Peebles finishes 17-5, begins postseason play on March 1 –
Story by Mark Carpenter –
Photo by Kimberly Browning –
One of the goals of every basketball team is to be playing its best basketball at the end of the season as they head into postseason play and right now the Peebles Indians are right on track, finishing the regular season with a six-game winning streak, culminating with a 68-58 win on Senior Night Feb. 17 over the Fairfield Lions. The win was the Indians’ 10th Southern Hills Athletic Conference triumph of the season as they finished with a 10-3 conference mark, good for second place in the big school division and just one game behind first place Lynchburg.
The win on Friday night was not an easy one for the host Indians as they battled a very solid Lions team, who also came into the game sporting a 16-5 record and who had already clinched the title in the SHAC small school division.
“You don’t see games this late in the season with two teams with records that good,” said Peebles head coach Josh Arey. “Fairfield is a good, athletic basketball team and I wish them nothing but the best going forward in the tournament.”
“It’s always emotional for the kids to play their last game at home. These kids become like your own sons and they are like part of your family and that’s tough to overcome.”
The two big guns on offense all season for Peebles have been senior Camron Gordley and junior Tanner Arey, and on Friday it was Gordley battling foul trouble and being held to just 11 points, but it was Arey stepping up in big way to fill the void. The sharpshooting junior guard racked up 33 points in the win, 17 in the first half and 16 in the second, and was ably assisted by the play of senior guard Ethan Parrett who hit a trio of three-pointers on his way to a 13-point evening.
“Ethan has really put some time in on his shot this week and it really showed tonight with his confidence,” said Arey. “When Camron is out, we have to make some adjustments and when he got back in we were able to run some stuff and get the ball to him and get him some good looks to get him going. Tanner was able to get out early on in transition and was then able to stretch his game out even more and he was huge in the third quarter when we had a lot of foul trouble.”
The home game on Friday was the final one for a quartet of Peebles seniors, Gordley, Parrett, Blake Stivers, and Logan Gordley.
“Blake and Logan are two kids that really make us go because they do all the little things,” said Coach Arey. “Those guys are so important to us and don’t get the credit they deserve sometimes but we would not be 17-5 without their contributions.”
The Indians, for better or worse, now get a long layoff before they take the floor again. They will be in action on March 1 at 8 p.m. at Northwest High School in a Division IV Sectional championship game, facing the winner of South Webster and Whiteoak. A win there gets the Peebles squad the coveted trip back to the Convo at Ohio University for district play on March 6. The Indians are hungry to get back into postseason action, hoping to erase the memory of last season’s disappointing first-round sectional loss to Portsmouth Clay.
“We’ll give the kids a few days off to get healthy, then we’ll get back in the gym and get to work,” said Coach Arey.