According to the purists, possession is 90 percent of the law. But Saturday afternoon at Sharpsville, those figures were a little off target as Hamilton Heights pounded and outmanned Tri-Central inside en route to a 59-46 victory.
Oddly if not surprisingly, the Trojans tore out of the box for early leads of 8-4, 11-5 and 17-9, thanks to the eight-point burst of Seth Blunck. TC had a 17-11 command at the first stop and was still up, 22-17, with 4:40 left in the first half.
But the buck — or the Trojan offense — stopped right there followed by the Husky avalanche.
Garrett Paull and his teammates Kurry Miller and Bo O’Laughlin went on an 11-0 run for a 26-22 halftime lead and the Huskies then added a 16-0 siege in the third segment for a gaping 42-20 lead at 2:24 of the third act. The Trojans went from 4:40 of the second period to 2:24 of the third before Garrett Dick broke the ice with two free throws.
From that point on the Huskies (12-3) stormed the boards for gobs of rebounds and second-chance points including eight rebound baskets, and try as they may the Trojans simply couldn’t get back into the game.
The Trojans (7-9) were a decent 9 of 29 afield the first half with just four turnovers, but Heights was a torrid 11 of 21 with four miscues. The third-quarter numbers were a total mismatch — the Huskies outscoring TC 20-5 on 8-of-17 shooting and 4-of-7 charity work compared to the Trojans’ meager 1-of-7 firing, two free throws but five very expensive errors.
At one stretch in the third period the Trojans coughed the ball up four times in a matter of 3:46, and the Huskies graciously accepted the donations by turning the game into a total mismatch.
TC coach Kyle Zahn said earlier in the week his club could make the Heights game interesting if it kept the Huskies in front of them and rebounded with them. Following the game he offered: “We talked before the game about being focused, and we switched defenses early to keep them off-balance. But the frustrating thing was our rebounding in the third quarter, it was horrendous.