Eastern Stifles Fed Hock to Spoil Lancers’ Senior Night

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With the playoffs about to start, every team is trying to end their respective seasons on a high note. Whether that’s battling it out for the number one seed in the bracket or gaining some last-minute momentum, every team is highly focused on entering the playoffs with total rhythm and confidence on and off the court.

For the Eastern Eagles, they were able to do exactly that in Tuesday night’s game as they defeated the Federal Hocking Lancers 52-38.

From the very start it became apparent that the game was going to be a defensive battle. However, it would prove to be Eastern’s defense to be more effective as Eastern guard Sharp Facemeyer and forward Isaiah Fish were able to come up with a couple steals to give the Eagles momentum.

Eastern’s defense would dominate the quarter so much that they would hold Federal Hocking to a season low in first quarter scoring with two points.

On offense the Eagles hit the ground running from the very tip as they went on a 9-0 run to begin the game. With their defense and offense clicking on all cylinders, Eastern would head into the second quarter leading 9-2.

The second quarter was very much like that of the first. The Eagles’ defense continued to contest every shot the Lancers put up but were not able to lock the Lancers down as effectively as Federal Hocking scored 10 in the quarter.

On the offensive end, Eastern’s ball movement was on another level. Forwards Kaleb Hill and Garret Barringer were playing like the perfect duo. They moved the ball very well between themselves and were able to create low post scoring chances for each other.

The play between Hill and Barringer would allow the Eagles to close the half on a positive note as the Eagles entered halftime with a 24-12 lead over the Lancers. Barringer would end the half as the game’s leading scorer with 17 points.

Entering the second half, everyone in the stands knew that Federal Hocking would have to change something on defense if they were going to stop Eastern’s big men.

Federal Hocking would switch from playing zone to man-to-man defense, which helped them put more pressure on Eastern’s guards and allow them to double down on Hill and Barringer. While the switch to man-to-man would help the Lancers on defense, they still struggled to find any success on offense.

The Lancers would try and drive the ball more into the paint but Eastern’s defense would hold firm and remain to contest every shot. It wouldn’t be until 7:00 left in the third quarter before Lancer guard Nate Massie would hit the first three for Federal Hocking, ending the eight consecutive misses they had from three-point land. The third quarter would end with Eastern still on top as they lead 31-24 going into the final quarter.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Lancer crowd was eager to see if they would be able to mount one more comeback and end the seniors on a high note.

Eastern on the other had had other plans.

The Eagles’ were able to maintain their discipline and take care of the ball throughout the quarter, leading them to a multitude of chances at the free throw line.

Eastern would capitalize on the chances as they shot 70% from the line and scored 13 points. The Lancers would be able to cut the Eagles’ lead all the way down to seven but the Eagles’ proved to be too much in the end as they sealed the deal with a 52-38 victory.

This is the type of win Eastern exactly needed as the playoffs rapidly approach each day. Not only does Tuesday night’s game serve as a confidence boost but it also allows coach Jeremy Hill to evaluate what works best for this team to find success in the postseason.

Eastern closes out the regular season with a rematch against Federal Hocking this Thursday. If Eastern is able to notch another win against the Lancers, this Eagles’ team could serve as a major dark horse that could be turning a couple heads this postseason.