The TFC men’s and women’s basketball teams returned to the hardwood on January 9-11 for their first action of the new semester. The men’s team played three region games in Florida, at Johnson University (FL), Trinity College of Florida, and Trinity Baptist College. The Lady Eagles traveled to Wesleyan College and Trinity Baptist College for their games. The men’s team topped Johnson (FL) 69-49 and Trinity College 56-47, but fell in overtime at Trinity Baptist, 66-61. The Lady Eagles were victorious at Wesleyan College 62-61, but were defeated at Trinity Baptist College, 68-64 in overtime.
In the men’s game at Johnson (FL), the Eagles used full court pressure and forced early turnovers to open the game on an 8-0 run. After trailing 15-7, Johnson fought its way back into the game, but trailed 15-13 midway through the opening period. TFC would enter the intermission with a 29-22 lead. TFC established its dominance in the second half to pull away for a 69-49 win.
“I was pleased with the defensive effort in the first half,” said Coach Jason Mehl. “But I was disappointed we did not put more points on the board. We were more efficient offensively in the second half, and Josh Barrett and Donovan Smith did a great job of finding open men,” continued Mehl.
Derek Westfall led the Eagles with 17 points and 10 rebounds for another double-double. Cam Williams added 15 points in his first action of the season. Also seeing the court for the first time as an Eagle, Zach Barrett impacted the game with 4 points, 3 assists, and 4 steals. Josh Barrett and Smith each tallied 5 assists, and Josh Barrett finished with 12 points and a perfect 4-4 from three point range.
On January 10, TFC was hosted by Trinity College of Florida. TFC struggled from the floor in the first half, shooting just 10-27 from the field. After trailing 32-24 at the half, TFC regrouped to shoot 12-25 in the second half and held Trinity College to just 4-29 shooting. TFC outscored Trinity 32-15 in the second half to take the 56-47 win.
Cam Williams led the Eagles with 17 points, and Derek Westfall added 15 points and 7 rebounds. Josh Barrett contributed 9 points, 5 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
In the road trip finale, Trinity Baptist hosted TFC on January 11. The visiting Eagles fell behind early and trailed at the half, but stormed back in the final 10 minutes of the game to force an overtime period.
In overtime, Derek Westfall asserted himself into action and scored 8 of his 14 points. TFC held a 61-60 lead with 1:30 remaining, but Trinity hit a three pointer to retake the lead. TFC was unable to answer on its subsequent possessions and was forced to foul before falling 66-61 in overtime.
The Eagles will host two region match ups this week. On January 16, the Eagles welcome Pensacola Christian College at 7:00 PM. Piedmont International and TFC will square off on January 18 at 4:00 PM.
On January 10, TFC traveled to Wesleyan College in Macon. After leading Wesleyan 30-29 at the half, TFC built a second half lead that grew as large as 8 points. In a game of momentum shifts, Wesleyan took a 7 point lead, but its efforts would be erased by a TFC 8-0 run. The Lady Eagles held a 62-59 lead in the final minute, but were unable to answer a Wesleyan jumper to hold a slim 62-61 lead. With the ball and trailing by one, Wesleyan was forced into a turnover by the TFC pressure to end the game at 62-61.
Katie Calloway scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the win. Esther Shady added 14 points and 8 rebounds, and Jeanelle Arnold had 12 points and 5 steals.
The Lady Eagles continued its weekend road trip on January 11 with a region contest hosted by Trinity Baptist College. In the 68-64 overtime loss to Trinity Baptist, Freshman Jeanelle Arnold led all scorers with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Arnold finished 13-15 from the free throw line. Katie Calloway also recorded a double-double as she scored12 points and 10 rebounds. Esther Shady added 12 points and 7 rebounds, and Kim Crapse contributed 7 points and 10 rebounds.
TFC will host Georgia Northwestern Tech on January 14 at 6:00 PM. Covenant College (JV) will travel to Toccoa on January 15 for a 6:00 PM tip. TFC will host region opponent Piedmont International on January 18 at 2:00.