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Sunday, November 29, 2015

South Runner Up in Tip Off Tournament

South won their opening round game but ran into a tough Stivers Tiger basketball team and although South briefly lead, Stivers would fend off South to be tournament champs. South's defense was stalwart against Dixie in the first round, but they had a rough time figuring out the Tiger offense that could score both outside and inside. Plus the Tigers had 6'7” Akron University signee, Isiah Williams, who is athletic enough to defend a point guard on the perimeter and then turn around and slam dunk the ball in the paint.

Against Dixie, South sparred with the Hounds for about a quarter and half and were actually behind in the 2nd quarter. Coach Augspurger took a time out and level set the team. They ground out a half time lead and then went into high gear in the second half. Outscoring the Hounds by 19 points in the half en route to a convincing 52-30 win to kick off their winter campaign.

But Stivers was a tougher nut to crack. South opened with a zone like defense, but Stivers was able to hit shots from the perimeter. Forcing coach Augspurger to switch to a man to man defense to put pressure on the wings. Stivers would stay in a man to man defense the entire game, occasionally pressing and doing some trapping in the half court.

Stivers looked to be running away with the game in the 1st quarter. They had a decent 19-9 lead due to hot shooting and a quick defense. But South showed that they came to play. Ryan Bassler opened the 2nd quarter with a pair of treys to put South right back in the game. That sparked an 11-0 run by the Panthers. And about midway through the quarter South briefly held the lead 20-19. But Stivers had a run of their own to close out the half with a 27-22 lead.

After halftime South again tried their zone defense, but Stivers made them pay for it by striking from the perimeter. This forced South back to a man to man defense. Stivers grew their lead to 10 points by the end of the quarter.

Stivers went into a slowdown to start the 4th quarter. South was trying hard on defense and this resulted in fouls. South quickly gave up bonus and then double bonus. But Stivers hit their free shots from the stripe. South made a late charge and a Jacob Bassler 3 put South within 7 points of Stivers, but that was as close as South would come as Stivers would eventually win 55-43.

“I had zero fault with their effort, they tried to do what we talked about on defense, but to win a game when you are an underdog, you have to hit shots,” stated coach Augspurger afterwards, “We made a couple of good runs, Ryan Bassler gave us some spark off the bench, we were right there but we just didn't shoot well.”

He went on, “I thought we defended Isiah Williams pretty well for the most part. We did not panic against their pressure – but we also did not make them pay. Pressure can effect the momentum and rhythm of the game. We allowed it to distort our offense. Ideally, you break their pressure and get easy layups and that did not happen.”

Finally, “JJ Utz and Jacob Bassler provided good leadership for us this weekend. We had 6 guys on the floor that this was their first varsity basketball game. So when you consider that we did pretty well. We are going to have growing pains still, but we will learn from this game.”

Scoring for South: Ryan Bassler 6, Jared Cottingim 2, Mike Meyer 6, Jacob Bassler 15, Winston Crossier 3, JJ Utz 10, Travis Lovely 1.

Next Friday South will host league foe, National Trail.

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