Trimble Overpowers Eastern Behind Hixson’s 40, Defense

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Most teams have a main scorer that can take over the game at any moment. Tonight, that was senior Randy Hixson  for the Trimble Tomcats.

The TVC-Hocking conference game between the Eastern Eagles (1-1, 0-1) and the Trimble Tomcats (1-0, 1-0) became an instant classic. Hixson led Tomcats to pull out the win, 61-59.

Eastern won the tip and started an all-out battle with scoring, intensity, and physicality. The first quarter was back and forth until Eastern pulled off a small run causing Trimble Coach Howie Caldwell to call a timeout with the Eagles leading 17-9.

“We are undersized this year, and that’s no surprise,” said Trimble Assistant Coach Christopher Lyons. “I think our tallest guy is maybe 5’10.”

This one of the main reasons that Trimble started to pressure Eastern.

This is where Trimble was a step above.The Tomcats pressure began to frustrate Eastern. At the start, Eastern was able to beat the pressure and finish the 1st quarter leading 21-14.

At the start of the second quarter, Randy Hixson began to take over the ball game. Eastern could not find an answer for Hixson as he finished the first half with 23 points.

Eastern’s second quarter was not a good one. Sophomore Garrett Barringer got into foul trouble with 3 fouls early in the quarter, forcing him to sit the rest of the half.

The pressure also started to tire out the Eagles, causing turnovers and gave up a Hixson final shot to end the half at 30-28.

Early in the second half, Garrett Barringer, who finished with 10 points, went to the floor in pain. He limped back to his bench and would not play again in the game.

Trimble’s Randy Hixson, who finished shooting 75% from the field with 40 points, continued to be the star of the game throughout the second, despite being double teamed from the middle of the 3rd quarter on. After the 3rd, Trimble led 51-42.

“Randy has worked tremendously hard at his craft and what he does,” said Christopher Lyons. “When Randy was a freshman and we were at the Convo, we needed a shooter, we put Randy in, that’s how much trust we have in him.”

In the fourth quarter, the physicality and intensity began to ramp up. Eastern’s Isaiah Fish converted an And-1 to cut the Trimble lead to 4, 51-47. Once again, Randy Hixson found ways to impact the game despite having two defenders draped on top of him.

With a little over 4 minutes remaining, the fans started to get involved. An Eastern fan even ended up getting ejected and having to be escorted out by security.

After the ejection, Eastern had two big shots from Sharp Facemyer and Kaleb Hill, who finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the year, to tie the game at 54.

In the last minute and a half, both teams had a player foul out, Eastern’s Sharp Facemyer, who finished with 5 points and 1 steal, and Trimble’s Cam Kittle, who had 3 points. Eastern’s Colton Reynolds nailed a three with 3.5 seconds remaining, but to no avail, making the score 61-59 which was the final.

Eastern travels to Waterford to take on the Wildcats next Friday the 15th while Trimble takes on the Southern Tornadoes on Tuesday the 12th and then the Belpre Golden Eagles on Friday.

Tune into WOUB on January 14th at 11 pm to watch our first episode of Hardwood Heroes.