GLOUSTER, Ohio — It was hardly worth the wait.
After twice being postponed due to weather-related issues, the Eastern boys basketball team struggled to find any kind of early rhythm against host Trimble on Friday night during a 53-46 setback in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division finale for both programs.
The visiting Eagles (11-11, 8-8 TVC Hocking) trailed by double digits through eight minutes of play and were in a 2-for-1 hole by the intermission, as the Tomcats (17-3, 14-2) extended a 17-6 lead with a 13-9 second quarter run that resulted in a commanding 30-15 cushion at the break.
THS continued giving the Green and White fits throughout the third frame as the hosts used a small 13-10 spurt to extend their advantage out to 43-25 headed into the finale.
EHS ended regulation with a sizable 21-10 surge, but still came up three possessions short in its late rally bid.
The Tomcats also salvaged a season split with the Eagles, who won the first matchup by a 57-43 margin at EHS back on Jan. 11. Trimble also clinched the TVC Hocking championship in an outright manner this winter.
The Red and Gray outrebounded the Eagles by a 20-17 overall margin and also committed 12 of the 25 turnovers in the contest.
The guests netted 18-of-38 field goal attempts for 47 percent, including a 4-of-12 effort from behind the arc for 33 percent. Eastern also went 6-of-9 at the free throw line for 67 percent.
Colton Reynolds led the Eagles with 16 points, followed by Garrett Barringer with nine points and team-best four rebounds.
Sharp Facemyer was next with six markers, while Blaise Facemyer, Isaiah Fish and Mason Dishong completed the scoring with five points apiece.
The Tomcats made 19-of-37 shot attempts for 51 percent, including a 3-of-8 performance from 3-point territory for 38 percent. The hosts also sank 12-of-19 charity tosses for 63 percent.
Blake Guffey led THS with a game-high 18 points and Brayden Weber followed with 17 markers. Sawyer Koons also had seven points to go along with a game-high five rebounds.
Jeremiah Brown chipped in six points to the winning cause, with Cameron Kittle completing the winning tally with five points.
Eastern opens Division IV tournament play on Tuesday when it takes on South Webster in a sectional final at Meigs High School. Tipoff is tentatively scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.