Tomcats knock off Southern, 65-61

By Alex Hawley - [email protected]

GLOUSTER, Ohio — Sometimes even the best of offensive performances aren’t enough.

The Southern boys basketball team hit 10 three-pointers and shot over 45 percent from the field on Tuesday evening in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division showdown at White Gymnasium, but that couldn’t stop host Trimble from handing the Tornadoes their first setback of the season, by a 69-64 final margin.

Southern (3-1, 1-1 TVC Hocking) led the hosts by a 19-14 count eight minutes into play, but the Tomcats (2-0, 2-0) outscored the Purple and Gold by an 18-12 clip in the second, giving the hosts a 32-31 halftime edge.

Trimble extended its lead by one point in the third canto, outscoring SHS 12-to-11 in the period to make the score 44-42. The Tornado offense saved its best for last, pouring in 22 points over the final eight minutes. However, the Tomcats scored 25 points in the finale to seal the 69-64 win.

For the game, Southern shot 22-of-48 (45.8 percent) from the field, including 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Trimble connected on 25-of-46 (54.3 percent) field goal attempts, including 9-of-18 (50 percent) three-point tries. Both teams made 10 free throws in the game, the Tornadoes in 17 attempts (58.8 percent) and the Tomcats in 14 shots (71.4 percent).

Both squads committed 11 turnovers in the contest, while blocking two shots apiece. Southern won the rebounding battle by a 26-to-22 clip, while earning a 5-to-3 advantage in steals. Trimble claimed a 17-to-16 edge in assists for the game.

Three Tornadoes scored in double figures in the game, led by junior Weston Thorla, who scored 15 points on a quintet of three-pointers. Brayden Cunningham scored 13 points for the Purple and Gold, seven of which came from the charity stripe. Coltin Parker sank four three-pointers en route to 12 points in the setback, while Trey McNickle marked eight points on a quartet of two-pointers.

SHS junior Jensen Anderson hit one three-pointer and scored seven points in the game, while Dylan Smith, Austin Baker and Austin Vancooney marked four, three and two points respectively.

Cunningham pulled in a team-best six rebounds and blocked two shots for the guests, Dylan Smith dished out a game-high seven assists, while Thorla led the SHS defense with a pair of steals.

The Tomcats were led by senior Randy Hixson, who scored 33 points on six two-pointers, four trifectas and a 9-of-10 performance from the line. Bryce Richards and Cameron Kittle made a pair of three-pointers apiece, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively, while Brayden Weber posted nine points and sank one shot from beyond the arc.

The THS scoring was rounded out by Max Hooper with four points and Sawyer Koons with two.

Weber earned a team-best six rebounds in the win, while Kittle assisted on five baskets. On defense for the hosts, Richards had two steals, while Hixson and Hooper each blocked a shot.

SHS will host Trimble on Jan. 23 in the rematch. The Tornadoes will be on the road for the third game in a row when they return to action on Friday at Federal Hocking.

By Alex Hawley

[email protected]

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.