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By MICHELLE GARMON
Tribune Sports Editor
SHARPSVILLE –– Tri-Central’s varsity boys basketball team had little trouble taking control of Friday night’s Hoosier Heartland Conference game against Sheridan.
The Trojans rode a strong first half to a 79-58 victory over the Blackhawks in the nightcap of the girls-boys doubleheader.
The TC girls, however, did not have an easy time. The Trojans could not overcome 30 turnovers and came up on the short end of the scoreboard 38-33.
In the boys game, TC (6-4, 3-0 HHC) capitalized on Landon Grant’s outside shooting and the inside play of Jake Chapman and Luke Martin to jump out to a 22-12 lead after one quarter. Grant swished three 3-pointers, while Chapman and Martin each scored six points.
Chapman had a hot hand in the second quarter, converting 5 of 6 field goals for 10 points. Martin also converted a three-point play as the Trojans extended their lead to 42-24 at halftime. Ethan Moistner kept the first half from being an even bigger blowout as he scored 16 of his team-high 28 points in the first 16 mintues. That included four 3s.
Chapman’s offensive rebound basket extended TC’s lead to 50-27 midway through the third quarter. Sheridan came back and Moistner’s second of two 3-pointers in the quarter trimmed the Trojan lead to 56-41.
But Jace Cassity converted a three-point play to end the quarter and give Tri-Central a 59-41 lead. Caden Leininger knocked down a 3 and found Cassity for two more to stretch the Trojans’ advantage to 64-41.
Sheridan tried to keep pace as Moistner, Evan Grinstead and Tyler Gardner each knocked down a trey but Chapman and Cassity continued to score inside. Chapman’s bucket with 2:20 left to play upped the lead to 77-50. A minute later, TC coach Bowen cleared his bench.
Chapman finished with game-highs of 29 points and 11 rebounds, and also dished out four assists. Grant and Cassity followed with 15 points apiece. Cassity also had six rebounds. Leininger added nine points, 11 assists and six rebounds, while Martin chipped in nine points and five rebounds.
Sheridan (2-9, 0-4 HHC) was led by Moistner’s 28 points and nine rebounds. Moistner was 8 of 12 from beyond the arc. Caleb Wright added 13 points.
The Trojans shot well from the field, hitting 34 of 64 field goals, and dominated the glass 41-22. TC also committed just nine turnovers.
Sheridan remained undefeated in Hoosier Heartland Conference play (5-0) by defeating Tri-Central, 38-33, in a sloppy first game of an HHC girls-boys varsity doubleheader.
The Lady Trojans (8-9, 3-2 HHC) had nearly as many turnovers as points, committing 30 on the evening. The Blackhawks were not much better turning the ball over 25 times.
Ashley Webel connected on two of her three 3-pointers in the first quarter as Sheridan led 8-7. TC came back and outscored the Blackhawks 8-6 in the second quarter to take a 15-14 lead into halftime. Gracie Grimes came out and scored six of her game-high 15 points in the third period, but Sheridan outscored the Trojans 11-8 to take a 25-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
Natalie Newcom’s offensive rebound basket and Grimes’ free throw gave TC a 26-25 lead with 5:14 left to play in the game. Riley Reed’ 3-pointer started a 9-2 Sheridan run that put the Blackhawks up 34-28 with 1:44 remaining in the game. TC countered with a 5-0 run capped by Grimes’ three-point play that had the Trojans within, 34-33, with :39.5 remaining in the game. Those were the last points scored by the Trojans. Sheridan (11-3) converted 4 of 6 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Grimes was TC’s only player in double figures, while Newcom chipped in six points and Megan Conner five. Webel led Sheridan with 12 points, while Taylor Bates added 9 and Reed eight.
The Lady Trojans travel to Rossville Friday night for another HHC contest.