Spartans Cut Down Nets on Senior Night

Posted on: February 14, 2020
Senior Owen Spencer dominated both ends of the floor in his final home game for the Turpin Spartans, throwing down 31 points and grabbing 7 bounds encounters to a dominating victory, 53-37 over the Milford Eagles.  Turpin (19-3 overall, 13-1 ECC) trailed by 10 after the first quarter and by 9 at halftime, but held the Eagles to 11 points in the second half, cruising to a victory on senior night for the Eastern Cincinnati Conference Champions.  Senior Josh Bell hauled in 7 boards, while senior Trey Shetler had 5 rebounds and 2 steals.  The 19 victories ties for second most in program history with the 2003-2004 squad.  A victory in the first round sectional playoffs next weekend can tie the all-time record of 20 wins, set by the 2011-12 team.  The ECC championship is Turpin’s second overall, the first since 2013-14 when they split the title three ways with Kings and Walnut Hills,
Emotions were high Friday night with the pregame ceremony honoring seniors from the Dance Team, Cheerleading and Boys Basketball.  The quintet of seniors started for Turpin: Josh Bell, Quincy Mussio, Trey Shetler, Owen Spencer and Harry Tyszkiewicz.  Spencer opened things up hitting 2 3-pointers in the first 2 minutes for an early 6-4 Spartan lead.  The Eagles weren’t willing to go quietly in the season finale, and showed why they are the 3rd best 3-point shooting team in the conference by hitting 3 treys in the first frame.  The Eagles flew out to an 18-8 lead.
Turpin started to dig out from the early deficit in the second.  Junior Jackson Holt connected on a pretty jumper to start the quarter, and Theisen Lee contorted his arm from up and under the basket to sink the shot and draw the foul on a baseline drive.  Spencer stayed hot, hitting from the floor and the free throw line and Turpin cut the Eagle lead to 9 at the half, 26-17.
Whatever message Coach Slonim delivered during halftime, it was well received from the team.  The Spartans held Milford to 11 second half points, including allowing an unbelievable 2 points in the 3rd quarter.  As he did in the first 16 minutes, Spencer dominated the second half, shooting a perfect 8-8 from the floor and 3-3 from the free throw line.  The big fella could not miss!  Holt’s long 3 brought Turpin to within 1 midway through the 3rd.  Matthew Johnson’s defensive effort fueled the Spartan offensive run.  First Johnson trapped and made a steal on the press, then he drew an offensive charge.  Following the change of possession, Spencer hit a post up jumper for the 29-28 lead.  Not to be outdone on the defensive end, Trey Shetler drew the first of 2 offensive charges on the night, setting the stage for Holt to connect on a pair of free throws at the other end of the court.  The third closed with a Sports Center highlight, as Lee found Cantrella on the fast break with a no-look, behind-the-back pass for 2.  Turpin led 35-28 entering the fourth.
Milford tried to get back into it in the fourth, but their long range shooters couldn’t get it going against the Spartan defense.  Whatever mojo they had in the first half evaporated when they changed style of play to a slow down game in the 3rd.  Spencer dropped 9 points in the first 5 minutes of the quarter, giving himself 28 for the game.  On each ensuing possession, the Klinger Krazies urged the Spartans to give him the ball to reach the 30 point mark.  With 2 minutes remaining, O connected on his 4th bomb of the night from the top of the circle, giving him a career-high 31 points in his home sendoff.  With 1:45 remaining in the game, Coach Slonim called time-out and brought his 5 seniors off Klinger Court one last time, to a huge standing ovation from the home crowd.  The final score in this one: Turpin 53, Milford 37.
The celebration continued postgame on Klinger Court as each varsity player climbed the ladder to cut down the net in honor of the league championship.  Next up, Western Brown in the sectional playoffs.  The game will be played on the neutral court of Lakota West on Saturday, February 22nd.  Go Spartans!
Notable Performances
Scoring: Spencer-31, Holt-9, Cantrella-8, Lee-4, Johnson-1
Rebounds: Bell-7, Spencer-7, Shetler-5, Cantrella-4, Lee-2, Holt-1, Johnson-1, Mussio-1
Other: Lee-6 assists, Lee-2 steals, Shetler-2 steals, Tyszkiewicz-2 steals