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Friday, February 05, 2016

State Champ Aaron Deaton to be a Bearcat

Twin Valley South's Aaron Deaton - a state champion at shot put, is continuing his throwing career at the University of Cincinnati where he will be studying business.  He is pictured here signing his letter of intent with his track coaches Richie Faber and Jim Wells.  Deaton was also prominent on the Twin Valley South Football team where he was named the Cross Country Conference lineman of the year.

At Cincinnati, he will focus on the shot, but will have opportunity to try his talents at events that high schoolers generally do not have a chance to try – the hammer throw and maybe even the javelin. Events where his explosiveness and athleticism can be utilized. His football coach, Tyler Cates, remarked during the football season that at a larger school it would not be a stretch for Deaton to have been used as a fullback with his power and speed. But at Twin Valley South, a player with his size almost had to play the line – but South did use him in the backfield successfully several times during the football season.

There were some small schools that were interested in Deaton as a football player. But at the Division I level, there was scholarship money available for his skill at the shot put. He settled on the University of Cincinnati because of the campus and atmosphere. He also liked the coaches that he would be working with and the athletic facilities.

However he is not resting. The senior is working hard this winter to pick up where he left off last season. He is doing winter track and recently competed at a meet held January 23rd at Ohio State. He won the shot at the meet with a 49' throw. So he seems to be in winning form once again. He also had a throw of over 50', but fouled. Souths track coach Faber remarked that, “He is well ahead of where he was at this time last year.”

He further said that he looked like he was in midseason form already when you look at where he was at a year ago. Souths boys and girls track teams won district titles a year ago and Deaton was a big factor in South's success. South boys only lost a few athletes to graduation and return a solid team.

Coach Faber was asked for comment on this story and was asked to continue his thoughts about this year's track team, “I am extremely excited to get it going. We have a lot of our talent coming back. We lost a couple of good guys, but most of them are back. We should have similar results – maybe even better than a year ago.”

On the girls side Coach Mabry will return some decent runners, but he is worried about depth. “We need runners to fill out the relay teams, and we need athletes to get us extra points besides just 1st or 2nd place. We will see how many go out this spring when the season starts, that will determine our strength as a team.”

Barring injury it looks like Deaton and the rest of Souths teams are on schedule for another record breaking season.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

TVS Wins in Triple Overtime

Twin Valley South notched 2 victories this week, but it took 3 overtimes to get that first win over Franklin Monroe. It was a heated defensive battle that lasted deep into the night and it took superior effort by South's seniors to pull off the win 57-53. South was able to get their second win over Bradford. It was another defensive struggle early but South pulled ahead in the second quarter and held off a few Bradford challenges to win again 52-42.

The junior varsity game between South and Franklin Monroe set the tone for the evening as their game also went into overtime. South would win this game 60-57. The varsity game was knotted 11 all at the end of the 1st quarter as Jacob Bassler sank a basket at the buzzer to tie the game.

The 2nd quarter began with the Jets going on a 10-2 run to open up a lead. The Jets were playing in a zone, but South's players were not hitting their shots on the perimeter. Coach Augspurger took a time out about mid way through the quarter to make a change. South began trapping on defense. South played man to man most of the night, but would ambush the Jets by double teaming the ball.

The defensive change seemed to slow down the Jets, while Souths shooters began to hit their shots again. Still South found themselves down at the half 26-21. The second half had too many lead changes to count. Neither team could hold an advantage for long.

As the clock wound down in regulation, each possession became more and more critical. South was up 44-41 with 2 minutes left and went into a slowdown. This forced the Jets into man to man defense in order to get pressure. The Jets got it to within 1 with 40 seconds left. The Jets went to the foul line with about 8 seconds left with a chance to win it. It was a shooting foul – but the Jets missed the 1st shot, but made the second one to tie the game at 44 apiece.

In the 2nd over time Franklin Monroe popped out to an early lead and it was their turn to play slowdown. But South was able to get the ball back and senior Jacob Bassler hit a big 3 point shot as the clock was winding down to tie the ball game back up at 48-all.

Amazingly neither team was able to score in the 2nd overtime – maybe they were all just too tuckered out. But Mike Meyers, who had not been shooting well on the night, hit a big three point shot to put South in front. This rallied the hometown crowd – and they got more vocal. Seniors JJ Utz and Jacob Bassler seemed to feed off of this energy and made drives for layups into the teeth of the Jet defense. The Jets tried to mount a comeback, but made some turnovers. And South was able escape with the win.

“I challenged my team at halftime – I said that sometimes I think we don't hate losing enough.” stated coach Augspurger afterwards, “You have to hate to lose – it has to mean something to you. And the team responded to that. I thought we defended better in the second half. We took some gutty shots and made them. ”

Next he commented on the overtimes, “They played really well in the overtime. JJ Utz made some big shots in the last overtime. Mike Meyers hit that big 3 that got us started in that last overtime. And Jacob Bassler hit that big 3 in the first overtime to keep us alive and helped in that last overtime. He has had one heck of a year.”

North Late Rally Falls Short

Tri-County North dropped two league games this week. Mississinawa Valley has been playing good basketball this season and they are firmly in ensconced in the top half of the league. North had a tough time gaining traction against the Blackhawks and fell 65-37, But their next game was at Franklin Monroe, where the Panthers fell behind early but mounted a furious comeback attempt in the 4th quarter that fell short.

The Jets play well on their home court – the Hanger, and they shot comfortably in the first quarter. North played in a zone and the Jets hit from the outside and were able to gain an early advantage. The Jets played man to man almost the whole night and were able to rebound defensively – limiting North to one shot on most possessions. The Jets finished out the quarter with nice run and were up 18-11.

North spread out their offense in an attempt to open things up in the 2nd quarter. But they had a hard go of it making any headway. And things got more difficult for North when post man Kurt Brinson got his 3rd foul and was benched about half way through the quarter. He does the bulk of the scoring for North and coach Spitler would remark after the game that when Brinson returned to floor he could not be as aggressive on defense with the fouls hanging over him and so he was not as effective.

So North was down 31-23 at the half. North was not able to make up ground when they got back on the court and the frustration boiled over when the North bench was called for a technical foul. Adding even more to the Panthers woes.

The 4th quarter began with a double digit lead for the Jets. And the Jets were probably starting to make their plans for after the game. But North had other ideas. They altered their defensive set and went into a 1-3-1 trapping zone. That defensive change lead to steals by the Panthers. At the other end of the court, the Panthers found their mark and began making shots. Zach Edgin scored 8 of his 10 points during this stretch. Brinson would foul out, but North kept the pressure up.

The Jet lead evaporated and it was 5 point game, and then a 3 point game with 2:24 left on the clock. But the Jets woke up and made some key shots to pull ahead. They went into a slowdown around this time. North tried to hard to catch up but their efforts fell short and the Jets would win 55-45.

“I thought we played pretty hard, we played well,” commented coach Spitler after the game, “We battled, we didn't give up, and that 1-3-1 worked for us in the end and made things interesting. I am proud of the guys – I think we are making progress, teams can't sleep on us. Losing Brinson did effect us, he is one of our leaders, one of our captains. He does so much on offense and defense for us. But even before he got his 5th foul he had to play tentatively.”