Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak Harper, Hupp, Defense lead Lady Devils to fourth consecutive sectional championship West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January Second Healthy Hero awarded by Adams County Health and Wellness Coalition Coal company files to intervene in power plant closings Senior Profile: Jessica Sowards Senior Profile: Dennis Welch Dorothy E Walls Mabel Chamblin Michael R Jones Marie I Simmons Ray Johnson One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic

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