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Waterford player takes a free throw shot at the basket

Waterford’s victory clinches fourth straight TVC-Hocking title

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WATERFORD, Ohio (WOUB)– Waterford (17-3) survives Belpre’s (10-9) comeback attempt to claim a 41-35 victory.  


Laykyn Jones and Avery Wagner combined for 25 points to help Head Coach Jerry Close achieve his 20th TVC-Hocking title.  


Belpre totaled 25 team fouls and left many Eagles stars to lose aggression in the game’s final minutes when needed most.   


Waterford’s senior night began with concern when the Wildcats’ all-senior starting lineup struggled to generate offense, and the Eagles took advantage of turnovers to jump to an early 12-8 lead at the end of the first.  


Waterford’s usual starters entered the game late into the first, and the Wildcats began to heat up to open the second.  


Wagner and Kendall Sury attacked mismatches on offense; meanwhile, Jones’ veteran awareness and speed found soft spots in the defense for open layups in the paint.  


Belpre’s interior defense began to faulter, and their discipline followed. Belpre, known for their physical defense, committed 20 fouls after the first quarter, and the Eagle’s energy dragged the offense down with only two points in the second. The Eagles picked up the offensive pace in the third with eight points, but the challenge of foul trouble kept Waterford ahead.  



Waterford extended the lead through free throws in the third quarter, and the Wildcat’s lead seemed comfortable going into the final quarter, 38-22.  


Belpre’s offense found the missing spark in the fourth. The Eagles consistently made jump shots and crashed the boards for put-back shots, trimming the lead to six, but Belpre’s comeback ended up short.  


Waterford’s big lead kept nerves in check, but the comfort of their lead was detrimental to efforts in the fourth. 


Though Waterford was held to just three points in the final quarter, Close is still happy with his team’s success. 


 “They do a really good job of coming in and working hard year in and year out. They don’t want to be the team that doesn’t win,” Close said.  


Waterford will travel across the Muskingum River for their final regular season game against Fort Frye (16-5). 


Belpre’s final match is at South Webster (12-9), the first matchup between the two teams since December 2021.