TROY – It was another disappointing early exit from the postseason for Twin Valley South’s boys’ basketball team.
The Panthers, who stumbled down the stretch during the regular season, couldn’t right the ship in the opening round of the Division IV sectional tournament against Cedarville on Saturday, Feb. 20.
South, the No. 4 seed, saw its season come to an end with a 56-52 loss to the No. 6 seeded Indians at Troy High School.
The Panthers end the season with a 13-10 record, with losses in three of their final four games.
“We talked with five games to go about the fact that we had an opportunity to end our season with some momentum going into the tournament and the fact that we have really struggled with that the last seven years,” South coach Tony Augspurger said. “If I had answers, then I wouldn’t be looking at another year where we’ve had a disappointing early exit in the tournament.”
As been the case most of the season, South found itself in an early deficit, trailing 11-7 after the opening quarter. The Panthers shot just 2-of-12 in the quarter. The shooting troubles continued in the second quarter as South made just 4-of-15 shots and trailed 26-18 at the half.
South trailed just 20-16 with 1:38 to play in the half, but the game slipped away over the next five minutes. Cedarville closed on the half on a 6-2 run then opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run for a 33-18 lead, its biggest of the game.
But the Panthers didn’t go away without a fight.
Still trailing by double digits (47-36) with 6 minutes left in the game, South closed the gap to 50-47 with 1:39 to play in the game.
Cedarville then went a 5-0 run to push the lead to 55-47 with just 33 seconds left. Again, South battled back to 55-52 with 7.4 seconds left but could get no closer.
“Say what you can about our kids (but) our kids don’t quit,” Augspurger said. “Our guys battled. They did everything we asked them do. We just dug ourselves to big a hole.”
Mike Myers led South with 26 points. Jacob Bassler added 8 and JJ Utz and Travis Lovely each scored 7.