STEWART, Ohio - Host Federal Hocking jumped out to a 16-7 lead after one quarter, then had to fend off Belpre comeback bids the rest of the game to notch a key 51-41 TVC Hocking Division boys basketball victory over the Golden Eagles Tuesday night.
The win upped the now 10-3 Lancers' league mark to 8-1 while Belpre dropped to 6-7 overall and 5-3 in the TVC Hocking.
Shawn Parsons' 14 points led Federal's scoring in the game, followed by Pete Crum with 12, For Belpre, Austin Forshey, with three treys, and Nick Therriault each netted nine points, while Ryan Leasure and Dakota Hoffman both added eight
Other than 3-0 at the start, the Golden Eagles never led Tuesday. Still though, the outcome wasn't decided until the fourth quarter.
A Forshey 3-ball with 2:04 to play sliced the gap to just 44-41, but Belpre didn't score again. An open Parsons took a feed in the lane for a layup at 1:34 and Corey Rex put back a missed free throw for a bucket with only 48 seconds remaining to extend the Lancers' lead to 48-41. Then a foul and two technicals at 39.4 seconds against the Golden Eagles resulted in three free throws to close out the scoring in the game.
Federal forged its first-period advantage on a 10-2 run up to the quarter break, capped by Terrrance Mayle's rebound bucket at the 2.2-second mark.
The Lancers stretched their lead to 18 at 25-7 on Max Carney's field goal at 4:20 of the second stanza before Belpre hacked that in the final 2:30 of the half down to 27-19 on a 10-0 run, fueled by treys by Forshey and Brennen Ferrell and two Hoffman hoops.
The third quarter saw the Lancers squirm a little more as a Leaure rebound bucket cut their lead to only two, 31-29, by the midway point. Nevertheless, a 9-4 Federal spurt to the close of the period made it a seven-point, 40-33, game with a quarter to go yet.
''This was monumental; a very, very big win for us,'' said Federal head coach Howie Caldwell, ''because we've had a tendency this year of getting big leads and then finding ways to squander them away.
"Tonight, we squandered a lead, but found a way to win it. When you're leading the league, everybody plays very, very hard against you. But we met that challenge tonight, and that was very, very important for us.''
''We didn't play as a team tonight,'' said Belpre head coach Jordan Thornhill, ''and we can't do that and still win.
''We had our opportunities tonight, but just could never get three or four stops in a row. We had chances in the fourth quarter, but didn't come through and they made the shots when they had to.''