TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — It was what was inside that mattered most.
The Eastern boys basketball team shot over 40 percent from the field, claimed a 2-to-1 edge in rebounds and forced visiting Wahama to attempt over half of its shots from beyond the arc Friday night during a 54-28 victory in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup at the Eagle’s Nest in Meigs County.
The Eagles (9-9, 6-6 TVC Hocking) led wire-to-wire in the 32-minute affair, with the hosts taking a permanent lead just 51 seconds into regulation following a Derrick Metheney basket.
The White Falcons (0-15, 0-13) managed to trim the lead down to a single point on three different occasions, the last of which came at 6-5 following a Josiah Lloyd bucket with 4:37 remaining in the opening frame.
The Green and White, however, reeled off 10 consecutive points over the final 4:25 of the first period, giving EHS a 16-5 advantage after eight minutes of play.
The Red and White came up empty on their first nine offensive possessions in the second stanza, which included three turnovers to go along with six straight missed shots.
Eastern, on the other hand, capped a 9-0 run to start the second stanza as Garrett Barringer completed an old-fashioned 3-point play at the 4:07 mark, making it a 25-5 contest.
WHS snapped an 8:47 scoreless drought with a Harrison Panko-Shields basket at the 3:49 mark while cutting the lead down to 18 points, but the hosts countered with a 5-2 run over the next three-plus minutes for their largest first half lead of 30-9 with 11.7 seconds left.
Panko-Shields, however, nailed a trifecta just before the buzzer sounded — cutting the deficit down to 30-12 entering the break.
Wahama shot 50 percent from the field in the third frame and managed to get as close as 39-25 with 1:56 left in the canto, but the guests also went the final 10:57 of regulation without a field goal. EHS closed the third period with five straight points and led 44-25 entering the finale.
The White Falcons were 0-for-9 from the floor in the finale and mustered only three successful free throw attempts, while the Eagles went 5-of-9 from the field during a 10-3 run that wrapped up the 26-point outcome.
Ryan Dill’s basket with 4:05 remaining gave EHS its largest lead of the game at 54-27.
Eastern outrebounded the White Falcons by a sizable 40-20 overall margin, including a 12-5 edge on the offensive glass. Wahama also committed a dozen of the 22 turnovers in the contest.
The Eagles made 23-of-54 field goal attempts for 43 percent, which included a 2-of-7 effort from behind the arc for 29 percent. The hosts were also 6-of-11 at the free throw line for 55 percent.
Barringer led the Green and White with a game-high 25 points, followed by Dill with 13 points and Metheney with 10 markers. Blake Newland, Matthew Blanchard and Will Oldaker completed the winning tally with two points each.
Oldaker hauled in a team-high 13 rebounds and Barringer grabbed seven caroms, while Dill and Blanchard pulled down five boards apiece.
Wahama went 10-of-41 from the field for 24 percent, including a 3-of-21 effort from 3-point territory for 14 percent. The guests were also 5-of-11 at the charity stripe for 45 percent.
Panko-Shields paced WHS with eight points and Abram Pauley followed with six points, while Lloyd and Ethan Barnitz each contributed five markers.
Michael VanMatre completed the scoring with four points and had a team-best seven rebounds. Barnitz and Panko-Shields also had four caroms apiece in the setback.
Eastern was at Meigs on Saturday and returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Waterford for a TVC Hocking contest at 7 p.m.
Wahama is back on the hardwood Tuesday when it hosts Trimble in a TVC Hocking matchup at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.