Wolfe Leads Southern Over Federal Hocking

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The Federal Hocking Lancers were focused on two things coming into the Southern Tornado’s (1-0) new gym tonight: the recent losses of, newly appointed, coach Eric Mitchell and how to contain senior forward Tristen Wolfe.

With coach Joe Butcher taking the reigns for the Lancers after Mitchell’s departure—reportedly for personal reasons—the Lancers seemed to already be at a disadvantage before the game started.

And Wolfe was an offensive monster from the starting whistle, as he led the Tornados to a 59-50 victory in their season opener.

He tallied 32 points on the night and seemed to be hitting from everywhere on the court, sinking baskets from behind the arc, at the free throw line and gliding to the rim with ease past the Lancer’s defense.

“It felt good," Wolfe said. "We just kept working the offense, running our own plays, and scoring. We were just doing what we were supposed to do out there throughout the game. We just needed one leader to step up and keep our team under control.”

The Lancers (0-2) started the game strong behind contributions from senior Jonathan Snyder. Snyder did well in a leadership role on the court and helped his team end the first quarter only two points behind Southern (1-0).

Snyder had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds on the night, but his aggressiveness backfired on the Lancers as he got into foul trouble early and sat out most of the second quarter.

From there the Tornados secured a 29-23 lead heading into the locker room and they wouldn't relinquish the lead throughout the rest of the game.

But with Snyder back on the court, the Lancers opened the third quarter strong and tried to make a comeback. But Wolfe was all business and sunk five back-to-back buckets to keep the Tornado’s lead to 41-35 going into the fourth quarter.

The Lancers fought hard in the fourth quarter as A.J. Cobb buckled down on defense and grabbed two vital steals—which he converted into four points—for the Lancers to cut the deficit to 50-46 with two minutes left to play. But the Tornados showed their dominance once more and shut the Lancers down the final stretch.

Shot execution had a major impact on this game. The Lancers went 1-13 from behind the arc and couldn’t compete with the Tornados, as Wolfe and senior Ryan Schenkelberg each sank three 3-pointers to contribute to the team's 62 percent 3-point shooting percentage.

“We need to work on execution. It’s a lot to ask the kids to play under two different coaches in two different games, and so it’s a lot to ask of them to come out and execute a whole new offense and shots, but I thought we did a little better in the second half,” Butcher said. “Still a lot of work to do, but everyday, we’re getting better.”

Fed Hock will put Butcher’s words to the test on Friday, Dec. 12 when they welcome the South Gallia Rebels to their gym.

The Tornados will look to keep up the momentum from their first win as they travel to Waterford on Dec. 12.