UHRICHSVILLE -- A dream scenario for any coach in tournament play is a quick start, but for Newcomerstown High coach Dan Weekley it was just the opposite on Friday in a 55-41 setback to Coshocton High in Division III sectional action at Claymont High.
"We started really slow tonight," Weekley explained. "They came right out at us and sort of took the wind out of us in that first four minutes. Things just didn't go our way at all tonight."
Coshocton raced out to a quick 14-0 lead to seize control in the opening few minutes of play.
A rebound bucket by sophomore Steve Poe finally got the Trojans on the scoreboard at the 2:33 mark of the first quarter to pull within 14-2.
The Redskins finished the first period with a 16-4 lead with senior Tanner Cognion and sophomore Patrick Brouse each leading the Redskins with six points in the frame.
The Trojans attempted to get back into the game to open the second period, putting together a quick 10-4 run to pull closer at 20-14 on a short jump shot from junior Austin King with 4:24 left in the first half.
Coshocton quickly regained momentum to finish out the opening half of play with a 10-3 scoring edge to push their lead out to 30-17 at the halftime break.
"Defensively I felt we were prepared for tonight," Weekley said. "We knew what sets they like to run. It's what they do well, but we just didn't execute well on either end of the court tonight. We just were never able to get into a good flow all night."
In the third quarter, the two teams battled to a 12-12 draw to keep the Redskins lead at 42-29 entering the fourth period.
A bucket from Brouse at the 5:13 mark pushed the Coshocton lead out to 49-31 and started each team to begin to get reserves into the game.
CHS finished the quarter with a slim 13-12 advantage to finish off the victory and advance to meet Tusky Valley on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the sectional finals. Tusky Valley had upended Ridgewood by a 46-32 final score in the night's first game.
Cognion led Coshocton (9-14) with 17 points, while Curtis Blake chipped in with 11 and Brouse added eight off the bench.
Senior Hunter Snearey was the only player in double figures for the Trojans (7-16) with 17 points, with Steve Poe adding six points.
Coshocton finished with a 28-23 edge in the rebounding battle with Cognion pulling down six and Blake, Dylan Brown and Kyle Corder each adding three. Chris and Steve Poe each snared five rebounds for the Trojans, while Snearey collected four caroms.
Weekley was quick to praise his seniors for their contributions to the Trojans' program.
"I really want to thank my seniors," Weekley said. "They really did a good job for us and worked hard, I want to wish them the best in their futures."
Seniors who played their final game for the Orange and Black included Snearey, Jordan Wharff, Chris Poe, Quintin McCune and Jacob Rine.