Prep boys basketball: Wildcats lose to Tomcats

WATERFORD – The Waterford Wildcats dropped their fourth consecutive game Friday night as the visiting Trimble Tomcats captured a 54-33 decision in a Tri Valley Conference Hocking Division contest.

As has been the case in their previous three losses, the Wildcats grabbed an early first-quarter lead before unraveling in the second half.

Trimble scored five of the games first seven points before the green and white went on an 8-0 quarter-ending run to lead 10-5 at the end of the first.

Eli Strahler’s steal and resulting basket kicked off the second quarter in grand fashion for Waterford, but the Wildcat faithful would have little to cheer about from that point on.

Trimble went on a 12-2 run sparked by three second quarter steals and eight- points from Wyatt Deak to grab a 17-14 lead.

Non-starter Austin Bauerbach scored an inside bucket for the Wildcats to cut the lead to 17-16, but Koons answered with four straight points for Trimble.

Wyatt Porter closed out the first half with a short jumper to pull WHS to within three at 21-18.

Waterford turned the ball over at least five times in each quarter and Trimble capitalized with several easy buckets in transition in the third quarter.

Jacob Kish and Dallas Slack each had five steals apiece in the game and Kish’s bucket midway thru the third quarter on a Slack steal sent the Tomcats out front by 11 at 34-23.

After another Koons score gave Trimble the lead by a baker’s dozen, Porter connected on a short jumper to narrow the lead to 36-25 late in the third.

Downs and Slack dashed any hopes the Wildcats had of getting the game back in single digits with transition scores to bring the quarter to a close with Trimble comfortably in front by a 40-26 margin.

Things got no better for the Wildcats in the final quarter as they coughed up 10 more turnovers and Trimble went on to an all-important road conference win.

“We really got active in the top of our zone there in the third quarter and got a lot of transition buckets,” said Trimble head coach Curt Moore. “I think we may have had just a little more energy than they did in the second half.”

Deak paced three Tomcat scores in double figures with 13 points, while Slack and Koons added 10 points apiece.

Downs narrowly missed a double-double as he yanked down a game high 10 rebounds to go along with 6 points.

Waterford was led by Porter with eight points and seven rebounds, while Austin Shriver was limited to just six points, while pulling down six boards.

Waterford head coach Tom Simms vowed to use the game as a learning experience for his young squad.

“We’re going to learn from it and we are going to get better,” said Simms of his team which fell to 2-4 in conference play. “I don’t question their effort and I don’t question their heart, they just have to get better.”

The win was the fourth in a row for Trimble, who improved to 7-5 and 5-3 in the TVC, while Waterford fell one below the .500 mark for the season at 4-5.

The Wildcats will remain home Tuesday night as they host the Southern Tornadoes in another conference match up.