RACINE, Ohio — Veteran teams find a way to win close games.
This was the case Tuesday night in Racine when the Tornadoes fell victim to Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division foe Federal Hocking. The Lancers were over 73 percent from the free throw line in the fourth period to aid in grabbing 55-46 victory.
Federal Hocking (5-2, 4-1 TVC Hocking) began the game with an 11-to-3 run over the first three-and-a-half minutes of the game but Southern rallied back with an 8-to-5 run to end the opening stanza.The teams played evenly through the second canto, as each side scored eight, and the Lancers held a 24-19 lead at the break.
After FHHS began the second half with a 3-0 run, the Tornadoes rallied back with nine unanswered points to take their first lead of the game at the 5:24 mark. Federal Hocking answered back and grabbed a 34-32 lead headed into the finale.
The Tornadoes led briefly in the fourth after starting the quarter on a 5-to-2 run, but Federal Hocking answered with 10 unanswered points to regain control. The Maroon and Gold hit 11-of-15 free throws in the fourth en route to a 55-46 over the host Tornadoes.
“I thought defensively we did a pretty good job for the most part,” Southern coach Jeff Caldwell said post game. “We’re still learning, tonight free throws and missed layups were are big issues. Federal Hocking plays so hard defensively its hard to get good shots and they played like a veteran team down the stretch, hitting free throws and some big three’s.”
In the scoring column the Tornadoes were led by senior Adam Pape who had 14 points after shooting 6-of-12 from the floor including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. Tristen Wolfe was also in double figures for the Purple and Gold with 10 points, while Dennis Teaford finished with eight. Taylor McNickle scored four points, Trenton Deem and Chandler Drummer each tallied three points, while Hunter Johnson and Casey Pickens each finished with two points to round out the SHS scoring.
Wolfe had 14 rebounds to lead the Tornadoes, while Drummer finished with six. Wolfe also led Southern with five assists.
“I don’t think that we executed as well as we wanted to,” Federal Hocking coach Howie Caldwell said after the game. “The first two or three minutes when we got up to the 9-to-2 lead, I was pleased with it. Then it seemed like Southern controlled what we wanted to do but anytime you can win that’s fine.”
Max Carney led the Lancers with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting and 11 rebounds. Cliff Bonner had nine points, Shawn Parsons had eight, and Corey Rex finished seven points in the triumph. Pete Crum and Alfy nichols each finished with five points while Peyton Seel had two to close out the scoring column for FHHS.
The Tornadoes shot 18-of-43 (41.9 percent) from the field including 3-of-9 (33.3 percent) from beyond the arc. Pape had two of Southern’s treys while Deem accounted for the other. Southern struggled from the charity stripe, shooting 7-of-16 for 43.8 percent.
“It seemed like we had a lot of opportunities we didn’t take advantage of,” said Jeff Caldwell. “It was a good hard-fought battle, it might not have been pretty at times because both teams play so hard, really get after each other and play physical.”
Federal Hocking shot 17-of-45 (37.8 percent) from the field, 4-of-20 (20 percent) from three-point range and 17-of-27 (63 percent) from the line. The Lancers held a 33-to-28 rebounding advantage, as well as an 18-to-15 turnover advantage.
The victory is the 400th in the coaching career of Howie Caldwell, who spent his first 13 seasons as coach of the Tornadoes. Howie also coached 13 seasons at Eastern and is currently in his second season at Federal Hocking.
“I’ve got some very very special friends down here at Southern,” Howie Caldwell said. “To start your career here and coach the last game that you’re ever going to coach in this gym, it’s kind of a special feeling if you want to know the truth. The fact that its the last time and the 400th win I feel very very blessed, I really do.”
Southern will look for it’s revenge when the Tornadoes will travel to Stewart on January 29th.
“I would like to congratulate Coach Howie Caldwell on his 400th coaching victory,” Jeff Caldwell said. “He is a great coach who has done a lot for me in my career.”