ARCANUM — It had been more than a decade since Twin Valley South’s boys basketball team won a conference championship.
And with the Panthers having a chance to win the title outright they were not in a sharing mood when they visited a place that hasn’t been kind to them the past several years.
The Panthers made the trek up Ohio 503 and into Darke County on Friday, Feb. 15 and came back with a 54-45 win over Arcanum to secure the Cross County Conference title outright.
South clinched a share of the title on on Saturday, Feb. 9 with a win over Bethel, at home. But the Panthers declined to cut the nets down that day. Instead opting to due so after clinching sole possession of first place.
The trip back to West Alexandria was met by a police escort to the high school, where the team was met by fans, to cut down the nets.
South got a balanced scoring attack with five players scoring between eight and 14 points.
The Panthers, which led 12-5 after the first quarter, was led by Willie Bowman and Cade Cottingim, who each scored 14 points.
South led 22-18 at the half and 34-31 after three quarters.
The Panthers outscored the Trojans 20-14 in the final stanza to lock up the win.
Jayden Bassler and Nathan Osborn each scored nine and Cole Peterson added eight.
South knocked down nine 3-pointer on the night and was 17-of-18 from the free throw line.
Peterson led the team with six rebounds and four blocked shots. Bowman and Bassler each had five rebounds, while Osborn handed out four assists.
South opened the week with a 60-58 loss to Brookville on Monday, Feb. 11.
With the game tied at 58-58, the Blue Devils scored the game-winning basketball with under 10 seconds left.
Bowman led South with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Bassler scored 19 and Osborn added 12.
On Tuesday, South celebrate Senior Night with a 72-55 win over Carlisle.
South led 18-13 after one and was up 28-27 at the half. The Panthers outscored the Indians 44-28 in the second half.
Bowman led they way with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Peterson tossed in 21.
The Panthers (19-3, 11-1 CCC), the No. 5 seed, are scheduled to begin postseason play on Friday, Feb. 22 against Greeneview. The game will be played at Northmont High School and is set to tip-off at 6 p.m.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH