Waterford tripped up by Trimble, 52-48
WATERFORD — For a while, it looked like the Waterford Wildcats were going to cruise to a victory Friday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division showdown with the visiting Trimble Tomcats.
Unfortunately for the white and green, they were unable to make an 18-point first-half lead hold up as Trimble rallied to shock the Wildcats 52-48 to remain unbeaten on the season.
Junior point guard Breyden Weber tossed in a game-high 28 points, including 15 in the second half, to lead the Tomcats to the dramatic, come-from-behind win.
“For some unknown reason I thought our kids played with some fear in the beginning,” said Trimble head coach Howie Caldwell. “I don’t know why but after we got the nerve we were able to settle down and get a great win… a character win.”
Waterford was playing their first game in exactly two weeks but showed no signs at all of being rusty as they scored the first eight points of the game.
Freshman Holden Daily scored six points in the first quarter as WHS continued to lead by eight before Trimble got back-to-back buckets in transition by Weber and Blake Guffey to trim the lead to three.
The Wildcats answered swiftly as junior Zane Heiss finished off the first quarter with a 3-pointer and then opened the second with another to spark a 14-0 Waterford run that saw them increase their lead to 26-9 with six minutes to play in the opening half.
A field goal by Guffey snapped the Waterford streak but junior Nick Fouss connected on a 3-pointer of his own to increase the lead to 18.
With their backs planted firmly against the wall the Tomcats began the long journey back with a triple by Guffey and then out-pointed Waterford 16-2 the rest of the half to head to the locker room trailing by just four at 31-27.
A three pointer late in the half by Jeremiah Brown followed by one just before the buzzer by Weber sent the Tomcats to the break with a whole bunch of momentum.
“I thought that if we could get it back to within 10 or so with a couple of minutes to go in the second quarter that we would be alright,” said Caldwell. “To be able to close to within three of four was a big key.”
Just as they did in the first and second quarters, Waterford came out of the gates strong in the third period as senior Russell Young scored all eight points in an 8-2 Wildcat run that pushed their lead back to double-digits at 39-29.
Trimble responded quickly on back-to-back deuces by Weber and after a Peyten Stephens basket, Brown connected on his second 3-pointer of the night to trim the lead to five.
Brown’s steal and basket in transition preceded a Weber bucket to pull the Tomcats to within one heading to the final quarter.
Fouss connected on a short jumper to open the final period but unfortunately for the Tom Simms-coached Wildcats that would prove to be their final field goal of the night.
Weber’s triple knotted the score at 43-43 and after a Young free-throw Guffey and Weber both came up with steals that resulted in points in transition as Trimble pulled in front for the very first time in the game.
Once in front the Tomcats took care of business at the charity stripe as Weber made four-of-five as Trimble pulled away to the four-point win.
Weber’s play was no doubt a key to his team’s come back.
“Breyden has had to fill in at the point guard due to injury and he has done a fantastic job,” said Caldwell of Weber who also led the Tomcats in rebounds with six. “He was an all-league player last year and he stepped up big tonight.”
Guffey added 12 points and five steals while Brown finished with nine points for the (5-0) Tomcats.
Waterford was led by Young with 15 points and nine boards while Stephens completed a double-double by scoring 14 points and yanking down a game-high 10 boards.
“We had the opportunity to kind of put it away and we didn’t and we knew they were coming in here and were going to play hard,” said Simms, whose team slipped to 6-2 on the season and 4-1 in conference play. “We’ll grow from it because you grow from adversity, you grow from stubbing your toe and that’s what we will do.”
Waterford will continue TVC play Tuesday night when they travel to Southern.