J. C. Tilton
...but do they have the ammunition to be number one in the CCC? The TVS boys varsity program under the guidance of Head Coach Tony Augsperger, is a perennial challenger for the CCC title. The program no longer rebuilds, they reload each year with new talent. The team has some challenges to deal with this season. Overall team height is lower than it has been in several years. According to the coach, this is the smallest the team has been since 1995. So the team will have to hit the boards hard against taller teams. From what I have seen, if you don't have height, then you have to have a stout defense. So the traditionally stingy South defense will need to be even more miserly this season - no easy points for the other team. It is no secret that South has lost senior Dan Creech who left the school district when his family moved just before basketball practice began. Creech averaged something like 17-18 points per game as a junior. When asked about the loss of Creech, Coach Augsperger simply replied that he was focused on the players who were playing for him. Still the team will need to make up the loss of his points and his rebounds.
During the offseason, the team stayed busy. TVS hosted a summer league and attended a team camp at the University of Cincinnati where they played against some tough Division I and II schools. When asked about the varsity players for this upcoming season, Coach Augsperger remarked that “... these kids are good basketball players. They are working hard and coming together as a team.” One of the players with high expectations is David Marker, point guard. According to the coach he was a quality starter last year and will be even better this year. He is a floor general and is providing leadership to the team. Dale Spitler is another returning starter. Last season as a freshmen, he got the school record for most 3 pointers in a season. The coach is happy with his performance in the teams workouts and is working to make him more than just a shooter. Caleb Betzner “played his best basketball this last summer.” In addition, he is a strong and enthusiastic presence on the court. Dustin Bassler who was leading scorer last season on the JV team,”...is a good all around player, an offensive player who is a good shooter.” Finally the coach added, “Derrick Smith was last season's second leading scorer on the JV's. He had a good summer, and is ready to take off.”
Augsperger felt the teams strength was in it's offense. The team can score, has good ball handlers, and plays with confidence. On the other hand, he feels that the defense is an area where the team needs more improvement in the preseason. “Defense is important in any sport. If you can defend, you can beat any body. Just look at the Ohio State Buckeye football team last season.” So there is no doubt that TVS will be in the top half of league, and they will be able to score. But for the team to ascend to number one, it will be the defense that will have to carry South.