[Grayson Wolf | WOUB]

Federal Hocking falls in back-and-forth battle with Western

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The Federal Hocking Lancers traveled to Wellston Saturday afternoon to take on the Latham Western Indians in a four vs five seeded matchup in the district semi-finals. The winner of this game will go on to face the number one seeded Trimble Tomcats after their 51-50 win over nine seeded Portsmouth Notre Dame.

The Lancers in the first quarter came out hot with shots coming down and keeping the pace to their level but were showing signs of weakness as rebounding on defense was starting to become an issue.

The Indians struggled 1st quarter with connecting shots, but quickly recovered by scoring 20 points in the 2nd quarter. For the Lancers, foul troubles were starting to show as the Indians were heading to the line more often.

Still, the Lancers at half-time were up 32-31 keeping them up heading towards the next half.

This game remained close for the rest of afternoon as both teams kept each other intact as both looked to be very even.

The Lancers improved their rebounding as Senior Tyler Rogers and Sophomore Andrew Airhart had a combine 17 rebounds for the game. Unfortunately, the foul troubles for Federal Hocking were the story for the game.

The Indians attempted 29 free throws, which is nearly tripled the number of shots attempted from the Lancers. Western’s scoring told the rest of the story as 4 of there players had double digits, with Kolten Miller with 20 points and Chase Carter with 17 points.

With this, the Western Indians would go on to win and advance with the final score 66-60.

Head Coach Jonathan Thompson was proud of the effort proud by his team but said that they failed to execute their gameplan.

“We didn’t execute really anything drawn up” he says. “We had so many missed assignments here and that may be product of what Western put on the floor tonight. Their a great ball team.”

The Federal Hocking Lancers finish the season this year with a record of 18-5 with only one loss in the TVC-Hocking division to Trimble.

The Lancers next year will also lose 5 seniors as Tyler Rodgers, Andre Crockwell, Ethan McCune, Gage McVey, and Lane Smith will be graduating at the end of the year. As for Coach Thompson, he says that he is very proud of his squad of how much they’ve grown and develop over the years.

“Those are my first four-year guys too. I got to watch them grow from kids to adults I’m very proud of what they accomplished, and our young guys also grew with them. Hopefully, we can get back into this and maybe finally get over this hump.”

The Lancers next year will still have 3-point specialist Andrew Airhart as well as true guard Tariq Cottrill to work with on the starting lineup. For now, the season for the Lancers will end in this close game leaving them with hope for the future players.