 44-42 win.

South’s starting point guard, JJ Utz, was not dressed for the game due to an ankle injury.  In addition, Anthony Augspurger had signed earlier in the day with Walsh College to play football. So there were plenty of distractions for the team.  They really struggled to get a rhythm on offense in the first half and were streaky in the second half.  Arcanum was up by 5 at the first buzzer. South gradually caught up, thanks in part to Jake Osborn who had a good quarter - scoring 6 of his 10 points.  And it was Winston Crozier coming off the bench who tickled the net with a trey right before halftime to give South the lead.

Jacob Bassler and Wes Cole struck early in the 3rd quarter, both netting 3’s coming out of the locker room.  That gave South their biggest lead of the night – 8 points and they seemed ready to break the game open. But Arcanum took a time out and adjusted the pressure on the wings.  At quarters end it was 31-all.

The final quarter was a real battle as the lead went back and forth.  The Trojan crowd could begin to smell an upset and became very vocal the last 3 minutes of the game.  Arcanum had been working hard to prevent South from driving to the basket and they were accumulating fouls – giving up bonus, then double bonus.  

With a minute left in the game and the lead, Arcanum went in a slowdown.  South resorted to fouling now to get the ball back. And it was South’s Wes Cole who tied the game when he hit a shot from the field to tie it at 42-all with maybe 20 seconds left.  Arcanum hastily worked the ball around on offense and took a deep shot but missed. Colin Habel scored 7 of his 9 points in the 4th quarter. And none was more important than his last basket as he crashed the offensive boards, raked in the rebound and sank the put back with .4 seconds left on the clock. It was chaos on the Trojan bench as the team celebrated the upset.

“I want to give credit to Arcanum’s coach Bixler – he is one of the best,” stated subdued coach Augspurger after the game, “I think he is one of the best coaches in the league.  He does a good job of getting his team ready.  And I thought they were prepared better than we were.  We played like a team expecting to win – and they played like a team with nothing to lose.   They were playing loose and excited and we were playing uptight. We were a little out of sync without our point guard.  But tonight we were just outplayed.”

South then visited Dayton Christian where they had a slim halftime lead, but had a bad 3rd quarter.  Perimeter shooting provided the offense for Dayton Christian – they would drop 10 treys in the contest. Despite a comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, South would lose 54-49.  Wes Cole and Jacob Bassler lead scoring for South with 15 and 13 points respectively.  South will wind down their regular season on Friday when they host rival Tri-County North.

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