Trimble Gets Revenge On Eastern, Claims TVC-Hocking Crown

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Back in January, Eastern thoroughly dominated Trimble, handing the Tomcats their worst loss of the season.

All that did was give the Tomcats a little more motivation on Friday night. Not only did they have revenge on the mind, it was also senior night at Trimble.

Oh, and the Tomcats would clinch sole possession of the TVC-Hocking Championship with a win over the Eagles.

Trimble was on fire from the jump, throwing an early offensive punch that Eastern was never able to recover from and the Tomcats went on to defeat the Eagles 53-46, cutting down the nets as Hocking Champions.

“We played great defense and ran our offense to a tee,” Tomcat assistant coach Jeff Koons said. “We played physical, we have to play physical. We played bigger than what we were tonight.”

The Eagles’ size advantage over the Tomcats was a big factor in their first matchup back on January 11. Trimble was able to combat that by pressuring Eastern ball-handlers 30 feet from the basket. This forced the Eagles into their offense earlier than they would have liked and led to numerous bad pass turnovers for Eastern.

The Tomcats jumped out to an early lead and extended that lead to double digits midway through the first quarter and led 17-6 after 1. The second quarter was more of the same and saw Trimble push their lead out to 15, 30-15, by the end of the first half.

The Trimble dominance continued well into the third quarter as well. An 11-3 Tomcat run to start the second half gave Trimble their biggest lead of the game at 41-18.

However, the Eagles wouldn’t go away. Eastern closed the third on a 7-2 run and eventually cut the Tomcat lead all the way down to six in the fourth quarter. But even with the Eagles outscoring the Tomcats 28-12 over the final 11:40 of the game, they were never able to get closer than that six point deficit.

It was a wild season for the Tomcats. The team started the season late due to a deep playoff run for the girls team, had multiple cancellations and postponements throughout the year and only one senior after losing their leading scorer Randy Hixson to graduation last year.

But one thing stayed the same. For the fourth consecutive season, the Tomcats have claimed at least a share of the Hocking crown.

“It’s a goal that we set at the beginning of the year,” Koons said. “You work for this goal everyday in practice.”

The Tomcats have little time to celebrate. They travel to Meigs High School next Wednesday to take on the Rebels of South Gallia. Trimble swept the Rebels during the regular season, but it was by no means easy. The Tomcats came away with a one-point, overtime victory in Crown City back in December and grinded out a seven-point victory over South Gallia in Glouster in late-January.

“They’re a very good team. They have length, they have very good athletes and are well coached,” Koons said. “We have to do the little things that we talk about every day in practice (to beat them).”

A third victory over the Rebels will give the Tomcats another chance to cut down the nets, this time as Sectional Champions.