STEWART, Ohio — Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way when you need it to the most.
Down by three-points in the closing seconds of Tuesday’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division game in McInturf Gymnasium, the Wahama boys basketball team came up empty on a pair of three-point tries, leaving host Federal Hocking to sink a pair of free throws and seal the 59-54 victory.
A tightly-contested first quarter ended with the Lancers (2-9, 2-5 TVC Hocking) ahead by a 13-12 count. The White Falcons (1-9, 1-5) tallied 14 points in the second quarter, but surrendered 16 and trailed 29-26 at halftime.
Federal Hocking added one more point to its lead in the third quarter, outscoring WHS by a 17-to-16 clip in the canto. FHHS led by as many as nine points in the finale, before Wahama trimmed its deficit back to three.
In the 59-54 setback, WHS shot 23-of-66 (34.8 percent) from the field, including 6-of-25 (24 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, FHHS shot 20-of-60 (33.3 percent) from the field, including 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) from deep. At the charity stripe, the White Falcons were 2-of-6 (33.3 percent), and the hosts were 9-of-11 (81.8 percent).
Wahama won the rebounding battle by a 46-to-36 count, but committed 15 turnovers, three more than Federal Hocking. The Red and White combined for 17 assists, three steals and three rejections, while FHHS had team totals of 13 assists, eight steals and three blocked shots.
The guests were led by Jacob Lloyd with 17 points, 15 of which came from three-point range. Jacob Warth was next with 11 points, followed by Dakota Belcher with eight, with both players grabbing 10 rebounds.
Abram Pauley contributed six points and seven assists to the White Falcon cause, while Brayden Davenport, Adam Groves and Brady Bumgarner chipped in with four points each. Belcher led the WHS defense with a trio of blocked shots.
Hunter Smith led the Lancers with 19 points, including 15 from beyond the arc. Bradley Russell earned a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Collin Jarvis marked 10 points and a team-high five assists. Adam Douglas scored six points in the win, Ian Miller, Wes Carpenter and Quinton Basim added three apiece, while Elijah Lucas tallied two.
Wahama will seek revenge on Jan. 22 when these teams meet at Gary Clark Court in Mason.
WHS has a second straight road game next, as the White Falcons invade Belpre on Friday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.