Trails and TVS Duke It Out Again
J. C. Tilton
While both teams are known for their offensive prowness, this game was decided by the two defenses. The first meeting of these two teams was won by Trail. They have an outstanding shooter in McWhinny and a stong post player -Beck. McWhinny was out last week when Trail played Covington and lost their chance to be undefeated in the conference. He played with a brace on his sore ankle this Friday against South. It was a near capacity crowd as the two league squared off for the second time, would playing on their home court give TVS an edge against Trail, would McWhinney be able to play 100%?
The first team saw neither team score for the first few minutes. Finally with about 4:50 left in the quarter, Smith broke the 0-0 tie and scored for South. Trail responded with 6 points in a row and suddenly the game was on. The first quarter score was 8-4 in favor of Trail. The Blazers came out smoking in the next quarter. Quickly they extended their lead to 15-4, TVS took a time out to do some damage control. TVS needed someone to step up and Caleb Betzner responded. During the next stretch he scored 6 points on offense and blocked two shots on defense. This provided a spark for South and they rallied. South held the Blazers to 15 and scored 12 in a row to go up 16 - 15. The quiet TVS crowd came to life and suddenly the joint was rocking. Trail managed to slip in a three before the break and went up 18-16 at halftime.
Trail was aggressive on offense when they retook the court. South was off-balance and allowed Trail to score 3-3 pointers in a row. South took a time time-out to adjust. In the last half of the quarter, they adjusted again on defense and switched to full-court pressure. At last they began to chip away at the 10 point Trail lead, and Spitler took a couple of big bites out of the lead with back to back treys. The 3rd quarter ended with South down 34-28. South had the Blazers in their sights as they entered the final quarter. A Spitler trey put South within 1 about midway thru the quarter. Around the 2 minute mark the South shooters got cold, they had some open shots, but they wouldn't drop. Trail scored just enough to stay ahead. With about 1:15 left, South began to foul, and unfortunately they soon drew an intentional foul that gave Trail 2 shots and more importantly possesion of the ball with about 40 seconds left. From that point any hopes of a comeback dimmed and Trail hung on to win 46-39.
"The intensity was better and so was our defensive effort." stated Coach Tony Augsperger. "We rebounded well, but night after night we are struggling to make shots. We have not done a good job of making shots at critical times - when we work hard to get good shots, we need to make those shots. Coach Augsperger did like the way that Betzner responded in the second quarter and thought that Riggs and Loxley also provided some energy off of the bench when the team needed it. A critical point in the game came when "During their first 5 possessions of the 3rd quarter, Trail was able to score." This was a defensive breakdown that gave Trail a lead that they did not give up for the remainder of the game. Scoring for TVS: Bassler 7, Smith 6, Spitler 14, Betzner 8, Marker 4. The leading scorers for Trail were: McWhinney with 12, and Beck with 13. The TVS reserve team won 50-33; scoring Dawson 9, Bassler 13, Montgomer 5, Stebbins 4, Bryant 7, W. Bassler 10, Stearman 2.