TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — It’s not always about how you start something, but rather how you finish it.
The Eastern boys basketball team led over half of the first period, but visiting Federal Hocking used a 25-12 second quarter run to catapult itself onward to a 64-51 victory Friday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup at the Eagle’s Nest in Meigs County.
The Eagles (0-8, 0-6 TVC Hocking) took an early lead just 15 seconds into regulation and were ahead for roughly 4:15 of the opening eight minutes, which included the hosts’ largest lead of the night at 12-9 with 2:15 left in the opening canto.
The Lancers (3-5, 2-3), however, closed the first quarter with a 5-0 run to secure a slim 14-12 edge, then went on a 14-2 surge over the next four plus minutes for a sizable 28-14 advantage with 3:30 left in the half.
EHS closed its deficit down to 11 points (35-24) with 1:30 remaining before the break, but Fed Hock retaliated with a 4-0 spurt in the final minute to secure its largest first half lead at 39-24.
Eastern whittled its deficit down to 13 points (40-27) with 3:45 left in the third, but the Lancers countered with 6-0 run over the next minute to claim a 46-27 lead. EHS closed the final two minutes of the third with a 6-2 spurt, allowing the hosts to pull to within 48-33 headed into the finale.
Christian Speelman capped a 7-0 Eagles run with just under six minutes remaining, allowing the hosts to close to within single digits at 48-40. Eastern, however, never came closer the rest of the way.
FHHS ended a 2:33 scoreless drought at the 5:42 mark of the fourth after Taylor Gates sank a pair free throws, sparking a 14-2 run over the next four minutes. Ivan Santiago netted two free throws at the 1:38 mark, giving the Lancers their biggest lead of the game at 62-42.
Andrew Stobart hit a trifecta and Speelman added two more three-pointers over the next minute to get the hosts to within 62-51 with 48 seconds remaining, but Fed Hock closed regulation with a 2-0 run to wrap up the 13-point triumph.
Eastern connected on 20-of-63 field goal attempts for 32 percent, including a 3-of-16 effort from behind the arc for 19 percent. EHS also won the battle on the boards by a 36-34 overall margin and committed 20 turnovers in the setback.
Jett Facemyer led the Eagles with a game-high 18 points, followed by Christian Speelman with seven points and Andrew Stobart with five markers. Cameron Richmond and Daschle Facemyer were next with four points apiece
Jack Kuhn chipped in three markers for the hosts, while Chase Cook and Greyson Wolfe rounded out the scoring with two points each. Eastern was 8-of-10 at the free throw line for 80 percent.
The Lancers made 20-of-48 shot attempts for 42 percent, including a 3-of-9 effort from behind the arc for 33 percent. The guests committed 26 turnovers in the win and went 23-of-28 at the charity stripe for 82 percent.
Pete Crum paced Fed Hock with 14 points, followed by Alex Nichols with 11 markers. Taylor Gates and Ivan Santiago were next with 10 points apiece, while A.J. Cobb and Phillip Hoffman respectively added eight and six markers.