Findlay High School’s boys basketball team will be looking to get the second half of the Three Rivers Athletic Conference season off to as good a start as they did the first half when the Trojans travel to Oregon Clay to face the Eagles tonight.
With four starters and seven letter winners returning from a 15-9 team, Findlay was tabbed the preseason favorite in a vote of TRAC coaches. Predictions don’t win games, though, and Toledo St. John’s and Toledo Central Catholic, two deep and talented teams, zeroed in on the No. 1 target on Findlay’s back.
St. John’s capitalized on a slow Findlay start and weathered a gritty second-half comeback by the Trojans to post a 59-48 win on Jan. 3. Last Friday, Central Catholic used a 16-6 surge in the second quarter and some clutch free throws in the final 23 seconds to edge Findlay, 50-47.
St. John’s also nipped Central Catholic 62-59 in overtime on the road and is alone in first as the second round of league play gets underway. The Titans (11-3, 7-0 TRAC) are at Lima Senior (5-6, 3-4) today. Central Catholic, 10-2 and in second place in the standing at 5-1, travels to Fremont Ross (8-4, 3-3), and Toledo Whitmer (4-8, 3-4) is at Toledo St. Francis (3-9, 1-6).
Findlay will host St. John’s on Feb. 7, and end regular-season play with a TRAC game at Central Catholic on Feb. 21. In between, St. John’s and Central Catholic will square off on Feb. 14.
Findlay buried Clay with a series of runs when the Trojans (10-3, 5-2 TRAC) and Eagles (2-11, 0-7) met in the league opener in early December. Findlay trailed 4-3 early in the game, but took control with an 18-0 run, added two 7-0 rallies, and broke it wide open with a 14-2 surge spanning the third and fourth quarters.
Clay has lost seven of its last eight games, but its last four losses have all been by 5 points or less.
Findlay is back in league play on Friday when the Trojans host Fremont Ross in a long-running rivalry with the Little Giants that can be traced through the Buckeye Conference days of the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80, the Buckeye Central Conference era of the 80s and 90s and the Great Lakes League and Greater Buckeye Conference competition that preceded the formation of the Three Rivers Athletic Conference.
Findlay outlasted the Little Giants 56-44 in a Dec. 10 game at Fremont’s Purple Pit, but had to fight off a number of Ross rallies to do it. Fremont battled back within five points of Findlay three times in the second half before Findlay was able to lock it down in the final 1:33.
Findlay High’s girls team, which opened league play with a 49-29 win over St. Ursula, will be looking to begin second round TRAC play with another win over the Arrows when they clash on Thursday in Toledo.
Findlay (1-12, 1-5 TRAC) returns home to face Oregon Clay on Monday and state-ranked Toledo Notre Dame on Jan. 30.
Findlay High’s hockey team has a key matchup on Friday when the Trojans take on No. 2-ranked Toledo St. John’s in a Northwest Hockey Conference game at the Cube. St. John’s leads the NHC standings with a 4-1-1 record, that one tie being a 2-2 stalemate with Findlay.
Findlay’s gymnastics team, unbeaten to tournament competition this season, will go against some of the top teams in the state when the Trojans take part in the Wolfpack Invitational at Worthington Kilbourne High School on Saturday.
A week later, the Trojans will be looking to defend their league title in the TRAC championships.
Team and individual championships will also be on the line Feb. 1 when Findlay High’s wrestlers take part in the TRAC tournament at Fremont Ross.
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