D-IV Boys Basketball Preview: Peebles eyes another Southeast District title

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The 2014 campaign came to a close with the Convoy Crestview Knights hoisting the hardware following a perfect (29-0) season. Head coach Jeremy Best and his boys were poetry-in-motion smothering teams with suffocating pressure defense and dialing up timely offense. The Convoy crew was the first DIV team to finish the year unbeaten since that powerful New Knoxville squad in 2008.

Crestview lost its three studs in Cam Etzler, Tyson Bolenbaugh, and Damian Helm, but don’t sleep on the Knights as they will certainly continue to be a factor. With the graduation loss of the above mentioned players, the door is open for teams like Tri-Village, Harvest Prep, Columbus Africentric, Cincinnati Aiken, Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas, Georgetown, and Russia to make a run at the gold.

In our opinion, DIV is as deep as its been in quite some time. We are really looking forward to Ohio’s small school scene more than we have in awhile.

Southeast District Preview

Peebles (22-4)
*Lost to Columbus Africentric in the regional semifinals.

Returnees:
Beau Justice (6’1/Sr.); Cody Ireton (6’5/Sr.); Zach Arrasmith (5’10/Sr.); Eric Schmitz (6’2/Sr.); Tyler Ryan (6’4/Jr.); and Scout Kremin (6’3/Jr.).

Key Newcomers:
Camron Gordley (6’3/So.); Tanner Arey (6’0/Fr.); and Tucker Schmitz (5’11/Jr.).

From the Coach:
“Our kids play extremely hard, with high energy, and great work ethics,” said Peebles coach Josh Arey. “I see our depth as an advantage and our overall athleticism is very good. Our ability to score from the perimeter and post should make us hard to defend. We have more offensive balance this year, but having (Beau) Justice is the ultimate strength. Post defense is a concern against big, physical teams and we have to rebound the basketball more consistently.”

Season Outlook:
The Indians have quietly won a ton of games over the past decade. “Justice” has been served for the past seven seasons in Blake Justice from 2007-2011 and now senior Beau Justice. Blake lit up the Peebles’ record books with 2,183 career-points along with finishing second in state history in three-point goals made. Beau will eclipse the 2,000-point mark as well if he is able to repeat last season’s average of just over 30 points per game. Justice, who can fill it up in a hurry and make all types of shots, will not be without help with the return of seniors Cody Ireton and Zach Arrasmith along with classmate Eric Schmitz and juniors Tyler Ryan, Scout Kremin, and Tucker Schmitz. Also, look for sophomore Camron Gordley and freshman Tanner Arey to make major contributions. The Indians will have plenty of firepower, but will they be able to get enough stops against the likes of Columbus Africentric or Harvest Prep if they were to return to regional play? Regardless, it should be another great year for Peebles.

Other Top Teams in the Southeast District
Beaver Eastern, Ironton St. Joseph’s, Glouster Trimble, Paint Valley, Symmes Valley, Racine Southern. Portsmouth Notre Dame, Leesburg Fairfield, and South Gallia.

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