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Trimble Tomcats
(Lexi Lepof/WOUB)

Trimble Gets Revenge on Southern Thanks to Strong Second Half

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GLOUSTER, Ohio – Slow starts have been not uncommon for the Trimble Tomcats this season and Friday night was no different as the Tomcats played host to the Southern Tornadoes in their regular season finale. Another thing Trimble is quite familiar with is halftime adjustments, and on Friday night, Trimble took a 23-26 halftime deficit and turned it into a 63-46 win after a strong second half.

The Tomcats started the game by not scoring on their first five possessions which included four missed shots and a turnover. On the other side, the Tornadoes did everything they could have asked for out of the gate, jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead and extending the lead to 10-2 midway through the first quarter.

Trimble eventually found their offensive rhythm, but not before Southern finished the opening frame with a 15-9 lead. The offensive struggle continued into the second quarter, however, as the aggressive Trimble defense limited the Tornadoes offense to just 11 points. As a team, the Tomcats closed out the first half shooting an unimpressive 8-for-25 from the field, which meant adjustments had to be made.

“When you have a group of seniors like that, Coach Caldwell sometimes doesn’t have to tell them anything. He lets them talk and they can figure things out and that was a little bit of the case tonight,” Trimble Assistant Coach Jeff Koons said.

Trimble returned to the hardwood and didn’t need to take any warmup shots before the start of the half. It was straight business.

Blake Guffey opened up the Tomcats’ scoring in the second half on a quick 5-0 run by himself. Guffey scored 20 of his team-high 26 points in the second half alone.

Brayden Weber also scored in double figures with 14 points and Cam Kittle had an impressive night on the glass grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds and dishing out six assists.

The Tomcats’ strong third quarter completely flipped the script of the game as Trimble outscored Southern 18-9 in the quarter to take a 41-35 lead into the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, Trimble kept their foot on the gas pedal and didn’t let up as they outscored the Tornadoes 22-11 in the last quarter.

(Lexi Lepof/WOUB)
(Lexi Lepof/WOUB)
(Lexi Lepof/WOUB)

In the second half, Trimble proved why they’re a 3-seed in the upcoming postseason play. Since that loss to Federal Hocking two weeks ago, Trimble has played almost flawless basketball. Aside from a few slow starts, the Tomcats have played like they have something to prove.

In their last five games, the Tomcats have been outscoring their opponents by over 10 points per game on average and the offense has looked more consistent and balanced as players like Sawyer Koons and Tyler Weber have contributed more to the offense.

Trimble’s victory over Southern is win number 19 on the season and number 14 in conference play this season. Their final regular season record is 19 wins and three losses overall, but two tough losses to Southern at the beginning of the year and Federal Hocking down the stretch didn’t allow the Tomcats to reclaim their Hocking crown in the 2019-2020 season, but now, their eyes are on a bigger crown – a state title.

Trimble begins their journey to try and claim the top crown next Wednesday as they take on the Eastern Eagles for the sectional title. Trimble won both regular season meetings, but the Eagles have proved they can give the Tomcats a run for their money at times in both meetings.

Throw the regular season out the window because that season is over. Now is time for the real season. Win or go home. The Tomcats will need to look to continue this hot streak if they want to make a deep run in the state tournament.