WEST ALEXANDRIA — Jayden Bassler scored 10 straight points in a game-turning 20-0 first quarter run to lift Twin Valley South to a 65-41 win over visiting Covington on Friday, Jan. 4.
The Panthers, who made 8-of-15 shots in the first quarter, held Covington to a 2-of-11 shooting in the first quarter and 1-of-15 in the second quarter as they built a 22-5 first quarter lead and a 35-11 halftime lead.
Bassler scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half.
Cade Cottingim scored seven of his 15 in the first quarter.
“We played very well in the first quarter,” South coach Tony Augspurger said. “I thought Jayden got us going really well and Cade hit a couple of big shots. I thought we moved in our zone pretty well and we moved in our press pretty well.”
Covington tied the game at 2-2 with 7:07 remaining in the first then was held scoreless for nearly seven minutes.
“We had them at two points for a long, long time. Almost held them to two for the whole quarter,” Augspurger said. “Basically, it was a good first quarter.”
The Buccs didn’t scored again until 18 seconds remained in the quarter.
The Panthers were a little sluggish to begin the second quarter, but eventually pushed their lead to 34-10 with just over a minute left in the half.
“We started out shaky in the second quarter and I called a timeout because we didn’t score in the first two and half minutes of the second quarter. I said ‘listen, chill out, calm down and let’s play’ and we finished that quarter pretty well,” Augspurger said.
Willie Bowman scored 11 of his game-high 16 points in the first half.
After making the first basket of the third quarter to take a 38-11 lead, South allowed the Buccs to go on a 9-2 run to make it a 40-20 game with 3:47 left in the quarter.
“We went kind of cold. Sometimes, I think, honestly, it’s harder to shoot when you get up,” Augspurger said. “It becomes easy for guys to look up at the column on the scoreboard and say ‘oh, if I get this one I got 10 or I got 20 or something like that’ because the game is readily in hand. I think we’ve done that a little bit. We’ve got to continue to do the things well that go us leads better that what we’ve done.”
In the first half, South was 13-of-24 from the field, but cooled some in the second half, making 9-of-24 attempts.
Covington was able to get as close as 14 (53-39) with 4:03 left in the game, before the Panthers ended the game on a 12-2 run.
“We never allowed it to get to the point we thought we were in trouble,” Augspurger said. “We’ve got to handle success better and we’ve got to handle failure better. I certainly don’t think we panicked tonight.”
Nate Osborn chipped in with seven points, while Ryan DeLong and Cole Peterson each contributed six.
South, now 8-2 overall and 3-1 in the Cross County Conference, was scheduled to host Bethel on Tuesday, Jan. 8 and will travel to Ansonia on Friday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH