Hardwood Heroes

Federal Hocking Senior Caden Chapman makes a move against the Eastern Pike Eagles

Big three carry the Lancers to first District Final in 53 years

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Athens, OH, WOUB- The Federal Hocking Lancers traveled to Athens High School on Monday night to do battle with the Beaver Eastern Eagles for the District Semi-Final. The energy was absolutely electric inside McAfee Gymnasium all night long, easily one of the best atmospheres seen throughout the playoffs so far.

The Lancers came out the gates on fire, with big time guys like Tariq Cottrill, Caden Chapman and Andrew Airhart lighting up the floor early on in the first. Cottrill doing his best acrobatic moves on his way to the basket, hitting the jump shots and pulling up from three were on the cards for him tonight. Chapman showed out from mid-range all night, pulling up from just outside the key and knocking down the easy buckets with fadeaways and straight up jumpers. As for Airhart, he played Around the World, hitting three-point buckets like it was his job. Stuffing the stat sheet, Cottrill finished with 24 points, Chapman with 14, and Airhart with 19 points. All but three points were scored by these three stars.

Beaver Eastern hung with Federal Hocking for all of the first quarter, as the Lancers held the lead 17-12 at the end of the opening eight minutes.

The second quarter was yest another back and forth affair. Federal Hocking would hit a shot, and then the Eagles would answer right back. Neither team could pull ahead as both offenses used the second quarter as target practice. The Lancers would have the lead going into the halftime break as well, up 34-31 heading into the locker room.

How Federal Hocking would respond on defense for the remaining two quarters would be crucial to their gameplay, and they did just that.

The Lancers would take control of the glass on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, with Iden Miller and Airhart being able to be a force in the paint. Miller finished with five boards, as Airhart finished with six .

With the Lancer defense hitting their stride to start the third quarter, their offense took advantage of the momentum. Federal Hocking would continue taking shots fron inside and outside the paint, closing the third with a tight 54-47 lead.

The last quarter was what high school basketball is all about in southeast Ohio. The fans and players from both sides getting into the game feeding off of each other’s energy. There was passion in every play, both benches getting involved in the hardwood action. This game went all the way down to the buzzer with Federal Hocking took the game 60-59 over the Beaver Eastern Eagles, advancing to the district finals for the first time in 53 years. The Lancers will take on sixth seeded Portsmouth Notre Dame Thursday, March 2, at 8:15pm in the Convocation Center.