I’m back with another experience post. As the High School Basketball season has returned to the State of Ohio, my broadcasts began in a place where I have called home for a majority of my life: West Alexandria.
The Third Annual Twin Valley South Tip-Off Tournament kicked off on December 5th, 2014, featuring the same four teams as the previous two tournaments: The Eaton Eagles and the (New Lebanon) Dixie Greyhounds of the Southwestern Buckeye League, the Stivers Tigers of the Dayton City League, and the host Twin Valley South Panthers of the Cross County Conference. These four teams are fairly close to West Alexandria, and very close to U.S. 35.
When the OHSAA expanded the basketball season from 20 games to 22, the TVS Tip-Off was born. Even though the tournament has just concluded the third edition, there’s been some exciting history built.
In 2012, the first year of the tourney, Twin Valley South won a close match with the Eaton Eagles 58-54 and won the title over Stivers 55-44. While the 55-44 mark doesn’t tell the tale, it was a back-and-forth affair between the host Panthers and Tigers. Stivers had a 37-35 lead after 24 minutes. Eaton took the 3rd place game over Dixie 61-44 that year. The Dixie Greyhounds came up short in both games, after an intense 64-60 loss to Stivers in the first ever game of the Tourney. Wes Cole (TVS) would be named the MVP of the first Twin Valley South Tip-Off Tournament, who had 21 points against Stivers.
Fast forward to 2013, when all three visiting teams returned to West Alexandria. The opening matches were swapped from the first season, as Dixie took on Twin Valley South and Eaton battled Stivers. The Tigers got a very crushing 80-33 win over the Eaton Eagles, sending Stivers back to the Title game. The TVS Panthers took care of business, with a close 42-37 win over local rival Dixie. That would set up the same scenarios for the last day of the 2nd TVS Tip-Off Tourney. Would the Panthers win another title? It turned out to be a different Saturday from the 1st ever tournament, as Dixie won 64-48 over Eaton in the Consolation game, and Stivers crushing Twin Valley South 68-46. Stivers’ Robert Caldwell finished as the MVP, with 50 points on the tournament (25 each game vs. Eaton and South.)
Now we look at the 2014 TVS Tip-Off Tournament. We would have the same teams return in Stivers, Eaton, Dixie, and TVS. All four of these teams looking towards Columbus would begin their roads in West Alexandria.
If you’d like to listen to my calls from Friday (and avoid spoilers below), here they are:
Dixie and Stivers tipped off for our first game of the 3rd Twin Valley South Tip-Off tournament. The Greyhounds were off to a great start, with two threes and a 6-2 lead. When Stivers called a timeout, it became all Tigers for the rest of the half. Dixie’s next basket would have to wait until the next quarter. After eight: The Tigers led 11-6. In the second quarter, Stivers didn’t stop building their lead, adding 14 points and outscoring Dixie 14-7. Dixie snapped their cold shooting streak on their third three-pointer, after Stivers rolled up 17 points straight. Stivers took a 48-27 lead after three quarters. The Greyhounds, down by 21 after 24 minutes, were not finished. The 4th Quarter would belong to the New Lebanon team. Stivers went cold in the 4th, allowing Dixie to drop 21 points. However, the Stivers lead turned out to be too big of a climb, and the Tigers held on for a 55-48 win. Stivers would return to the Championship game and face the winner of Twin Valley South/Eaton.
In the last game of that Friday Night, it was South off to a great start. After the Eagles got the first basket to go, South went on a 6-0 run before Eaton could connect on another basket. Twin Valley South led 13-8 after one quarter. The Panthers would add 14 more points on the Eagle defense to lead 27-14 after the half. The Eaton Eagles came out of the locker room with great energy, outscoring the Panthers 14-10 in the 3rd quarter and clipping the deficient down to 37-28. Even though Eaton would win the 3rd quarter, South came back in the last eight minutes to outscore their opponent 23-12 and win 60-40. Twin Valley South would indeed be facing Stivers for a third time for the TVS Tip-Off Tournament Final on Saturday Night.
Personally, I love broadcasting this tournament. Not only does it mean High School Basketball season is in full swing, it’s also cool to broadcast in my hometown and at my old school. If you’ve never been to Twin Valley South, it’s a nice gymnasium that’s close to the action with a small amount of walking room between the action and the bleachers. While the climb to the Panther’s Peak is…a climb, the view is one of the best you can get. High above the fans, you can see it all! It’s probably one of my favorite views, but I’ve never met a view I didn’t like while broadcasting!
In case you are interested what happened Saturday, Dixie took down the Eaton Eagles 60-33 and Stivers beat Twin Valley South 55-53 for their second TVS Tip-Off Title. Your All-Tournament Team this year was Blake Miller from Dixie, Wes Cole and Anthony Auspurger from Twin Valley South, and Isaiah Williams, Noah Howell, and Chazz George (the MVP of the Tourney) from Stivers.
Can’t wait for the 2015 Twin Valley South Tip-Off Tournament! More importantly, can’t wait for some more broadcasts!
Until next time,