Big win for Belpre boys over Federal Hocking

Belpre’s Nate Godfrey (23) guards Federal Hocking’s Collin Jarvis (22) with the ball during a high school boys basketball game Friday night. The Golden Eagles defeated the visiting Lancers, 56-48. STEVE HEMMELGARN The Marietta Times

BELPRE — A slow start turned into quite an interesting boys basketball game at Belpre Friday night before the host Golden Eagles posted a 56-48 win over TVC Hocking rival Federal Hocking.

The score was only 9-4 in Belpre’s favor after one quarter, but the Golden Eagles outdid the Lancers 16-4 in the second stanza to push out to a 25-8 advantage by halftime.

But then Federal freshman Nate Massie stepped up big time for the visitors in the second half, pumping in eight treys to bring his team right back into the game.

However, the third quarter got off to another slow start with no points for the initial 2:28. But after Belpre put up five straight points to grab a 30-10 lead at 4:09, Massie went to work, firing in a trio of 3-balls in a span of just 1:34 to slice the Lancers’ deficit to 32-25 at the 1:18 mark.

Four free throws, though, with two each by Belpre’s Nate Godfrey and Logan Adams to close out the period upped the gap to 36-25.

Massie got blazing in the treys again right off the bat in the fourth quarter with Hunter Smith contributing too before Belpre regained some momentum from Bailey Sprague, Connor Baker and six points from Brandon Simomiette to propel ahead by nine, 47-38.

Massie nevertheless was still at it from long range in a last-ditch effort to get closer.

First, he connected with a trey from the corner at 1:28 to make it just a five-point margin at 48-43, and then hit another trey at 53.2 seconds to tighten things even more at 50-46 prior to Adams converting four foul shots and launching an outlet pass to Simoniette on a break for a layup with 13.2 seconds to go to finally secure Belpre’s second win of the season.

For Belpre, now 2-4, Adams finished with 18 points, followed by Simoniette with 16 and seven each by Godfrey and Sprague, who also was credited with corraling 22 rebounds.

Massie netted 28 points to pace Federal, now 0-5, with Smith adding 10 more.

“It was a good win against a scrappy, young Federal Hocking team,” said Belpre head coach Tyler Leasure. “They have some good talent too with guys who can really shoot the ball. Massie was 8-for-9 for 3s tonight which is unbelievable. They were just screening to get him open.”

Leasure added that “we’re still a work in progress though, but a lot of good, positive things came out of the game tonight.”

For Federal head coach Kevin Dunigan, “Massie always shoots like that; it’s nothing that we’re not used to,” he said. “Once he gets into a rhythm, it’s lights out. He took over the game and brought us almost all the way back. We just didn’t have enough supporting cast to help him try to pull it out.”