TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — Not the league opener the Eagles had hoped for.
The Eastern boys basketball team began their Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division season on its home court Friday night, falling to guest Trimble 57-29.
Eastern (0-4, 0-1 TVC Hocking) held leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 6-5 in the opening period, but Trimble (1-0, 1-0) scored 12 of the final 14 points in the opening period and headed into the second ahead 17-8.
The Eagles were back within eight points after a 5-to-4 start to the second, but the Tomcats scored nine straight and headed into halftime with a 30-13 advantage.
The guests added two points to their lead with a 12-to-10 third quarter, and went into the finale on top 42-23.
The Tomcats capped off the 57-29 victory with a 15-to-6 fourth quarter run.
Trimble won the rebounding battle by a 47-to-20 clip, including 22-to-6 on the offensive glass. Eastern committed 14 turnovers, just four more than the Tomcats. Collectively, the Eagles had nine assists, six steals and a blocked shot, while the guests recorded nine assists, seven steals and three rejections.
Eastern shot 12-of-41 (29.3 percent) from the field, including 2-of-8 (25 percent) from three-point range, while Trimble made 19-of-48 (39.6 percent) field goal attempts, including 3-of-12 (25 percent) three-point tries. At the foul line, EHS went 3-for-12 (25 percent), while THS made 16-of-30 (53.3 percent).
Matthew Blanchard led the Eagles with nine points, followed by Brad Hawk with six. Jace Bullington and Trey Hill both scored four points, with Bullington earning a team-high three assists. Brayden O’Brien, Brady Watson and Isaiah Reed each scored two points in the setback.
Hawk and Bryce Newland tied for a team-high with five rebounds apiece. Leading the Eagle defense, Bullington and Blanchard each had two steals, while Josh Shuler recorded a block.
Blake Guffey led the victors with 15 points, 13 rebounds and a quartet of assists. Austin Wisor was responsible for all-3 Tomcat three-pointers on his way to 14 points, while Bryce Downs and Tucker Dixon scored 11 apiece. Cole Wright ended with four points in the win, while William Freeborn scored two and pulled in 10 rebounds.
Leading THS defense, Downs had two steals and two blocks, while Guffey had two steals and one rejection.
These teams are slated to meet again on Jan. 22 in Glouster.
Next for the Eagles, a trip to Federal Hocking on Tuesday.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.