By Mark Carpenter –
Photo by Kimberly Browning –
Though Adams County hoops fans may find it a bit surprising to see the West Union Dragons at the top of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference standings, but most are not all shocked to see the Peebles Indians sitting in the top spot. Making the move down to the conference’s small school division for the 2017-18 season, the Indians are looking for their sixth SHAC title in the last 10 years and currently hold a two-game advantage over the Fayetteville Rockets in the standings, with four SHAC contests remaining on their schedule.
After knocking off Manchester on Friday, Jan. 26 to improve their conference mark to 7-2, the Indians were in non-conference action on the next night, entertaining the Felicity Cardinals out of the SBAAC. The Cardinals have struggled this season under first-year head coach Jason Thompson, but have been showing consistent signs of improvement, though Thompson was unavailable on Saturday night, with the coaching duties turned over to his Uncle Dean, a veteran coach from his days with the boys and girls programs at Ripley.
Peebles senior Bostin Robinson had fired in a career-high 30 points in the win over Manchester, and he was right back at it on Saturday, scoring three baskets in the first quarter as the host Indians threw an eight-minute shutout and led 11-0 after one period, a period in which the Cards could not get on the board, missing a number of shots in the paint.
In the second stanza, the Cards still struggled from close range, but finally got on the board, getting a three-pointer from Logan Moore and baskets from three other players. Robinson stayed hot, hitting seven points in the frame, with Tanner Arey adding five and the halftime scoreboard read 25-10 in favor of the home team.
After a rough first two quarters, the Cardinals made a much better showing for themselves in the second half, putting up 31 points and getting a big fourth period of 10 points from Dalton Cochran, but the hole they dug in the first half was too much to overcome against a fundamentally sound and disciplined Peebles squad. Robinson would finish up the game with 27 points, leading the Indians to a 63-41 non-conference triumph.
For the winning Indians, who improved to 12-4 overall, Arey added 12 points, with Wade Shiveley scoring 7, and Blake Hawes and Weston Browning 6 apiece. Felicity was led by Cochran’s 13 points.
Now the Peebles focus turns back to the attempt to capture another SHAC crown, beginning on Friday, Feb. 2 when they will host the Fairfield Lions, before again going out of conference on Saturday, Feb. 3 when they will host Lucasville Valley. The remainder of the Indians’ SHAC schedule includes a home game with a hot Eastern Brown team on Feb. 6, a trip to Fayetteville on Feb. 13, and a road game at Ripley on Feb. 16 to close out the regular season.
With three wins in those four SHAC outings, the Indians will extend a streak of winning at least 10 conference games for the 10th season in a row.
0 10 7 24 –41
11 14 23 15 –63
Felicity (41): Moore 5, Shelton 2, Cochran 13, Boeckmann 4, Hall 2, Roehm 3, Rutherford 3, Glassmeyer 2, Reeves 2, Hudson 5
Peebles (63): Shiveley 7, Arey 12, Ball 3, Robinson 27, Hawes 6, Smalley 2, W. Browning 6
Felicity (5): Moore 1, Cochran 2, Roehm 1, Hudson 1
Peebles (4): Shiveley 1, Arey 2, Robinson 1