WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley South boys basketball opened the first weekend of play as part of the TVS Invitational. The Panthers kicked the season off with a 52-30 win over Dixie on Friday, Nov. 27, before dropping the championship game to Stivers 55-43 on Saturday, Nov. 28.
“I thought our opening weekend was more positive than negative. Our effort both nights was very good,” said head coach Tony Augspurger.
South started off slow against Dixie though, heading into the second quarter down 7-5. Dixie managed to get out to a 13-8 lead before the Panthers hammered down on the defensive side of the ball and closed the game on a 44-17 run.
“We did a very good job on them defensively. I didn’t see a single uncontested shot. As a defensive-minded coach, that makes me happy,” said Augspurger. “We shot the ball from the three-point line well in that game as well.”
South drained nine three-pointers in the game, with Winston Crosier knocking down three while Mike Meyers and Jacob Bassler both added two apiece.
Bassler led all scorers with 16 and five assists on the night while Meyers had 12, Crosier added nine, and J.J. Utz had eight points, three assists, and three steals.
The win advanced them to the finals against Stivers, who started out with a significant height advantage against the Panthers.
The Tigers ended up with a 12-point victory, getting to the free throw line 38 times to South’s five attempts. They also used a full-court press that South was unable to take advantage of.
“I do not think we made them pay enough against pressure,” said Augspurger. “I don’t think the pressure really cracked us but on the flip side, we did not turn it into layups nearly enough.”
The Panthers also forced Stivers into shots that they wanted them to take, but enough of those shots fell to hurt the home team.
“They came out hot and made some shots,” said Augspurger. “I thought we defended them pretty well, really. Stivers is going to be one of the more talented, athletic teams we play against.”
South was led by Bassler once again, as he posted 15 points and five assists while Utz added 10 points and five rebounds. Meyers added three points and five boards while Ryan Bassler had six points on the night.
Overall though, Augspurger was happy with how his team looked during the first two games of the season.
“I walked away from this weekend feeling the way I’ve been feeling, and that’s that we have a chance to be pretty good,” he said.
South is scheduled to host National Trail on Friday, Dec. 4 for the Cross County Conference opener. The tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
Jeremy can be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.