STEWART, Ohio — Sometimes the best offense is a good defense.
The Wahama boys basketball team allowed 18 points in the first quarter, then surrendered just 18 points the rest of the way Tuesday night during a 54-36 victory over host Federal Hocking in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest in Athens County.
The White Falcons (3-3, 3-2 TVC Hocking) found themselves in an early 18-10 hole after eight minutes of play, but the guests rallied by turning up their defensive intensity — which led to a 15-4 second quarter surge en route to a 25-22 halftime advantage.
The Lancers (2-5, 2-3) were never closer the rest of the way as WHS made an 11-6 run in the third canto to claim a 36-28 cushion, then closed regulation with an emphatic 18-6 charge to wrap up the 28-point triumph.
Wahama — which snapped a two-game losing skid — picked up its first road of the season while improving to .500 overall. The White Falcons also had seven different players reach the scoring column.
The Red and White connected on 18-of-50 shot attempts for 36 percent, including a 4-of-8 effort from three-point range for 50 percent. The guests committed 14 turnovers and also went 14-of-21 at the free throw line for 67 percent.
Noah Estep led Wahama with 18 points, followed by Mason Hicks with 14 points and Ryan Thomas with nine markers. Philip Hoffman also chipped in six points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Noah Litchfield added four points for the White Falcons, while Ricky Kearns and Nolan Pierce rounded out the winning tally with two points and one point respectively.
The Lancers netted 13-of-48 shot attempts for 27 percent, including a 4-of-18 effort from behind the arc for 22 percent. Fed Hock committed 15 turnovers and went 6-of-11 at the charity stripe for 55 percent.
A.J. Cobb paced FHHS with 18 points and eight boards, followed by Jason Gillian with 13 points and Ryan Harvey with three markers. Carter Russell also had two points to wrap things up for the hosts.
Wahama outrebounded the Lancers by a 37-25 overall margin and also produced a dozen assists in the victory, with Thomas and Kearns leading WHS with three assists each.
Wahama returns to action Tuesday, Jan. 5, when it hosts Miller in a TVC Hocking contest at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.