WEST ALEXANDRIA – Twin Valley South, who entered the game winless, put together a game that upset second place Ansonia. However, South has had a resurgence in the new year – barely getting edged by Bethel 50-52 in their previous game. Although Ansonia had their chances and made a hard charge at the end, they would fall in a defensive struggle 38-36.
The JV game set the tone for the night as the two teams fought to overtime where Ansonia would prevail 44-40. The varsity teams sparred back and forth in the opening quarter, but it was South that slowly grew a lead and pulled ahead with a 21-12 halftime lead. Ansonia coach Devin Limburg did try to spark his team with a half-court trap during the secod quarter but Ansonia did not make up any ground.
In the third quarter Ansonia kept up their defensive pressure and found offense by driving to the basket. In the last quarter, the Tigers went all out and went into a full-court press. They narrowed the lead thanks in part to freshman Ian Schmitmeyer who nailed two treys during his stint on the court. It was a 4-point game (33-29) with about four minutes left in the game. However at this same time Ansonia post player Matthew Farrier got his fourth and then fifth foul in about a minute and had to leave the game.
“Ian is just a freshman and he was put in there to give us a little energy and to play defense for us,” said Limburg, “but he goes out there and makes two big threes for us – it was huge for us.”
Ansonia actually got the lead briefly with a little over a minute left. Reece Stammen, who had scored the bulk of his points driving to the basket, was fouled on a made layup. He completed the old fashioned 3-point play by making his free throw. That made the score 36-35.
South’s Levi Gearhart answered with a 3-point shot that catapulted South back into the lead again. South called a time out with 18-seconds left to set up their end game. They got the shot they wanted, but although the ball drew iron it would not drop for the Tigers. They promptly fouled in a bid to get the ball back. They did get the ball back with 2.4 seconds left but their shot attempt at the buzzer would be blocked. It was an exciting game for fans but a disappointing result for Tigers.
“I was not happy with the way we started – we were really slow and sluggish,” stated Coach Limburg after the game, “But the guys never gave in even though we were down by double digits and fought back. Reece Stammen made some shots for us in the fourth and Ian Schmitmeyer hit a couple of big 3’s for us to get us back where we wanted to be, but Gearhart made a big shot for them. It was a good win for Coach Augspurger, South played well.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Matthew Farrier drives to the basket for Ansonia in game at Twin Valley South. (J.Chris Tilton photo)