CAMDEN — Just over three weeks ago on Dec. 15, Twin Valley South boys basketball handed rival Tri-County North a 65-50 loss in only North’s second game of the season.
Now, with the season fully in swing for both programs, North came back with a vengeance in the consolation game of the Preble Shawnee Holiday Tournament to hand South a 58-39 loss on Wednesday, Dec. 30.
South fell to Union County 52-42 and North lost to Preble Shawnee 79-64 on Dec. 29 in the first round of the annual tournament.
In the consolation game, North jumped out to a 21-14 lead after the first quarter, largely due to senior Dylan Stinson’s 14 first-quarter points, including three 3-pointers.
Stinson, who had suffered a previous leg injury during the football season, aggravated the injury in the closing seconds of the first quarter and would not return to the game.
“We went almost entire preseason without him, so all of our scrimmages we didn’t have him,” North coach Joe Smith said. “We scrimmaged some pretty good teams. We knew how we could react. We had it happen the first night against Arcanum, too.”
The North Panthers marched on despite Stinson’s injury, adding to their lead with a 17-9 run over the second quarter for a 38-23 halftime lead.
“Both teams, us and North, both want to play fast,” South coach Ryan Innis said. “They want to play fast, get you out of control. They just did a better job than us tonight. In the first game they didn’t handle our pressure very well. In this game, they did a much better job of handling that and getting good looks and getting to the rim. We were too far out of position at times.”
South had continued troubles on the offensive end in the second half, scoring just 16 total points across the final two quarters.
“Teams keep continuing to play the 2-3 [zone] against us,” Innis said. “We’ve got to find ways to get ball movement. We’re too stagnant at times. We’ve got to figure out ways to score. We have too many scoring droughts, we have too many bad quarters. This team shows glimpses of being pretty good, but we have bad quarters and we’ve got to figure out how to put four quarters together.”
Given the drastic change from December’s matchup – a 15-point loss for North to a 19-point win this time around – Smith said the biggest change was intensity.
“We came with intensity and with a purpose tonight,” he said. “We showed up and we knew what we wanted to have happen.”
Unprompted, Innis echoed Smith’s thoughts.
“We didn’t come out and play with that same intensity that we did in the first matchup,” Innis said. “We told [the] guys that in any sport it’s hard to beat a team twice. It’s really hard to beat a team twice, especially in a rivalry game.”
Despite leaving during the first quarter, Stinson would lead North with 14 points, followed by junior Luke Eby with 11 points. Freshman Logan Flory added nine points and senior Wyatt Royer, who was not present in December’s matchup, added seven points.
For the South Panthers, senior Tyler Wright led with 11 points while senior Brayden Marker added seven points and freshman Seth Vorhis and junior Lucas Sievering added five points each.
South (1-7) was scheduled to play at Miami East on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and at home against Covington on Friday, Jan. 8. North (2-4) fell to Yellow Springs 56-53 on Saturday, Jan. 2, and is scheduled to play against National Trail on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at Miami East on Friday, Jan. 8, and at Brookville on Saturday, Jan. 9.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles