Twin Valley South’s boys played pretty well in two games last week, but two quarters made the difference. They rode a big first quarter to a win against Covington, but a terrible fourth quarter against Bethel had the Bees with the win.
The Panthers took a seven-point win over Covington to start the week last Tuesday, Dec. 10, 56-49. Three nights later, they fell to Bethel, 59-37, as the Bees outscored the Panthers 23-3 in the fourth quarter.
Against Covington, the Panther offense was all Seth Baker, who put up 35 points while hitting five threes.
“He played extremely well,” said head coach Tony Augspurger. “He hit 5-for-9 from three-point range, and he just played a great game altogether.”
South started quick in the game, outscoring Covington 19-4 in the first quarter. The Buccs fought back to a 32-22 deficit by halftime. The second half stayed about even, and South held on for the victory.
“We played a really good first quarter,” Augspurger said. “Outside of that, I wouldn’t say we played all that well. We toughed it out and won down the stretch.”
Augspurger said his team handled the Covington pressure just well enough, but had too many turnovers.
Jordan Burns had seven points. Jake Osborn had five points, and J.J. Utz had five points and seven assists. Jacob Bassler had four points.
The Bethel game was the complete opposite. The Panthers played the undefeated Bees tight for three quarters, but Bethel outscored South by 20 points in the fourth to take the win.
“We didn’t do a good job in the fourth quarter,” Augspurger said. “We played about as poorly as we could have possibly played. We just didn’t move the ball well against the zone at all. We didn’t make shots. The wheels fell off for us.”
After one quarter, the Panthers were in a 10-5 hole. In the second quarter, South got two players back on the court in Mike Green and Wes Cole. They fought to a 21-19 halftime deficit, and played even in the third with Bethel. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, South was looking at just a 36-34 hole.
“(Bethel’s) best player had a really good first half, and in the fourth quarter, we tried something defensively we hadn’t worked much on this year,” Augspurger said. “We shut him down, but everyone else woke up for them.”
Cole led the Panthers with 11 points. Green had nine points, and Baker had seven. Osborn scored six, and Utz had four.
This week, the Panthers have a couple conference games on the schedule. They’ll host Ansonia on Tuesday, Dec. 17 before traveling to Tri-Village on Friday night. With Green and Cole back on the court, the Panthers are glad to get the varsity rotation back to normal.
“We can now get back to having a regular rotation, back to normal practices,” Augspurger said. “We’ve been on hold in survival mode, in ‘tread water’ mode. As a group, practices have been disjointed. I’m a big believer that practice is important, come game time. Now, we can get back to some solid practice time.”