Updated Mon, Jan 30, 2012 11:38 pm
Both Janena Cain and Tia Altier scored 10 points, and the Trimble Tomcats used a huge fourth-quarter surge to pull away from the Federal Hocking Lady Lancers, winning by a final of 51-39 on Senior Night in Glouster.
The festivities of Senior Night were evident from the opening tip, as Trimble senior Johanna Couch, who battled back from a knee injury, came off the bench for the start of the game. After possession was claimed, an official time out was called, and Couch was permitted to leave the floor.
From there on, the basketball slugfest began. Both sides engaged in a tough, scrappy, physical battle throughout the duration of the first half, with neither team able to gain full control of the game. The speed of play was evenly dictated, as both Trimble and Fed Hock played a 2-3 zone to start. By the end of the first 16 minutes, the score remained deadlocked.
Starting the second half, the Tomcats threw Federal Hocking a huge curveball, as they switched their defensive scheme to a full court man-to-man press, a look the Lancers have struggled with throughout the year. That pattern continued, as early on, Trimble started to pull away, opening up a lead as large as 10 at one point, and appeared to have the game under control.
However, the resiliency and tenacity of the Lancers shone through, as they clawed their way back into the game, getting to within a few points of taking the lead.
Then, disaster struck for Federal Hocking, as Cheyenne Singer, Carley Tabler and Alex Putnam all fouled out late, leaving the Lancers short-handed and basically sealing their fate.
From then on, the Tomcats used clutch free-throw shooting and rebounding to open the margin one final time, and put the nail in the coffin of a Lancer comeback.
With the win, the Tomcats improve to 4-14 overall, and 4-10 in the Hocking. The loss drops Federal Hocking to 4-13 overall, and 4-10 in conference play.
Neither team had a huge advantage in shooting, as Trimble hit only 16 of their 46 attempts on the night. However, their ability to capitalize at the charity stripe, where the Tomcats shot 15-28, was what allowed them to pull away late in the game.
The Lancers shot 14 of 49 from the floor, and converted on 11 of their 21 looks from the free-throw line. However, it was the Lancers feisty defense that kept them in the contest, as they forced 21 Tomcat turnovers.
Trimble had a slight advantage on the glass, as they won the battle of the boards 35-30.
The Tomcats return to action on February 2 at Miller. Federal Hocking hits the floor again on the same night, as they travel to Wahama.