DP&L to stick with planned June 2018 plant closings Preventing identity theft during tax season 4-H awards 11 local scholarships Peebles Elementary holds Spirit Week to prepare for AIR Testing Humane Society holding Radio Auction April 19-21 Local business partners find historical treasure in old bank building DP&L employees meet with union leadership GE-Peebles Test Operation joins the campaign about Distracted Driving North Adams Elementary recognizes February Students of the Month Senior Profile: Sydney Michael Stars will shine for the 34th annual C-103 All-Star Game NAHS Track/XC host Shamrock Shuffle 5K Associated Press names All-Southeast District Teams Senior Profile: Hannah Howard Nice to finally be a small part of March Madness The tractor has always been special Jimmy Nelson Kathryn Boldman James E Downs Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg

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