Tomcats’ Defense Grounds Belpre in Physical Win

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Avenging a loss in conference play is no easy task.

Avenging a loss on the road is even tougher.

Trimble made the trip out to Belpre Tuesday night with revenge on the brain, and thanks to a suffocating defense in the second half, the bus ride back to Glouster ended on a high note with a 61-45 statement win over the Golden Eagles under their belt.

The Tomcats big time players turned in one of their best performances of the season with four players finishing the game in double figures, but it was the Trimble defense that gave the team what they needed to pull out the road victory.

Blake Guffey shot 7 of 8 from the field, totaling 18 points, and hauled in nine boards. Cam Kittle tallied 13 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Jeremiah Brown rounded out the scoring with 12 points and grabbing six rebounds.

“That loss in the beginning of the year left a bad taste in our mouths,” Tomcat assistant coach Jeff Koons said. “We always tell the kids that big time players like big time situations and this was a big-time situation.”

There was no love lost between the Tomcats and Golden Eagles. Hard fouls were numerous, the crowd was raucous, and players had to be separated multiple times.

“There’s definitely some bad blood,” Tomcat guard Braydon Weber said.

Trimble came out of the locker room and went on a 9-0 run to take a lead they would never relinquish. After giving up 34 points in the first 16 minutes to the Golden Eagles, the Tomcats clamped down, only allowing 11 points in the final two quarters.

“We stress defense intensely every day in practice,” Koons said. “The kids are in good shape from practicing hard and they see that, and it makes them hungry.”

The Tomcats shot over 50 percent from the field for the game, finishing 27 of 52, while also registering assists on 13 of their 27 made shots.

Trimble only gets a couple days to rest before they pack up the buses again and head for Racine to take on the Tornadoes of Southern on Friday night.