South - Shorter, Younger.
J. C. Tilton
South has been fortunate over the past several seasons to have at least one tall post player. Seems as though there has been someone who is around 6'4” or so that can be an inside presence for the Panthers. Not this year - the team will field a team that tops out about 6'2” or so. It will also be a younger team, in terms of having less varsity experience. One of the experienced players from last year is still a question mark - Dale Spitler. According to Coach Augsperger, “We don't know when or if he will back. He has not done any basketball since last season. He has not been cleared to do anything - cross country or basketball”. He hopes to have an answer by the end of November about his status, but there is the possibility that the team will have play without him. Cory Bassler is a returning letterman from last years team. The rest will have to acclimate to varsity ball in a rapid fashion.
Going into the season Coach Augsperger said the team was inexperienced, not very big, and not overly quick, but felt that he had some pretty good basketball players. “We have guys who can handle [the ball], we have guys who can shoot, and we can go from there. Now we did not shoot well in this scrimmage, but it is early in the season.” When asked about shortcomings of the team so far, the first thing that came to mind was the defense. “One of the reasons that [South] has been so successful, has been because we range from fairly good to real good on defense for years. And we are definitely not good on defense yet; that's an area that I am really concerned about. Size is factor, we have some quickness, but are not capitalizing on it. We just have to get more fundamentally sound on defense and on the boards.” Coach Augsperger admits that the team is in a learning process. As the team has changed, the offense has changed. The players are adjusting to a different look on the court this year.
Teams to beat this year? Coach Augsperger responded, “On paper the teams to beat are Covington and North - they have the most returning starters.” However Coach Augsperger sees the CCC as having around 4-5 teams that will be really strong, about 4-5 teams that are really weak and not many in the middle. He sees the league as really balanced this year - from top to bottom as balanced as it has been in a long time - “We have to come to play every night.” Comments: email: Chris Tilton