No ‘I' in South
J. C. Tilton
Twin Valley South had a total team game against Arcanum on Friday night. They had to go deep into their bench and get contributions from not only their 6th man, but their 7th and 8th and beyond. It was a game where head coach Tony Augspurger was a field general - changing offensive and defensive looks; putting the right people on the floor at the right time. Arcanum has been playing good basketball as of late. They went toe to toe with league leading Covington, losing by a point. So they were physical and capable of playing with the best of the CCC.
South got off to a solid start with a 9-2 run to start the game. Dale Spitler, Andy Dawson, and Scott Leedy supplied the early offense. Arcanum finally got their engine revved up and countered with run of their own in the last 3-4 minutes of the quarter. They briefly held the lead before Cory Bassler put South back on top with an old fashioned three point play with about 20 seconds left in the quarter, putting South up 14-13 just before the buzzer. South opened with a zone defense while Arcanum went with a man to man defense and threw in a press for good measure. The press did not generate many turnovers until late in the game. Wes Bassler uncharacteristically got 2 fouls in the quarter and had to spend some time on the bench in the first half.
Arcanum began to work the ball inside. It was evident that their game plan was going to be to score in the paint. South was taking what Arcanum gave them, driving inside when the defense was too tight, and drilling outside shots when they loosened up. Andy Dawson had a good first half for TVS scoring 12 first half points. He drove to the hoop and also sunk two treys. Scoring was relatively even as South took a 25-22 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, South mixed things up by playing some man to man defense and also employing a baseline offense for part of the quarter. The defensive change resulted in South getting some turnovers off of the Spartans before they adjusted. Initially it looked like South was going to go on a tear. Steve Summers and Wes Bassler supplied offense in the opening possessions that gave South their biggest lead of the night - up by 11 midway thru the quarter. But as they did to open the game, Arcanum heated up in the last four minutes of the quarter and went on a run of their own. This time they caught up with and then passed South to enter the last stanza with a 38-37 lead.
To offset the physical presence of Arcanum under the basket, Coach Augspurger reached deep into his bench and called on a pair of sophomores, J.T. Stone and Josh Flynn. Their job was to take away the inside game on defense and pull in rebounds on offense - and the pair handled this task admirably. The two teams slugged it out for the first few minutes of the quarter. Then Steve Summers tied the game at 42. J.T. Stone put South up by two and the lead was doubled when Wes Bassler calmly sunk two free throws. Arcanum answered with a basket, but the clock was ticking away. As time was waning, Dale Spitler hit a shot to again give South a 4 point lead. Now TVS began to play keep away and slow down their offense, but a missed shot gave Arcanum the ball. Arcanum hit a free throw to make it a three point game with about a minute left. They had to begin fouling and this resulted in 6th man Anthony Armstrong being sent to the free throw line. He made it a two possession game by sinking both free throws. Arcanum tried desperately to sink a three point shot on their possession, but only drew iron. South made it a total team win with a hard earned 50-45 victory.
“It was a gutty win for us”, commented Coach Augspurger after the game. “We knew that the kids from Arcanum were hard nosed and physical. All their players have been successful coming up thru school. We knew it would be a hard fought game, they played Covington to within one last week. I thought that we just did enough to get it done. We had different guys at different times that really stepped in and did some good things for us. Steve Summers, for example, did some good things in the second half, I thought that Wes Bassler had an outstanding second half. He had some key shots and handled the ball with care. Cory Bassler was sick and not feeling well, but he played inspirational basketball. Our two sophomore's, J.T. Stone and Josh Flynn came in and helped at both ends of the court. They are stepping up and doing a nice job. This was a big win for us. We wanted to step it up after playing so poorly last weekend.”
As further evidence of the team concept at South scoring was balanced with 3 players in double figures: Armstrong 2, C. Bassler 5, W. Bassler 10, Andy Dawson 12, Leedy 2, Spitler 6, Stone 2, Summers 11. Comments: email: Chris Tilton