STEWART, Ohio — The second quarter made all the difference.
The Wahama boys basketball team was more than competitive for three periods, but an 18-7 second quarter run ultimately allowed host Federal Hocking to pull away and claim a 48-41 victory on Friday night during a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest at McInturf Gymnasium in Athens County.
The Lancers (2-5, 2-4 TVC Hocking) — who had dropped 28 consecutive league decisions — picked up their second straight conference triumph on the heels of a solid first half showing as the visiting White Falcons (2-7, 1-4) trailed by as many as 16 points early in the third canto.
The Red and White, however, twice clawed to within six points over the final seven-plus minutes of regulation, but ultimately never came closer the rest of the way.
FHHS took a small 7-5 edge through eight minutes of play, but the hosts made a 12-0 run to start the second frame en route to a 19-5 cushion before Wahama answered with a 7-6 run to close out the final minute for a 25-12 halftime deficit.
The Maroon and Gold followed with a 9-6 spurt to start the third for a 34-18 edge midway into the canto, but WHS answered with a 9-2 run as Jacob Warth’s tip-in at the buzzer made it a 36-27 contest headed into the finale.
Noah Litchfield capped a quick 3-0 run with a free throw at the 7:06 mark for a 36-30 deficit, but FHHS countered with a 9-4 run that ultimately proved to be too much to overcome. The White Falcons closed back to within 45-39 following an Abram Pauley trifecta, but the hosts ended the game with a 3-2 run to wrap up the seven-point triumph.
Wahama outrebounded the hosts by a sizable 55-35 overall margin, but also committed 21 of the 26 turnovers in the contest.
The White Falcons connected on 15-of-51 field goal attempts for 29 percent, including a 2-of-17 effort from three-point range for 12 percent. WHS was also 9-of-18 at the free throw line for 50 percent.
Litchfield led the guests with a double-double effort of 21 points and 13 rebounds, both of which were game-highs. Dakota Belcher was next with six points and Skyler Estep added five markers, while Warth contributed four points.
Abram Pauley chipped in three points and Isaiah Pauley completed the scoring with two points.
The Lancers netted 18-of-58 shot attempts for 31 percent, including a 4-of-21 effort from behind the arc for 19 percent. The hosts were also 8-of-18 at the charity stripe for 44 percent.
Josh Rice and Branden Gould led Fed Hock with 13 points apiece, followed by Hunter Smith with 11 points and Brad Russell with six markers. Nathan Massie and Collin Jarvis completed the winning tally with three and two points, respectively.
Wahama returns to TVC Hocking action on Tuesday when it hosts Eastern at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.