Geneva E Vogler Susan L Kremin Local golf teams complete play at state tournament Lady Dragons make school history with tournament win Browning gets hands-on look at NASA’s latest robotics Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday Health Department appeals to November voters Betty R Toller Senior Profile: Craig Horton Helen F Hoffer Super Saturday at Freedom Field Lady Dragons hang on for five-set victory over Manchester Seventh Grade Lady Hounds are SHAC Tournament champions Peebles Elementary announces September Students of the Month Rideout’s Muffler celebrating 40th anniversary this month Senior Citizens levy will appear on November ballot Bonnie J Orr Dorothy M Edenfield Senior Profile: Grace Barge Jerry Paquette Dragons get big 38-20 win at Green Manchester takes varsity team titles at West Union Invitational Lady Devils knock off Peebles on Volley For the Cure Night Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Senior Profile: Kelsey Friend Lady Dragons finish as District Runners-Up Sectional pairings announced for volleyball and soccer 2 and 3 and worried is me Patricia Clift Adams County Humane Agent saves abandoned dogs and puppies Tourism had major economic impact on Adams County in 2015 Senator Portman brings his campaign to Adams County Betty E Lawson Sanborn NAHS holds National Honor Society induction ceremonies Harlan W Benjamin Joyce A Lafferty Senior Profile: Lee Hesler Dragons get SHAC win, 2-1 over Fairfield North Adams tops Peebles in ‘Kickin Cancer’ battles Double duty coming at Boys’ State Golf Tournament as West Union and North Adams both qualify Humane Society providing ‘Straws For Paws’ North Adams Elementary honors students and staff Russell Rockwell Julie L Wagner Hobert C Robinson Samuel D McClellan Brenda S Bare Clarencce Walker Jr Dolly M Hilterbrandt Jack Roush Day returns to Manchester West Union FFA has busy opening to school year ODOT opens new full-service Maintenance Facility Peebles Elementary introduces Peer Mentoring program Frost is recipient of Morgan Memorial Scholarship Peebles Fire Department has a new addition Heritage Days return to Tranquility Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair and Harvest Festival begins Friday Caraway Farm hosts annual Pumpkin Festival ‘Run Gio’ makes a visit to Adams County Senior Profile: Mackenzie Smith West Union, North Adams grab top two spots in Division III golf sectional tournament This memory will live with me forever Will M Stern West Union and North Adams-State Bound! Lillian N Smith Betty R Shelton Barbara ER Bohl Brenda Farley Senior Profile: Caitlyn Bradford Dragons roar to 40-0 Homecoming victory Greyhounds take three of four races at annual Adams County Meet Monarch Meadows holds grand opening Discovering a touch of glass on Erie’s Shores Junior L Conaway William B Brumley Sr Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award Renowned Ohio artist visits WUHS Don and Venita Bowles named 2016 Outstanding Fair Supporters PES students part of new Lego League Ferno donates $2,500 to OVCTC From the cistern to the city water Basketball officiating class being offered in October Peebles rolls by West Union in straight sets Par for the course, Dragons sweep SHAC Golf titles Greyhounds hang on late for first win of 2016 season You have to understand the process to understand the job Alex K Miller Ann E Campbell Scott N Atkinson Senior Profile: Tyler Fowler Martin named to All-Tourney Team in North/South Battlefield Classic 200 years on the banks of the Ohio, in a little town called Moscow Edwin P Prince ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient

Successful college career ends for Blake Justice-1,000 point scorer at Valdosta State

A successful college basketball career recently came to a close for Peebles High School graduate Blake Justice, who ended with a flourish as a member of the Valdosta State Blazers. In his final season at VSU, Justice was the team’s leading scorer at 15.8 points per game as the Blazers went 17-11. Justice also fired in a team-high 68 three-pointers and averaged 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest, with a season-high of 27 points in a Nov. 28 game with Coastal Georgia, being named to the Gulf South Conference All-Conference First Team in his final season.

Just as impressive, Justice became just the 22nd player in Valdosta State history to eclipse the 1,000 point plateau, a feat he accomplished in less than three full seasons at the university.

“Of course as a player you’re never satisfied with your performance,” said Justice. “There’s always those moments where you ask yourself what else you could have done. We had several close games this year that went right down to the wire. it’s heartbreaking when you can look at your losses and see that we had the lead in every one of them. It’s hard to stomach at times.”

Justice’s college career got off to a somewhat rocky start as he spent two years at Division I Akron, which were plagued by injuries, leading to his decision to transfer to Valdosta State.

“Akron was a good program with good players which allowed me a solid transition into the college game,” explained Justice. “We had a ton of success while I was there even though injuries played a factor, I was able to learn a lot about the college game as well as develop individual skills. So when I transferred to VSU, I had an understanding of how I wanted to approach my season and career there.”

“At VSU, I was a part of several up and down moments. I’ve been lucky enough to be put in situations where I’ve hit multiple game-tying or game-winning shots, which is an unbelievable feeling. I’ve also been on the other end of those moments when games went the other way. My time at VSU allowed me to play against and with high level players which will help move my career to the next step.”

What might that next step be in his career? Right now Justice is mulling over the options of possibly playing basketball overseas.

“I’m looking to pursue that dream of playing overseas. Playing professionally somewhere is something I’d love to do.”

Justice also has other options after receiving a degree in Business Finance and then another in Accounting, while throwing in a minor in Coaching.

“After basketball, I will look to enter the business world with maybe some interest in the stock market and the financial side of things,” Justice told The Defender. “However, that’s only if I can get away from the game of basketball, Coaching just might be my route.”

Local hoops fans, especially those in Peebles, know the legacy of the Justice name in the annals of Indian basketball, and Blake is very aware of the role that his family has played in his success.

“My family has been everything to me. It’s one of those things where you look back on accomplishments or moments in your career that are unforgettable and realize it’s not the moment of making the 1,000th point or breaking some record that you will remember. It’s that look on your family’s face that you never forget. That’s what you live for or play for in my case. Growing up I heard lots of stories about the ‘Justice twins’ in the Peebles area. What people tend to forget is that I also heard about my Mom as a player too. My parents have been an unbelievable support system for me and my younger siblings are amazing. They’ve traveled all over the place and been my biggest fans.”

“Like I said, to be able to look into the stands no matter how far from home and you hear your sister and family cheering you on- it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Peebles High School graduate Blake Justice recently concluded his college basketball career, eclipsing the 1,000 point mark at Valdosta State University. High School graduate Blake Justice recently concluded his college basketball career, eclipsing the 1,000 point mark at Valdosta State University. Photo courtesy of Valdosta State Athletics
Peebles grad concludes college career with milestone

By Mark Carpenter

The People’s Defender

Reach Mark Carpenter at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.

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