Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey Operation Christmas Child begins Nov. 14 Mental Health levy on tomorrow’s ballot Wanda L. Nixon David Rogers Robert “Bobby” Leonard Keneth Waters Commissioner Worley seeks re-election Republican challenger vies for Commissioner’s seat Charles Cooper Thelma J White Kayleigh L Crothers AEP Ohio employees support Breast Cancer Awareness Month WUHS holds annual Beta Club and Honor Society inductions When Saturday mornings belonged to the kids of the house Senior Profile: Gloria Purdin Green-White Night, OHSAA Meeting at WUHS on Nov. 9
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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.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_BlakeJustice.jpgPeebles 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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2016 People's Defender