TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — It took eight extra minutes, but the Lancers weren’t going to be denied their league title.
The Federal Hocking boys basketball team clinched at least a share of its first Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division championship since 2013 on Tuesday at ‘The Nest’ in Meigs County, defeating host Eastern 61-53 in double-overtime.
The Eagles (10-11, 8-7 TVC Hocking) — who entered play as winners of five of their last six —were up 11-9 eight minutes into play.
Federal Hocking (17-4, 14-1) — which also topped EHS 64-51 on Jan. 10 in Stewart — was up 23-21 at halftime on Tuesday, outscoring the hosts 14-to-10 in the second quarter.
FHHS added four points to its margin with a 13-to-9 third period, and headed into the fourth with a 36-30 edge.
Eastern went on a 16-to-10 fourth quarter run, tying it 46 and forcing overtime with a Mason Dishong two-pointer at the end of regulation.
After three points by each side in the first overtime, the Lancers sealed the 61-53 victory with a 12-to-4 run over the next four minutes.
Eastern made 7-of-14 (50 percent) free throws in the contest, to go with 17 two-pointers and a quartet of three-pointers. Meanwhile, Federal Hocking was 21-of-32 (65.6 percent) from the line and had six of its 17 field goals come from beyond the arc.
The Eagles were led by Colton Reynolds with 18 points, 14 of which came after halftime. Ryan Dill was responsible for all-4 EHS three-pointers and finished with 14 markers in the setback. Garrett Barringer — Eastern’s newest member of the 1,000-point club — was next with 13 points, followed by Dishong with six and Matthew Blanchard with two.
Leading the Lancers, Hunter Smith scored 17 points, Elijah Lucas added 13, and Brad Russell tallied 10. Collin Jarvis and Nathaniel Massie both scored five for the guests, Quinton Basim chipped in with four, Wes Carpenter and Adam Douglas claimed three apiece, while Ian Miller marked one point.
Eastern concludes its regular season on Friday at Southern. The Lancers will have a chance to make their league title outright at home on Friday against South Gallia.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.