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Post: Blog2_Post
  • Val T.

Valley commits 35 turnovers in loss to FW South Side

Cooksey scores 19, Akase adds 18, but Vikes fall to 0-2


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Stephen Akase

DeMarcus Barr scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the third quarter, and Cadell Wallace added 13 to lead the visiting Fort Wayne South Side boys basketball team to a 64-55 win over turnover-prone Tippecanoe Valley Tuesday.

Ian Cooksey hit five 3-pointers and scored 19 points, and Stephen Akase added 18 for Valley, but they committed 35 turnovers against the Archers’ pressure defense. Davis Cowan scored all seven of his points in the fourth quarter.

Fort Wayne South Side improved to 1-0. Valley dropped to 0-2.

“Everything with this team is about maturity,” Valley coach Joe Luce said. “We could have scheduled somebody different for both of these games, but we’re not doing that. We have seven 4A opponents. We play in a very, very competitive Christmas tournament (at Delta Dec. 27-28), and we may lose a couple more games than we did a year ago, but we’re going to be ready when the second half of the season comes.”

Fort Wayne South Side would lead by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter, but a Valley rally followed a bizarre play.

After Zack Belcher stripped Valley’s DeOndre Hamilton from behind, Barr claimed the steal and found Wallace ahead of the Valley defense for a two-on-zero fast break with Belcher. Instead of simply laying it in, Wallace threw a pass off the backboard to the flying 6-7 Belcher for an NBA All-Star Game-style dunk.

Except Belcher missed the dunk, and Valley responded with a 16-2 run. Cooksey hit a 3, Akase hit two free throws and then scored off a Cowan assist on an inbounds play.

Then Cowan hit a 3. Then he hit two free throws. Then he stole an inbounds pass and in the backcourt and immediately laid it in at the cup. A 52-36 deficit had been trimmed to 54-52 and led to a Fort Wayne South Side timeout.

“Davis again is a young man that has to get some confidence,” Luce said. “Once he gets some confidence, I think you’re going to see a much different player. Press-wise, he didn’t attack it. He did not get the basketball where it needed to be. And then when he hits a couple shots, all of a sudden you see some energy. I know Davis is going to make shots. I know Davis can make plays. I know he can get the ball where it needs to be in the halfcourt, but we can’t wait until he makes a couple late for him to get energy. I need that the whole game. Our team needs that the whole game.

“So huge plays at the end. If he makes the plays at the beginning, we’re not in that situation. And I think that will happen.”

A Belcher baby hook in traffic increased the lead to four.

Valley’s Wes Parker was fouled with 1:13 left. Valley was in the bonus, and Parker made the first free throw, but he missed the second. Belcher rebounded and found Javontae Bragg uncovered behind the defense.

Bragg put in a layup as Cooksey fouled him and added the free throw for a 3-point play that made it 59-53. That triggered a 8-0 Fort Wayne South Side run to push the lead back to 11.


Valley senior big man Kyler Johnson left with 5:25 left with an apparent right leg injury. Luce called it a “stinger in the shin” and said Johnson would be “fine” for Saturday’s home game against Bremen.

Valley led 21-20 at halftime. The Archers scored the first six points of the second half, but Valley went on a 9-0 run in the third quarter capped by Akase going coast to coast after a rebound and a Cooksey trey to put Valley up 30-26.

Fort Wayne South Side responded on a 14-0 run to close out the third quarter and take a 40-30 lead.

Valley has allowed 60 or more points in back-to-back games for the first time since January 2021. Valley allowed 60 or more points only three times in 24 games last year.

“Our defensive stuff with giving up points has been some basketball knowledge and common sense,” Luce said. “In our first game, we gave up, I believe, eight points on leak-outs where we don't get a guy back. Tonight, just like you saw Ian at the end of the game, when we have a chance to cut it to two, he’s not aware somebody’s behind him, and he gives up a four-point play. … That’s just maturity. It’s a little bit of getting sped up.

“But defensively, we haven’t been terrible in the halfcourt. Our press has actually been pretty good, but we’re giving up too many points off mistakes that are, in my opinion, maturity mistakes – basketball 101, common-sense mistakes that I’m OK with. We’re going to mature and improve on that.”

Fort Wayne South Side 64, Valley 55

FORT WAYNE SOUTH SIDE (64) (1-0)

Javontae Bragg 1 2-3 4, Jayvon Irby 4 0-0 8, Cadell Wallace 5 2-2 13, DeMarcus Barr 6 3-3 19, Zack Belcher 4 1-2 9, Aveairre White 0 1-2 1, Jarius Timberlake 3 0-0 7, Taylon Davis 1 0-0 3, Braylin Johnson 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 24 9-12 64

VALLEY (55) (0-2)

Davis Cowan 2 2-2 7, Ian Cooksey 7 0-0 19, DeOndre Hamilton 0 2-2 2, Stephen Akase 7 4-6 18, Kyler Johnson 1 4-6 6, Wes Parker 0 3-4 3, Blain Sheetz 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 17 15-20 55

Three-point field goals:

Fort Wayne South Side 7 (Barr 4, Wallace, Timberlake, Davis),

Valley 6 (Cooksey 5, Cowan)

Total fouls: Fort Wayne South Side 16, Valley 15

Score by quarters

FW South Side 5 15 20 24 – 64

Valley 10 11 9 25 – 55


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