GLOUSTER, Ohio — So close, and yet, so far.
Host Trimble made a 37-21 charge in the middle quarters and ultimately held on Friday night for a slim 61-59 victory over the Eastern boys basketball team in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division opener for programs in Athens County.
The Eagles (1-1, 0-1 TVC Hocking) came out firing on all cylinders as the guests got 10 points from Garrett Barringer and another eight from Kaleb Hill while building a 21-14 cushion through eight minutes of play.
The Tomcats (1-0, 1-0), however, answered with 14 points from Randy Hixson during a 16-7 second quarter surge, which gave THS a 30-28 edge headed into the intermission.
Hixson — who scored 23 first half points — produced three trifectas and 11 total points in the third canto as the Red and Gray went on a 21-14 run that increased their lead out to 51-42 headed into the finale.
The Green and White, however, made one final charge Isaiah Fish scored seven points as part of a 17-10 run, but EHS ultimately ran out of time in the one-possession setback.
Eastern made 25 total field goals — including two trifectas — and also went 7-of-10 at the free throw line for 70 percent.
Hill led a balanced Eagles’ attack with 16 points, followed by Fish with 14 points and Barringer with a dozen markers. Colton Reynolds was next with six points and Sharp Facemyer added five markers.
Mason Dishong chipped in four points and Ryan Dill completed the scoring with two points.
The Tomcats made 19 total field goals — including a trio of three-pointers — and also went 20-of-30 at the free throw line for 67 percent.
Hixson paced Trimble with a game-high 40 points, followed by Max Hooper with seven points and Bryce Richards with six markers. Brayden Weber and Cameron Kittle completed the winning tally with five and three points, respectively.
Eastern — which has now lost nine straight regular season decisions to Trimble — returns to action Friday when it travels to Waterford for a TVC Hocking contest at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.