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Sunday, February 08, 2015

South Surges, Pauses, Rallies Behind Cole for Win

This past week seemed to be the week for big first quarters. South squared off again against Shawnee at Shawnee for a rematch of the Shawnee Holiday Tournament which South won.  South was the team that made it look easy in the early going – sprinting to a 16-2 advantage by the end of the first quarter.  But Shawnee would not go down easy – which lead to an exciting second half.

It has been an up and down week for South.  They first played Carlisle, who had only lost 2 games this year to a triple overtime, only to lose in the final seconds.  They then played Bradford where Wes Cole scored his 1000th point in the victory.  His teammates worked hard to help him achieve his goal. Cole would also be a presence in the waning minutes of South’s game against Shawnee.  

After opening play in a zone defense, Shawnee changed to man to man in the second quarter. Additionally the team had been cold from the floor, but found their range as the game went on and quickly made up ground. South did have to adjust on offense and defense as JJ Utz had to leave the court when he rolled his ankle in the early part of the quarter. He was able to return later but by the half Shawnee had made up ground and was down 17-21.

In the third quarter Shawnee was hitting the boards hard and getting second chance shots on rebounds.  South switched to a zone offense and Shawnee responded by shooting from the perimeter. In the last part of the quarter, South’s shooting grew cold and Shawnee took advantage getting the lead for the first late in the quarter 29-28.  South woke up and tied the score 31-all by quarters end.

Shawnee handed South two gifts to start the 4th quarter. South got two steals that they turned into points and were able to regain the lead.  South proceeded to go on a 14-2 run and appeared to have the game put away. But again South hit a patch where the team was not dropping shots.  And they missed some key free throws to allow Shawnee back in the game. With 36 seconds left, it was 46-44 with the momentum back to the Arrows.  But Wes Cole rose to the occasion hitting a timely jump shot and when he was fouled in the remaining seconds, he calmly sank his free throws – cementing the South victory 51-44.  It was a fine way for Cole to end his week.

“There are some teams where there really is a home court advantage.”stated coach Augspurger,  “Where a team plays so much better than they do on the road.  And that is true with Preble Shawnee. Over the years they are better at home than they are on the road. Years where we have to play them twice at home are always challenging. “

He continued, “We had a great first quarter, our defensive intensity was outstanding.  They got some points in the second quarter, while we struggled.  They did a good job of getting dribble penetration on us. We switched to a zone to take that away and that seemed to slow them down.”

Wes Cole scoring 1,000 points, “Wes started the year pressing a little bit.  He has done a good job of getting back to who he is. He is a great competitor – you will find that out if you are around him at all.  He hates to lose and that is a key to what makes him so good. Against Bradford the guys knew he was close, and all 4 starters gave assists to Wes to make sure he made his goal. ”

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