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Federal Hocking boys own worst enemy

December 11, 2012 - Jay Bennett
There is an old adage which says that's how the cookie crumbles.

Sometimes it's fair and other times, perhaps, it's unfair.

However, when it comes to Federal Hocking's brutal 64-61 overtime loss on Tuesday night at Belpre, I'm honestly not sure on which side of the coin folks should be looking.

First and foremost, all the credit in the world has to go to Belpre head coach Jordan Thornhill's troops for battling back from being down 10 in the second half to pull out a victory. A victory that included losing key senior Ryan Leasure late in the second quarter to injury.

Without question, Federal Hocking fans are going to point out to a tough non-call with about 35 seconds left in overtime. Trailing by just two, 60-58, Belpre's Dakota Hoffman stepped to the foul line and failed to convert either free throw. Lancer Peyton Seel then leaped to grab the rebound and right as he came down he got bumped by Golden Eagle Bryce Pittenger, fell to the floor and was called for walking.

Obviously, the Lancers should've had the ball down two with plenty of time left on the clock, but that's not what happened as Federal Hocking had to foul again and then found itself down by four after Pittenger canned two freebies.

Of course, who knows what would've happened had the Pittenger bump been caught. That's one of the great things about sports in general — the calls and the non-calls. They always appear bigger toward the end of the game.

In the end, though, Federal Hocking doesn't have anyone to blame but itself, especially when one considers head coach Howie Caldwell's gang converted only 4 of 11 from the foul line in regulation. That included missing the front end of a 1-and-1 chance up two with 20.7 left in the fourth.

Let's just say if you plan on attending the rematch on Jan. 15 in Stewart, it probably will be a good idea to get there early.


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