GLOUSTER, Ohio — On a warm night, the Tornadoes were simply on fire from inside the arc.
Visiting Southern shot a sizzling 77-percent from two-point range, part of 60-percent overall, as the Tornadoes topped the Trimble Tomcats 58-56 on Tuesday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division boys basketball tilt inside William White Gymnasium in Glouster.
Southern shot 27-of-45 on Tuesday at Trimble — 24 field goals of which were from two-point range on 31 attempts.
The Tornadoes needed all of those two-pointers too, given both clubs only made three three-pointers apiece.
Southern attempted 14 and Trimble took 15 threes, as the Purple and Gold got to the free-throw line only five times.
Trimble took two-point leads after the first (17-15) and third (44-42) stanzas, but Southern outscored the hosts 16-12 in the last.
The bout was tied 30-30 at halftime, but the Tomcats shot just 37-percent on 22-of-58.
That offset the Tomcats’ 9-of-11 free-throw performance, as Trimble held a slim 26-25 rebounding advantage — but committed 20 turnovers compared to 19 for the Tornadoes.
With the win, Southern secured fourth-place alone in the TVC-Hocking at 9-7 — part of 11-11 overall.
The Tomcats closed their regular season at 13-9 —and 12-4 for second-place in the league.
The contest was a makeup matchup, having been postponed from its original date due to a flu outbreak in the Trimble Local School District.
Crenson Rogers, on eight baskets and Southern’s only made free throw, paced the Tornadoes with 17 points.
Tylar Blevins, on seven buckets, bagged 14 points and four assists.
Dylan Smith scored five field goals for 10 points, while Weston Thorla toted three field goals for six.
Blake Johnson jacked a pair of three-pointers, while Trey McNickle nailed a deuce and a trey for five points.
McNickle also grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
Trimble’s Tyler Slack, on 10-of-17 shooting and 5-of-7 free throws, poured in 26 points to pace all scorers.
He nearly notched a double-double with a game-high nine rebounds.
Randy Hixson hit four field goals, a pair of twos and a pair of threes, towards 10 points.
Slack sank the Tomcats’ other three-point goal.
The Tornadoes will now play for the Division IV sectional championship —on Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. at Meigs High School.
Southern is the third-seeded squad in the Meigs sectional, and will face the winner of Wednesday’s (Feb. 22) sectional semifinal between Federal Hocking and Ironton St. Joseph.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106