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A week in South Girls Basketball
J. C. Tilton

This week spans Saturday January 11 beggining with the South girls 4th grade team and ends with the Varsity girls playing against rival Tri County North on Thursday. Head Coach Darcy Robinson also kept her gym shoes hot as she attended the same three venues. The 4th and 5th grade games on Saturday, Junior High 7th and 8th on Tuesday, and of course the TCN JV and Varsity on Thursday. At each level you could see how the girls are progressing and improving.

Day one saw TVS 4th graders open against a taller Springboro team. They got off to a slow start and at half time they were down 8-2. It did not look good for the home team. But in the second half the team began to press and made up the difference - tieing the score at one point. It was a battle to the last whistle, but the Springboro Panthers held on to win 13 to 11. Likewise, the 5th grade team was slow out of the gate. At the half, the score was knotted 4-4. But again the vigorous defensive pressure of the Panthers wore down their opponents. They held Springboro to just 3 second half points while scoring 10 and ended up with an easy win 14-7. Scoring: Kim Perry 6, Adelle Gates 2, Sara Philpot 4, and Taylor Creech 2. Unfortunately their is not enough interest for a 6th grade team. So many times these teams play up against older opponents. So they are better than their record indicate. The 4th grade team is around .500 while the 5th grade team is 6-4. The 4th grade team is coached by Mandy Bishop and Andrea Spratt. The 5th grade team is coached by John Pearson, assistants are: Rick Philpot, James Gates, and Patsy Waldren.

Tuesday the two junior high teams hosted Ansonia. Coach Robinson was again in attendance along with several varsity players. The 7th grade opened slowly in the first quarter with neither team scoring. Suddenly South began to convert turnovers into basketballs and raced to an early lead. The South team had a height advantage, but the Tigers kept the pressure up. At times in the second half the South team had difficulty with the press. But the players hit their foul shots when it counted and maintained their lead. In the end, South came up victors 31-17. Scoring for the Panthers: Groff 8, Vogue 6, Strazheim 4, Beneke 13. The 7th grade team only has one loss to this point in the season and is coached by Bob Combs. The 8th grade team zoomed out to an early lead and didn't look back. They used a press to keep the Tigers off-balance and gain the early advantage. But South's height and defensive pressure was too much for the Tigers the entire game and South won handily 32-19. Scoring: Spitler 2, French 8, Brubaker 6, Melling 4, McCoy 10, Ervin 2. The team is undefeated and is coached by Connie Wells.

Finally on Thursday it was the high school girls turn to play - this game was against league rivals Tri-County North. The JV's set the tone for the evening by playing a Scrooge-like defense. North did not score a bucket until late in the third quarter. That made the score 14-2. South maintained their defensive pressure and won 24-5. The JV team is coached by Mark Wiegand.

Now the varsity teams took the court. South raced to an early 9-2 lead. South was playing an aggressive half court defense and Megan Maleski quickly picked up 2 fouls. Still South extended their lead going up 17-6. North got some traction and was able to close the gap. They scored 5 in a row to make it 17-11. But the second quarter was all South. Their offense opened up and the defense wore down the North team. At the half, South had a commanding lead 31-13. In the second half, North tried to throw a different defensive look at South - going to a box and one a few times. The third quarter scoring was a little more even, but South still had the advantage 46-24. The fourth quarter was all South as they rolled to an easy 65-31 victory. Scoring for North: Savage 4, Wilson 2, Croley 4, Daughtery 7, Ward 3, Estep 8, Oldham 3. South scoring: Durkle 2, Lipps 20, Maleski 7, Jackson 2, Moore 17, McMurray 13, Davis 4. Danyel Lipps scored 8 of her game leading 20 points from free throws - a perfect 8 of 8 for the night. North did a good job of keeping the ball away from center Jennifer Davis, but South had too many offensive weapons for North to stop.

It was a fun week of girls basketball. South teams had a good week going 5-1, and the lone loss was by only 2 points. Some common traits among the teams are: tenacious defense, intensity, and enthusiasm. And the girls seem to be having fun. Even though it is late in the season, the girls still are still playing hard. As each team approaches their repective post seasons, it will be interesting to see how far they go.


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